July 13, 2013


First, there was Mo-Chica (DTLA), then Picca (Beverly Hills).  Now, Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet finally show some love to the Westside with yet another brilliant brainchild, Paiche.

Paiche (pronounced like pie-chey) is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.  It also happens to be one of LA's hottest new restaurants.  Located in Marina Del Rey, Paiche shows off Peruvian flair with a strong Japanese influence  -- it's a Peruvian izakaya, after all.

Special note: Thank you, Stephane for introducing D & I to such an interesting concept and for hosting us so well -- merci beaucoup!

Thirsty, my food partner and I kicked off the evening with a some refreshing beverages.

Maracuya Caipirinha -- Leblon Cachaca (liquor made of fermented cane sugar juice), passionfruit, muddled line, cane syrup -- $15

Papa Hemingway -- Matusalem rum, lime, grapefruit, Luxardo marachino -- $13

Off-menu cocktail that dangerously tasted a lot like cucumber limeade

Hungry, we ordered a little of everything, which ended up being a lot of everything.  Oops? 

From the fried section, we opted for (only) two things: (1) Yuquitas (aka - fried cheese bread) and (2) Amaebi.  Of the two, I liked the Yuquitas more.  Sprinkle a little lime, dip it in the Serrano sauce, and bite into the fried, but still light and chewy pillow of cheesy bread.  You can't go wrong.

Yuquitas -- stuffed Yuca beignets, Manchego cheese, grated Parmesan -- $8

Amaebi -- sweet shrimp wrapped in shredded filo dough and served atop Serrano ponzu dressing -- $12

Hi there, shrimpy.

Chefs at work.

Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, similar to sashimi or carpaccio.  From the Tiraditos section, we ordered (1) Paiche and (2) Wagyu Beef.  Hands down, the Wagyu Beef was spectacular -- so much so that it gave us wagyu dreams for several days after the meal.  As much as I like fish, I'm a beef-lover.

Paiche -- Amazonian fish, Aji amarillo lemon vinaigrette, tamari, sweet potato mousse -- $10

The seared fish, coupled with tamari* and sweet potato mousse, really delivered in the flavor department.  
*Tamari is similar to soy sauce, but is made with less wheat and more soybeans.  Thus, you can taste umami in its richness.  

Let's sear that ish!

See-ared ;) 

But let's direct our focus on what's happening here...  what IS happening here?!

Wagyu Beef -- seared wagyu, topped with black truffle, cavier, Aji amarillo vinaigrette, and Parmesan sauce -- $12


I'm not sure if the cavier is typically on this dish.  Regardless, you're working with three ingredients -- wagyu, black truffle, cavier -- that work wonders independently.  But combine them and top it off with a thick, cheese sauce and it results in a heavenly experience.  Just do it.

Grilled Pork Neck with gochujang and green onions -- $10

The pork neck was the only thing we got off the grill. While I appreciated the use of gochujang in the sauce which provided a sweet, tangy, and smoky flavor, the pork was tough, almost reminiscent of a type of jerky.  I don't know my pork necks well, but my guess is it was over-grilled.

From the main entrees, we carbed it up with two rice-based dishes: (1) Chaufa de Langosta and (2) Arroz con Conchas Negras Y Erizo.  I liked them both, but if I had to pick, the lobster fried rice won over my taste buds.

Arroz con Conchas Negras Y Erizo -- blood clams, sea urchin, risotto -- $18

The risotto was prepared perfectly and the clams were tasty, but where was the sea urchin?  Points off for slight disappointment.

Chaufa de Langosta -- lobster, mixed seafood, fried rice -- $12

I've had my share of fried rice in my life, but this lobster fried rice was really impressive.  None of the ingredients overpowered the other.  Even though I'm not a huge fan of rice, I could've eaten this one solo.

Finally, as if we didn't eat enough food, we completed the 3-hour meal on two sweet notes: (1) Churros and (2) Chicha Raspadilla.  I don't even have much a sweet tooth, but I loved them both!

Churro Balls con chocolate and dulce leche-esque dipping sauces -- $9

Chicha Raspadilla -- $9
The Chicha Raspadilla is essentially sorbet/ shaved ice made of chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian beverage made of purple corn.  At Paiche, the shaved ice is made with lots of love.  Topped with apple and mango slices and actual sorbet, this dessert is a perfect way to end a rather gluttonous meal.

You can order to-go too!

What to get: Seared Wagyu w/ black truffle and cavier; Paiche; Chica Raspadilla; Cocktails!
What I'll get next time: It's practically offensive that I didn't try any of their "sashimi-style" ceviches (huge fail) or eat more seafood in general.  But c'est bien, because it just gives me a reason to come back to Paiche, and soon!

'Til next time...

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Paiche on Urbanspoon

cuisine: Peruvian Izakaya
location: Marina Del Rey
hours: Everyday, 11:30 AM - 11:30 PM; Happy Hours from 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM (20% off)
websites: { Paiche | yelp | twitter | facebook }
parking: Free parking inside the building; Street parking
seating: Indoor/ Outdoor
attire: Casual
notes: Look for the Stella Apts.  Paiche is located on the ground floor of that building.
other reviews: { kevineats | LA Weekly }

1 comment:

  1. Looks like they've updated the portions noticeably (without increasing prices), which addresses a common complaint they had early on.