Chef Ricardo Zarate is putting forth a mixed batch of hits and misses at his new Marina del Rey Peruvian izakaya joint, Paiche. Says The Goldster:
... Zarate does have a bit of a clunky streak, especially when it comes to interpretations of modernist sushi. His tuna tartare served on crunchy lozenges of a fried bean and rice purée, tacu tacu, in homage to the much-copied tuna with crisp rice at Koi, is stodgy, and the combination of shrimp toast and less-than-perfect uni is just odd. After a few dishes, you will begin to ignore the omnipresent, claylike beds of starch; sometimes tacu tacu, sometimes puréed roots. The doughy sweet potato gnocchi are just odd.
But then you end up with a plate of quinoa "risotto" flavored with fresh peas, or a sort of duck confit in chile that could have come from the fanciest restaurant in Lima or the delicious granita of Peruvian purple corn flavored with cloves, and everything seems all right again.Overall though, it sounds mostly like J.Gold is appreciative of the unique cuisine presented at Paiche. [LAT]
B-Rod files informal thoughts on three SFV restaurants: Salt and Pepper Cuisine, Pedalers Fork, and The Local Peasant. She is most pleased with The Local Peasant: "I wasn't expecting much from the food, not when the menu boasts items like fried cheese balls with cheese sauce, or salmon with jalapeño mashed potatoes and mushroom chardonnay lobster sauce ... the peasant stew — a homey dish of braised chicken legs and thighs over basmati rice with chickpeas and lemongrass — was one of the most comforting, beer-friendly things I've eaten in a long time." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: A Hamburger Today drops by Village Tavern, Darin Dines at Animal, Food GPS hits The Spice Table, Gastronomy ventures out to Chengdu Taste, e*star LA samples Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe, and Midtown Lunch is a fan of Top Rounds.