Walther Adrianzen’s dream is here. Despite years of accolades for his Peruvian-style ceviche and raw fish cooking, Adrianzen has struggled to make a bigger moment for himself out in the world, cooking instead for the past half-decade in the front of his uncle’s bakery and restaurant Lonzo’s in Culver City. It was a novel mash-up of culinary ideas, but never quite what Adrianzen imagined for himself. Now, years after kind words about his cooking from the late Jonathan Gold, Adrianzen is ready for his new reveal with Ceviche Stop, taking over the closed Gaby’s at the corner of La Cienega and Washington.
“It’s taken years,” says Adrianzen by phone, “but it’s my own.” He’s not lying; the Peruvian-American chef has been busy turning out seafood for fans in the know while simultaneously sitting down to talk to sites like Remezcla and L.A. Taco about his work, but he’s never had a solo restaurant on the Westside like this before.
“I want to make this fast-casual Peruvian fusion,” says Adrianzen, “like a Chipotle model. We can open these all over the city, and if possible all over the state.”
The model, as Adrianzen sees it, involves an open kitchen and pared-down menu of raw seafood staples, tinged with flavors from across the Peruvian diaspora. There might be oysters with shiso leaf and passion fruit, split and seasoned shrimp from South America, or fresh blood clams from Mexico. A hot food section will work through familiar Peruvian dishes like grilled cow’s heart anticuchos, rotisserie chicken, and even lomo saltado, each available as quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner options.
As for the restaurant, the exposed corner spot will keep its open kitchen and seating for 30-some diners inside, while also offering some sidewalk seating in front and a small patio to one side. It’s not much, but for Adrianzen it’s a start. He’ll be there working alongside his wife and partner in Ceviche Stop, serving at the bar for all to see, with dreams of more restaurants to come — at least when the time is right. For Adrianzen, the timing always matters.
Ceviche Stop opens in early September at 2901 La Cienega Boulevard in Culver City, with lunch through dinner hours.