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Feb 22, 2012 11:38 AM


Suggestions for what to order- the menu on line is huge.

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  1. So funny that you asked that as I saved this list from somewhere and am going to use it as a guide when I go:

    "Chicharron de Costillas" crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce and salsa criolla $10 *GET THIS* This is a fantastic dish and a bang for your buck. The pork was tender and sweet.

    "Ceviche crocante" halibut, leche de tigre, and crispy calamari $17- meh, boring. I wouldn't get this again.

    "Anticucho black cod" miso anticucho, crispy sweet potato $14 - *GET THIS* Two skewers of tender, buttery miso black cod with crispy sweet potato chips.
    FYI: dishes that begin with "Anticucho" =skewer. "Causa"= potato puree

    "Arroz con Erizo" Peruvian paella, mixed seafood, sea urchin sauce $17- pretty good but pricey for a tiny bowl. The paella had good, moist texure.

    "Churros" $7 - It was my sister's birthday and most restaurants give a complimentary dessert as a "thank you for choosing to dine with us on your special day" but that wasn't the case at Picca. We ordered the churros and they basically stuck a candle on the side of the plate. No complimentary ice-cream, cake, chocolate, mint, anything. The churros were nothing special. Disneyland still wins. The dipping sauces were interesting but I only liked one out of the three sauces.

    Things I would try next time-
    "Bisteck a lo pobre" skirt steak, egg, pan fried banana, chickpeas $16
    "Choritos" steamed mussels, pancetta, aji amarilla butter $12

    I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of service. I prepared myself to have low expectations of service because of the complaints here on yelp but the service was great from beginning to end. The waiter explained alot of the dishes and checked up on us several times to ask if we wanted to order more food. My plate got changed once or twice throughout the night. The only thing that could've improved was refilling my less than half glass of water. C'mon Picca, turn your lights on just a little bit so the waiters can see that my glass is not full! The cocktails here are anything but ordinary. The cocktail menu explains all the ingredients in their specialty drinks. Definately a must try restaurant, Keep it up Zarate.

    3 Replies
        1. re: lizziee

          Went last night. Really liked the "Chicharron de Costillas" crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce and salsa criolla $10

          I liked the two ceviches we tried but the underlying citrus flavor can be a little strong. I also thought the "Anticucho black cod" miso anticucho was excellent but the crispy sweet potato chips didn't do much for this dish. Probably would have liked it much better if they paired it with some mashed potatoes.

          Also really enjoyed the "Arroz con Erizo" Peruvian paella, mixed seafood, sea urchin sauce and I thought the serving size was substantial. Very good flavor and I added a little spritz of the lime to jazz it up another few notches.

          Two of us probably split 10 dishes and I was full at the end even without getting anything sweet to conclude the meal. The bill was $115, plus tip and that included two Peruvian beers.

      1. For what it's worth, GQ Magazine include Picca on their list of the 10 best new restaurants in America.

        Another L.A. restaurant, INK, was Number One.

        1. The beef hearts are wonderful.
          I was expecting "innard" flavor like liver or kidney - I sure was wrong. Heart = muscle + yummy

          7 Replies
          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Ate at Picca last evening. Really, really good. Based on your rec I talked my buddy into trying the beef hearts and they were outstanding. I have been wanting to try them for a while after seeing them on the menu a pollo a la brasa. However, the daughter of the owner at pollo a la told me that beef heart is a street dish, meant to be eaten right off the grill. Since I only take out from there, I had not tried it. Happy to have had the chance last night.

            1. re: Thor123

              Ate here twice last year and both dinners were good. Like the cocktails as well. Agree the Causas were so-so but everything else we had were good. Disagree with Dommy that Mo-Chica is better. I think Picca is heads above Mo-Chica.

              1. re: KTLA

                Based on one lunch at Mo Chica, Picca is both heads and SHOULDERS above.

                1. re: Thor123

                  Mo Chica was severely disappointing when I went and I was a big fan of the original. Picca on the other hand I loved but haven't been to in a year. Dying to go back but I've heard disappointing reports from friends of friends.

                  1. re: Johnny L

                    call me wacky, call me irresponsible, but i like mo chica, picca, and, golly, paiche, too.

              2. re: Thor123

                Glad to hear it. I suspect - but never tried it - that beef hearts wont travel well. Eat em right away!

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  Since the owner's daughter insisted that I not order them to go from Pollo a la Brasa because she said they get very tough as they cool, ya gotta eat them right away! By the way, I am pretty sure that Picca has them under the heading "Street Food".

            2. We ordered these this past weekend, among others:

              chicharron de pollo. marinated crispy chicken, salsa criolla, rocoto sauce
              pollo saltado. chicken, onion, tomato, ginger, papas fritas
              ceviche crocante. halibut, leche de tigre, crispy calamari
              locro de quinoa. quinoa pumpkin stew, fried egg, choclo, parmesan cheese, crispy tomato
              chicharron de costillas. crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce, salsa criolla
              anticucho tomatoes. burrata, black mint pesto
              anticucho corazon. beef heart, rocoto walnut sauce

              Overall, the flavors were decent but there were some definite misses. Ceviches seemed overly acidic. Some dishes lacked punch. And overall, though I understand their idea is to elevate Peruvian, I guess I prefer the homey and soulful qualities of a place like Mario's.

              Not rushing to go back.

              9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

              14 Replies
              1. re: jeffz

                Couldn't agree more. Overrated and overpriced.

                1. re: nimo

                  Having second thoughts about going!

                      1. re: Johnny L

                        Couldn't agree more. Totally overrated. The only memorable dish was the ceviche (the one without calamari).

                  1. re: jeffz

                    I understand their idea is to elevate Peruvian, I guess I prefer the homey and soulful qualities of a place like Mario's
                    That was always my reservation. Thanks for confirming.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      i would note that, based on the lack of available information on the likes and dislikes of Jeffz on the LA CH board, that it's a bit of a stretch to confirm or deny the value of Picca as a destination for upscale/creative Peruvian food based on this one post

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Fair enough but that has always been my personal reservation regarding Picca. And jeffz's review seemed pretty fair and detailed. I'd weigh it the same as any board "regular".

                        It's the same reservations I had about Rivera which was confirmed with my visit.

                        Then again, I had those same reservations about Red Medicine and was waaaaay off. Red Medicine exceeded all expectations and more.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Thanks Porthos. I am an equal opportunity eater. My favorites range from Providence and Bouchon on the higher end to Baco Mercat, Canele and Animal in the middle and Papilles and Don Gae Gam for lower priced, among many others. I have some culinary training.

                          While I don't want to prevent people from trying Picca my specific food problems were: both ceviche we tried were overly acidic (and I generally like bright qualities), the char on most of the grilled items was a bit heavy. I like caramelization but the type of marinade they seem to be using for some of the grilled preparations must have something sweet because the char is quite dominant. And with certain dishes like the saltado, which should be a slam dunk for a Peruvian place, the flavors lacked punch, hence my comment about a "homey" place like Mario's Peruvian.

                          Having said all that, the service was excellent. The interior was clean and well-thought for a tight space. It was enjoyable but I left thinking I had fallen prey to the "L.A. hype machine." Congrats to their PR people...

                          1. re: jeffz

                            I prefer Mario's food as well.
                            But there are some nice things about what they are doing at Picca and I have yet to try the large nightly special rib eye.

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              The rib eye is sous vide first then finished on the grill. We've had it twice and thought it was great both times.

                              I don't prefer Mario's but haven't been in a while. Personally, I thought the food was too oily for me, and much prefer Kotosh in Lomita. To me, Picca is just a totally different type of Peruvian relative to more "homey" styles. Just scratches a different itch so to say...

                            2. re: jeffz

                              What's the LA Hype machine? There are plenty of people with discriminating taste that like Picca. Maybe you were on an off night, or maybe it just doesn't agree with your tastes. Did you like Mo-Chica?

                              There is a preponderance of dishes with cilantro and/or lime which - which can end up giving you a meal that's a bit one note.

                              1. re: jeffz

                                No kidding...

                                I prefer to write about places I liked rather than places I didn't. And kudos to your detailed reply because I believe it completely. I am NOT one who knocks Picca down because they are trying to elevate peruvian food. Peruvian culinary traditions are SO rich that with the right touch it could stand up towards any fine cuisine. Sadly that touch was just not at Picca.

                                I am a HUGE fan of Mo Chica, had a phenomenal tasting menu that was SUPPOSED to be more like what Picca was supposed to be there shortly before their opening. For that reason I was excited about Picca... I tried them. and tried them. and tried them again and still didn't come out loving anything more than I do at other places. For ceviches, La Cevicheria is so much more balanced and flavor. For Tiraditos, Lima Limon (yes, in Santa Clarita) is so much more nuanced, so its flavorful but allows the fish to shine. The mini causa sushi things were TERRIBLE. And I ADORE causas, even the free ones you get Valley places... The drinks were meh (Disappointment after the amazing drink that was coming out Test Kitchen). And most disapointing of all, my last two visits were literally one day after the other. Having the same dishes (on the second day part of a set menu) were wildly inconsistent. That when it confirmed for me for sure, it's a kitchen problem... NOT A problem with the cusines or even what they are attempting to do...


                            3. re: Servorg

                              I agree Servorg, people should still try it for themselves.

                        2. Tried it with my wife last night. Wonderful service, lovely space (especially in the Summer where even at 8p light abounds), great drinks -- but the food was SOOOO disappointing.

                          We ended up cutting our losses after only 4 dishes, as not a one gave us any confidence or courage that ordering more would provide a different result.

                          The Ceviche Criollo was beyond acidic -- so much so I'm surprised I've still any enamel on my teeth. And this from someone who loves bracing dishes!

                          The Causa Spicy Yellowtail was neither spicy nor well balanced. In fact we each had the same reaction; "Potato Salad?!?!?!"

                          The Anticucho Papa a la Huancaina was laughable. After seeing it recommended on CH several times, I can only wonder if something vital to the dish was omitted. To top it off, being served the cool side of tepid enhanced the shortcomings.

                          And lastly, the Chicharron de Costillas -- I will say this was the best dish of the night, though I'm guessing the fact I'm damning it with faint praise won't escape anyone here. Soggy bread, and a decidedly general lacking of both "crispness" and flavor left us scratching our heads.

                          For us, seems to be a case of "The Emperors Clothes"; I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as mo-chica did nothing for us either.

                          Oh well. I guess it's back to Mario's and Puro Sabor.