Picca (Los Angeles, CA) (4)

9575 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Dining date: 12/14/11 and 2/1/12

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Generally regarded as one of the top restaurant openings in 2011, Picca has truly been a hotspot since opening in June. It seems that every time I’ve visited, the restaurant’s been packed – boisterous and full of energy. It’s easy to see why; the restaurant has an addicting combination of delicious and interesting food, top-notch cocktails and a unique vibe. It’s still somewhat of a novelty cuisine-wise for many people, and I think that’s some of the appeal – it’s something different.

I’ve dined here on six occasions now; this post recounts the last two visits. The first was in December, a dinner hosted by Steve Plotnicki (Opinionated About Dining). The second was a week ago; originally searching for a DineLA dinner, we ended up just ordering a bunch of plates off the regular menu. Given there are a lot of repeat dishes with previous posts, I’ll just touch on some of the new items and highlights.

Dinner One:

albacore ceviche rocoto-infused ponzu leche de tigre, japanese cucumber

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chicharron de costillas crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce, salsa criolla

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Rich and savory flavors were at play in this dish, led by the succulent pork and zesty salsa. With some creamy sweet potato and feta cheese, it all came together on a thick toasted bread for some pretty delicious bites.

causa snow crab cucumber, avocado, huancaina sauce
causa spicy yellowtail spicy mayo, gree

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conchas a la parmesana scallops, parmesan cheese, spinach, lemon dressing sauce

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anticucho tomatoes burrata, black mint pesto

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Bursting of juicy flavor, I thought the burrata (warmed slightly) and tomatoes were heighted by just a little bit of smoky flavor. Some mint pesto completed the take on the Italian classic.

anticucho black cod miso anticucho, crispy sweet potato

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The smoke of the grill worked really well with the buttery fish, accented by a  little bit of miso.

grilled eggplant

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anticucho corazon beef heart, rocoto walnut sauce

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Always reliable at Picca, the beef had a wonderful chewy texture and good beefy flavor; some rocoto sauce spiced things up a bit.

arroz con erizo peruvian paella, mixed seafood , sea urchin sauce

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grilled 32oz rib-eye aji amarillo

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I’d been wanting to try this dish for a while, a daily special. Satisfying anyone’s inner carnivore, the rib-eye is prepared sous vide and finished on the anticucho grill – a perfect medium rare every time. The meat met my expectations; it was tender and flavorful on its own…honestly I didn’t even think it needed the aji amarillo side.

seco de pato duck leg confit, black beer sauce, cilantro rice

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alfajores dark chocolate, dulce de leche

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vanilla bean pisco flan

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bonbon churros

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quinoa pudding

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Dinner Two:

Before dining, our friend brought in one of his prized spirits, a 20 year Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

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Mixologist Julian Cox called this “liquid gold” – I found it to be very smooth, sweet and rather maple-y.

albacore ceviche rocoto-infused ponzu leche de tigre, japanese cucumber

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chicharron de costillas crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce, salsa criolla

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Just as good as the previous time; this has become one of my favorites at Picca.

causa albacore garlic chip, ceviche sauce
causa spicy yellowtail spicy mayo, green onions, wasabi tobiko

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anticucho tomatoes burrata, black mint pesto

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arroz con erizo peruvian paella, mixed seafood , sea urchin sauce

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Hearty and very comforting, I love the flavor of the rice in this dish. Sea urchin was blended into the sauce, adding a richness and an additional depth of sea flavor.

anticucho corazon beef heart, rocoto walnut sauce

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anticucho beef filet sea urchin butter, garlic chip
anticucho papa a la huancaina potato, quail egg, pancetta, chives

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ceviche mixto mixed seafood, sweet potato, choclo

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tiradito de atun tuna, soy ceviche dressing, sweet potato paste

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pig foot stew

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I actually didn’t know this was pig’s feet until afterwards. The pork was pretty delicious, soaking in its own rich braising liquid with some roasted tomatoes and lime to brighten things up.

bisteck a lo pobre skirt steak, egg, pan fried banana, chickpeas tacu tacu

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choritos steamed mussels, pancetta, aji amarillo butter

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The mussels were pretty tasty, accented by some salty pancetta. I think the aji amarillo butter was what brought everything together, adding a richness and warm peppery flavor to the dish.

oysters a la chalaca pan fried oysters, cherry tomatoes sarsa

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One of my favorites – the oysters were fried and put back in the shell, complemented by the acidity of a fresh salsa.

arroz chaufa de mariscos mixed seafood, peruvian fried rice, pickled radish

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Interestingly, the fried rice was very Chinese in flavor. Topped with a mix of shrimp, mussels and squid, I enjoyed this plate.

seco de pato duck leg confit, black beer sauce, cilantro rice

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quinoa pudding

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I liked these cookies; rather light with a sort of shortbread texture, I think we had a chocolate one and a dulce de leche one.

vanilla bean pisco flan

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Picca has become a reliably good meal; in fact, I think these last two meals were probably the strongest I’ve had here. The execution’s been on point and the flavors spot on. Really tasty. My favorite dishes would have to be the tomato, black cod, and beef heart anticuchos, the always-reliable ceviches (though they can be found at Mo-Chica too), arroz con erizo (Peruvian paella), choritos, oysters a la chalaca, and the chicharron de costillas.

Previous Picca posts:
Picca | (2) | (3)


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