This Week's Restaurant Review, The Condensed Version: Paiche
This week I review Paiche, Ricardo Zarate's new "Peruvian Izakaya" in Marina Del Ray. The full review is available for your perusal, and the condensed version is available below.
Anne Fishbein Kampachi Ceviche at Paiche.
Vital Statistics: This is Zarate's third restaurant, the first being Mo-Chica (which moved downtown last year from its original South Central location in a food court) and the second being Picca. Zarate bills Paiche as a Peruvian izakaya.
Food: Fun small plates with Japanese and Peruvian influences. You'll see Zarate's signature boldness and bright flavors, and the menu is long. There are grilled items, ceviche/sashimi hybrid dishes, warming stews and one impressive whole fish. Much of this food is like a party on a plate, exciting in the extreme. Some of it veers into overwrought or overly clever.
Drinks: From the review: "Cocktails, created by Deysi Alvarez, are unabashedly beach-centric: Pert, full of citrus and tropical elements, they're a refreshingly grown-up vision of what fruit-heavy drinks can accomplish. Yes, the Maracuya Caipirinha is full of passion fruit and lime and cane syrup, but it's fresh passion fruit -- sweet and sour and delicious."
Looks: Beach wood and brilliant blue panels give the place a bright, ocean theme. If it felt a little too much like a swank chain to me that was lost on my friends, one of whom said it was more like an upscale hotel restaurant.
Takeaway: 2 stars (good). From the review: "Paiche is a fun, colorful restaurant serving highly creative food in a neighborhood that sorely needs more options."
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