January 11, 2011


When I crave Peruvian, I go to Mario's for their lomo saltado. No second thoughts. Yet despite my loyalty to Mario's, when I first heard Mo-Chica was coming to DTLA, I got super excited, namely because I feel like good Peruvian places are few and far between in LA. (Someone please prove me wrong).
It took me over a year, but I finally got a taste of what the much-raved about downtown joint had to offer. Thankfully, I wasn't sorely disappointed.

Broccoli soup that comes with an entree

House salad that also comes with an entree

Ceviche del Dia (daily catch marked at market price)
Here is the famous ceviche (sea bass) marinated in leche de tigre and served with Peruvian corn (or hominy), roasted corn kernels, and squash slices. Let's just say it's one of the freshest I've had in LA and it definitely lives up to the hype!

Arroz con Marisco (Peruvian paella with mixed seafood) - $12
This dish was packed with all sorts of flavor and sea critters including mussels, clams, octopus, shrimp, and squid. While it was flavorful, I wish that the rice was less soggy and that the overall taste had more of a kick.

Oxtail Risotto - $13
You know oxtail is braised correctly when it falls off the bone just by a quick nudge. Atop a bed of barley huancaina risotto, the tender, fatty pieces of meat contributed just the right amount of saltiness (per my palate) and together, offered great texture to each bite. This was my favorite dish of the meal.

Beverages (not pictured): Passion Fruit Iced Tea and Chicha Morada

So where is the lomo saltado, you ask? I opted not to get it because I was distracted by all the other menu choices. I'll definitely give it a try next time around.

Comparing it to Mario's, I can't quite say I like one over the other, but you will definitely find the prices at Mario's friendlier to your wallet and the food more, dare I say, authentic. But at Mo-Chica, your tastebuds will be introduced with more interesting flavors and choices, and really well-prepared ceviche! So if you're downtown and you're hungry for some Peruvian, don't hesitate to check Mo-Chica out!

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cuisine: Peruvian
location: Downtown LA
hours: M-S: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM; M: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM; T-S: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM; closed Sundays

website: { websiteyelp }
attire: Casual
parking: street
or private lot (2 hrs. free w/ validation)
notes: The restaurant is located in a small mercado (Mercado La Paloma) and has a food court ambiance. Don't let that dissuade you from trying out the food, though! Also, J. Gold is a fan! { review }