Loading...
Peruvian Cuisine

Chimu, Mario Alberto's Peruvian Eatery, Closes

Comments (0)

By

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM
click to enlarge Chimú blackboard, drawn by Nicholas Knudson. - D. SOLOMON
  • D. Solomon
  • Chimú blackboard, drawn by Nicholas Knudson.

A chalkboard drawing of a wild-eyed creature pedaling away on a bicycle greeted Chimú visitors on Sunday, along with the word "FAREWELL."

Chimú has closed its doors, or rather, its take-out windows, which served up steaming plates of chancho, lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa and seco de cordero.

On Saturday, Chimú's last day, chef Mario Alberto was telling customers, "It's time to move on," accented with a good-natured shrug. "I wish we could have stayed open longer, seen it grow, but I also look at it as moving forward," he tells us.

Chimu: Seco de Cordero

Chimú, "Peruvian soul food" eatery in Grand Central Market's outer courtyard, was lauded for its inventive take on Peruvian classics. Jonathan Gold described it as "a happy marriage of [Josef] Centeno's imaginative cuisine and [Ricardo] Zarate's aesthetic of elevating Peruvian recipes with modern techniques and fine ingredients."

Alberto has worked with both acclaimed chefs, Centeno at the Lazy Ox Canteen and Zarate at Mo-Chica. Since its May opening, Chimú had won a dedicated following.

Alberto would eventually like to open another version of Chimú, especially as Peruvian food is seeing an upswing. (In his review of Picca, another recently opened Peruvian restaurant, Gold noted that we are "nearing the Peruvian moment in cooking" as Latin American food moves from "folk fusion to full-bore world cuisine.")

Chimu: Tiradito

"There's so many different influences in the cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, indigenous, pre-Columbian," Alberto said. "There's room to stretch it out and play with it."

He also pointed out the availability of new ingredients: "There are so many varieties of potatoes, chiles, fruits, like coconut."

But for now, it's "adios" to Chimú. "Sometimes things don't work the way you plan," Alberto said. "I want to thank everybody for the support. Sorry for letting everybody down."

It's unclear what this means for the opening of Red Hill, the Echo Park restaurant in which Mario Alberto is partnered with Local owner Jason Michaud. Alberto was previewing food from Red Hill on Sunday at Silverlake Wine.

Related Location

  • Chimu

    • 324 S. Hill St., Los Angeles Downtown

Related Content

Now Trending

Slideshows

  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.