Mo Chica downtown
I tried the new downtown location of Mo Chica. I was disappointed. I liked the old Mo Chica much better. The new Mo Chica lacks charm. It has the Border Grill sort of faux Latin feel to it. It has a small plates concept. Whatever. I'm not aware of any small plates restaurants in Peru.
The menu is printed on annoying rectangular cards that are grossly inferior to normal menus, which are ubiquitous for the simple reason that they work well.
Solterito. A tasty but tiny little salad with pea tendrils, lima beans, corn, and feta. Maybe 175 calories. This is meant for sharing? Everybody gets two pea tendrils, three lima beans, and three kernels of corn. Enjoy!
Anticucho de pulpo. The octopus was about average. It was served with potatoes and a jalapeno sauce. There was nothing interesting about this dish.
Aji de gallina. Below average. Small portion. No rice! (I didn't even see rice on the menu, but it was hard to understand.) Rubbery, overcooked chicken. Average sauce. Even the quail eggs seemed subpar. This is the sort of thing that a decent home cook can top on his or her first try.
I find it surprising to say this, but I wouldn't go back. The food quality was about on par with Mas Malo across the street.
Wow, what a disappointing report. I have not yet tried the new MC, but have walked by and definitely see what you mean by the "faux Latin feel". I would also note that the prices seem to have tripled for some items since the move, which I guess is to be expected.
I really regret not making the trip down to Mercado La Paloma more often when I had the chance, the original MC really embodied everything that I love about the food scene in this city. It's a shame they couldn't keep it open.
One reason we loved the original Mochica was the quaintness (tiny space, Japanese hair lady, the feel of eating in a Tiajuana indoor market). This is gone. If I were to go back to the old Mochica location and see that empty stall, I may start to tear up.
FWIW, it looks to me like you didn't order well. I've never had an aji de gallina that I really liked and the solterito is also something I doubt I'd order. There are much more interesting items on the menu.