It’s looking more and more like a summertime opening for chef Ricardo Zarate’s anticipated restaurant Rosaline, which raises the question: What is chef up to in the meantime? Apparently a lot, as he just managed to open an under-the-radar Peruvian fast casual restaurant in the middle of Hollywood.
The colorful new spot is called Mamacita, a sort of casual, playful take on the fact that the more serious Rosaline is also named after his mother — and it’s hidden in plain sight. To get to Mamacita, you have to scale some stairs up to the fourth floor dining deck of the gigantic Hollywood and Highland complex, and look for the colorful signage just above Dave & Busters.
Nothing seems out of the ordinary at first blush with Mamacita. There’s the open kitchen, the condensed menu of bowls and wraps, and the communal seating you probably think of for one-off fast casual places like this, but behind the stoves some days will be Zarate himself, beta-testing flavor profiles and workshopping ingredients for the soon-to-come Rosaline.
Of course, Mamacita is not a direct parallel to what Zarate and co. will be tackling with this West Hollywood dinner palace later this year, but it’s nice to know the comeback chef has a kitchen to work out ideas in — and it’s one you can actually dine at yourself. You can find the opening menu for the restaurant online, but things may change as time rolls on and Zarate spends more time in the kitchen.
Mamacita quietly opened late last month in Hollywood, and keeps daily hours from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. No guarantees that Zarate will be there if and when you show up, but it’s his place. And, if all goes well, it’s entirely possible you might see Mamacita expand into other locations down the line.
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Level 4
Los Angeles, CA