13488 Maxella Ave
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Dining date: 4/10/13
Paiche opened this past Friday, the newest venture from the Mo-Chica/Picca team of Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet. I’d been to Paiche the week before for the collaborative dinner with Naomi Pomeroy (of Beast in Portland), but this would be my first look at the restaurant in its true form. The restaurant opened up for a Friends & Family night to celebrate the grand opening and get a full night’s service under its belt.
Overall I would say the style of the food is very similar to Picca and Mo-Chica, but the izakaya approach presents a few differences. Portions are tapas-sized, sized to be able to share a lot of different flavors. The menu is, by far, the most vast I’ve seen from the team with over 50 items on the menu. The drink side of the menu is equally as large, with almost 20 cocktail options on the menu and dozens more in terms of wine/beer/spirits.
Given the ‘preview’ nature of the dinner, I won’t comment on the food and drinks individually but will share some of my favorites at the end.
MARACUYA CAIPIRINHA LEBLON CACHACA, FRESH PASSION FRUIT, MUDDLE LIME, MARTINIQUE SUGAR CANE SYRUP
PISCO SOUR PORTON PISCO, ORGANIC EGG WHITE, LIME JUICE, LEMON JUICE, EVAPORATE CANE SYRUP, CINNAMON TINCTURE, ANGOSTURA BITTERS
SWEET SHRIMP CEVICHE
WAGYU BEEF TIRADITO SEARED WAGYU, PARMESAN SAUCE, AJI AMARILLO VINAIGRETTE, BLACK TRUFFLE
MOJITO DE MARTINIQUE NEISSON ÉLEVÉ SOUS BOIS RHUM AGRICOLE, PINCH OF FRESH MINT, MUDDLED LIME, MARTINIQUE CANE SYRUP, SELTZER WATER
THE GEORGIA MINT JULEP PIERRE FERRAND COGNAC, CRÈME DE PEACH DE VIGNE LIQUEUR, FRESH MINT, SELTZER WATER
QUAIL ANTICUCHO PISCO BASTED, UME PLUM WINE DRESSING
AMAEBI FILO DOUGH WRAP, SWEET SHRIMP, JALAPEÑO PONZU DRESSING
BERNARD DEVOTO AKA THE MASTER OF INTOXICATION SINO TEQUILA REPOSADO, CHRISTIAN DROUIN CALVADOS, YELLOW CHARTREUSE, BENEDICTINE, ANGOSTURA BITTERS
SIDE CAR PIERRE FERRAND COGNAC, MEYER LEMON JUICE, ROYAL COMBIER LIQUEUR, ORANGE ZEST SUGAR RIM.
CHICHARRON DE PESCADO CRISPY FISH CHICHARRON, LIME YUZU SAUCE
UNI SHRIMP TOAST SEA URCHIN, SHRIMP PASTE TOAST, ROCOTO HONEY SAUCE
Getting late into the night, some of the ingredients ran out for a couple of the cocktails we ordered. However, the bar crafted a couple variations of the drinks we ordered, below.
SUBSTITUTE FOR CHILCANO DE CLOVOS PISCO ORO QUEBRANTA, ORGANIC LIME JUICE, GINGER SYRUP, CLOVES SYRUP, SELTZER WATER, ANGOSTURA BITTERS
SUBSTITUTE FOR OAXACALIFORNIA LOVE EL JIMADOR TEQUILA OR ORGANIC VIDA MEZCAL, PINEAPPLE JUICE, PINEAPPLE ROCOTO GOMME
CAU CAU DE CHORITOS STEAMED MUSSELS, HOME MADE PASTA, CAU CAU SAUCE
SECO DE PAICHE AMAZONIAN FISH STEW, CILANTRO ADEREZO SAUCE, PALLARES
AMERICANO CAMPARI, SWEET VERMOUTH, DASH OF ORANGE JUICE, SELTZER WATER, FLAMED ORANGE PEEL
Zarate’s westside branch successfully brings the Peruvian-Japanese flavors that everyone is expecting here. My favorites were the silky smooth wagyu beef tiradito and savory, texturally exciting amaebi in filo dough. The uni shrimp toast is going to be a bestseller, and brings a nice balance of savory sea flavor, sweetness and crispy toast. I’ve been a big fan of paiche (the Amazonian fish) since it was served at Mo-Chica, and I’d recommend trying anything from the namesake fish here.
As expected, the drinks program is very strong (not unlike Zarate/Bombet’s other establishments). Menu highlights, to me, are within the creative cocktail section and include the Pisco Sour, Chilcano de Clovos and I’ve always enjoyed the Oxacalifornia Love at Mo-Chica. It’s hard to go wrong on that list though. I expect Paiche to be a very popular option in the Marina either for a full meal or just drinks. I seriously wish something like this was open when I lived in Marina Del Rey a few years ago.
Note: This was a hosted meal.