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Peruvian at Picca

I love the time of year when dineLA Restaurant Week rolls around. It’s a great opportunity to try a new or a pricier restaurant for a set price. Restaurants have the option of offering a lunch or dinner menu or both. This year I had the January issue of Los Angeles magazine in my hands, whose cover story highlighted The Top 10 Best New Restaurants. I had already checked two of the ten off my list (Sotto and M.B. Post) and was pleased with both. I chose Picca, the new spot from Ricardo Zarate on Pico, because over the summer I had enjoyed a meal at his downtown eatery Mo-Chica.

Matt and I ordered four small plates from the dineLA menu (and one additional from the regular menu) and two desserts. The savory bites included seafood, chicken, beef and beets. I also ordered a glass of Peruvian iced tea, called Chicha Morada, which refers to the purple corn that makes up the beverage.

Our desserts were a bag of mini churros with 3 dipping sauces (including my favorite dulce de leche) and a strawberry pisco flan. We agreed that both items were the highlights of the meal. We also gave thumbs up to the crispy chicken (chicharron de pollo) and the Chicha Morada aka the purple corn drink.

Some other things to note, Picca is in a very cool space with both open seating AND nooks and crannies. We were seated at an upstairs bar that overlooked the first floor dining area. We not only had a great view of the energetic bartenders as they mixed and shook lots of pisco sours, but we were able to spy on what the diners below us were sampling and guess what the dishes were.

The plates were beautifully presented and it wasn’t a bad meal, but Matt and I wondered if we were expecting more because of its placement on the Top 10 list. We agreed that the word “underwhelming” best described our food experience. I’m glad we tried it and I might consider returning only to try one of those frothy pisco sours!

A special thanks to LA Inc. for continuing to sponsor dineLA restaurant week!

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