9575 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Dining date: 8/23/11
Judging by the fact that the restaurant was packed on a Tuesday night, Picca is still one of the hottest restaurants in LA and definitely one of the biggest restaurant openings of the year. My first two trips to Picca were in parties of two, so my dent into tasting the extensive menu was pretty limited. However, on my latest visit we had a party of 6 – clearly, we would be able to try a significant amount of the menu. I enjoyed the food in each of my previous visits, so I was pretty excited to sample some more.
One of the off-menu recurring specials has been this 32-ounce ribeye. I’ve been wanting to try this…but it’s huge. Given that this was everyone else’s first time at Picca, we opted to try a number of other dishes instead. Because I’ve commented on many of these in my past two posts, I’ll just add some overall thoughts at the end.
tuna tartare. tuna, lemon soy dressing, wonton chips
empanada trio. beef, chicken, eggplant, salad
jalea mixta. crispy mixed seafood, tartare sauce
chicharron de pollo. marinated crispy chicken, salsa criolla, rocoto sauce
conchas a la parmesana. scallops, parmesan cheese, spinach, lemon sauce dressing
oysters a la chalaca. pan fried oysters, cherry tomato sarsa
causas: salmon, yellowtail, unagi
ceviche crocante. halibut, leche de tigre, crispy calamari
seabass tiradito. thin slice sea bass, soy sauce, lemon dressing, sweet potato puree
anticuchos: spot prawn, sweet potato, black cod, scallop
arroz con erizo. peruvian paella, mixed seafood , sea urchin sauce
seco de pato. duck leg confit, black beer sauce, cilantro rice
carapulcra. roasted black cod, peruvian sun dried potato stew, chimichurri
sudado de lenguado. halibut stew, peruvian corn beer sauce, yuyo
chanfainita. braised oxtail, mote and potato stew
tres leches cake.
Similar to my other visits, I thought the food was strong. While I have always enjoyed the anticuchos (spot prawns!) and causas, I really enjoyed ‘oysters a la chalaca’ with the brightness and acidity in the tomatoes really heightening the sweet oyster. The toro ceviche was one of the specials that evening. Not exactly a ceviche (it appeared to have been seared with a blowtorch), but the fish was good…though I’m not sure it was worth the $26 with so many other items priced much lower. I liked the duck confit too; the duck was predictably tender and savory, and I thought the cilantro rice was an excellent accompaniment. As for the desserts, the chocolate was an off-menu special. The chocolate cake was good itself, but there was a passion fruit-like filling that I really liked with it too.