(Mo-Chica moved to this location from its original home, for which the following recommendation was written. Sources assure us the food still is worthy of recommendation. We will visit the new location soon.)
Most ceviche Iíve tried has been a one-note slap in the face, however bracing. When I read that Mo-Chica serves great, Peruvian ceviche, I was game to try, so I beat it downtown, to the Mercado Paloma, a group of merchants, craftspeople and food stalls housed in a large building just east of USC.
Mo-Chicaís ceviche alone is worth the freeway trip - top quality tuna cubes, soft chunks of sweet potato, kernels of cancha, toasted Peruvian dried corn, slivers of onion, in a thick liquid thatís both spicy, tart, and somehow sweet all at the same time.
But of course, we donít live by ceviche alone. Thereís a daily potato salad that makes the potato salad of your imagination look like a four-car wreck. Mo-Chicaís is artfully composed of potatoes, crab and vegetables, and tastes as good as it looks.
When I go to Mo-Chica, itís tempting always to ignore the daily specials and order the Seco de Cordero, lamb prepared in a cilantro beer stew, served on a bed of Peruvian canary beans,
The chef is Ricardo Zarate, who cooked for years at Wabi Sabi in Venice; heís looking to introduce us to modern Peruvian cooking at Mo-Chica. And heís succeeding.