Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mo-chica: Upscale Peruvian in Downtown

Mo-Chica serves upscale Peruvian food inside Mercado La Paloma in Downtown Los Angeles. Mo-Chica is only one of the dining options in this food court and I'm assuming the most popular one. My reservations was for 9 p.m. on Saturday night and the place was still packed with patrons. We had to wait around 5-10 minutes for a table, which isn't a long wait but for a restaurant that closes at 10 p.m., I wasn't expecting to wait at all. Nonetheless, we got seated and I already knew what I wanted, of course. J and I were pretty full from a really late lunch so we just decided to order light and share everything.

chica morada (purple corn tea)

It really tastes like corn tea! I can't say it was a  refreshing drink, but it was quite tasty.

seabass ceviche

J and I absolutely love ceviche, so when we see one on the menu it is a must-get. The ceviche of the day was a seabass that came with sweet potatoes and seaweed. This dish had great citrus and the red onions on top were perfect in adding that extra depth of flavor. I liked the texture of the seaweed, which I think went well with the big chunks of fish. I didn't really think the sweet potatoes were necessary, I just wanted more fish.

crab causa

This was my favorite dish of the night! The crab and creamy avocado go hand in hand in making this dish such a success. I thought the sweet tomatoes made this dish bright, while the potatoes had a nice spice that reminded me of nacho cheese - not kidding. It was delicious!

lomo saltado

The lomo saltado was good, but I've definitely had better. I like the fries in my lomo to be drenched in the sauces with lots of red onions. But, the proportion for this dish was perfect for me and I loved the corn that came in the rice, it reminds me of the way my mom cooks rice.

*Side story: My mom used to cook rice three ways since we all had our preferences. My dad loves beans with his rice while my mom loves potatoes with hers. My brother and I just eat plain steamed white rice. So, in the rice cooker she would put potatoes one one side and leave the other side plain. She would then cook another batch of rice with beans in a stone hot pot for my dad, since he loves eating the crispy burnt rice at the end. Talk about SUPERWOMAN. Did I mention how much I love my mom? She did this every day after working a 10 hour work day.

Even though I was slighly disappointed with my lomo saltado, the crab causa and the seabass ceviche more than made up for it. I would come back just for that crab causa alone! I heard a lot of great things about the lamb so I'll need to come back for that. Living on the Westside really hinders my quest to dine at Downtown/Eastside restaurants, but I was glad that I got a chance to make it out to Mo-Chica as it was well worth the trip. One more downtown eatery I can finally cross off the list!

Mo-Chica on Urbanspoon

Mo Chica in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 747-2141


bagnatic said...

i need to try this place. now. the ceviche looks good and i lurve crab so i'm sold.

lyunguyen said...

ok i have to try this place as well. haven't ever tried fancy peruvian food, but the places i have tried have been delicious so far. cute little anecdote btw :)

nelehelen said...

amy - if you love crab, the crab causa is a MUST GET!

ly - you should go with d! or us girls can go grab dinner there ;)


i've been curious about this place for a while. are there any vegetarian options?

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