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Peruvian Chef Ricardo Zarate’s Latest Restaurant Causita Closes After Nine Months

The Nikkei Peruvian restaurant was seen as something of a comeback for journeyman chef Zarate, but the restaurant struggled to find a weekday audience

Entry to Causita restaurant in Silver Lake, California.
Causita in Silver Lake.
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Ricardo Zarate’s big restaurant return has been put on hold, at least for now. While the once-prolific Peruvian chef is certainly still cooking — currently hosting a Hollywood pop-up under the name Colibrí in the former Los Balcones space — his anticipated Silver Lake restaurant Causita has closed for good after less than a year. Ownership confirms that Causita will not reopen following a temporary (at least at the time) closure back in late December, billed then as a holiday break to work on some needed restaurant repairs.

Causita’s opening in April 2022 was seen at the time as a new landing spot for Zarate, who rose to fame a decade ago as a powerhouse Peruvian chef who had caught the eye of the late Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. Zarate parlayed his media attention into a cluster of Peruvian restaurants like Mo-Chica, Picca, and Paiche, with the latter two restaurants receiving national best new restaurant recognition in publications like GQ and Esquire, respectively. Zarate struggled to maintain control over his business interests, and in 2014 he lost a power struggle within his own restaurant group, ceding control and walking away entirely. Since then he has opened Rosaliné on Melrose, consulted on projects on Fairfax, and opened (and closed) restaurants in Las Vegas. And now, Causita is no more.

“We are so proud of this restaurant and the outstanding team that brought it together, the beautiful combinations of Nikkei Peruvian flavors and bold dishes,” say Zarate’s partners in Causita. “Ultimately however, we were unable to generate sufficient weekday volume for such a large space.” The group, including Chris Feldmeier and David Rosoff of attached Bar Moruno and Rapido, say that they hope to resurrect Causita at another location down the road.

That’s not to say the prominent location on Sunset Boulevard will be going dark permanently. The now-former Causita space will soon be pushed in a new culinary direction (and given a new name), and in the meantime, the dining room and kitchen will be used for pop-ups and other limited events, says the group. “[We] are collaborating with some incredibly talented chefs to host various pop-up experiences that you definitely won’t want to miss out on.”


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