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.