Since Ricardo Zarate departed from his trio of well-known restaurants in late 2014, Los Angeles has missed his cooking. Ever since he was discovered serving bright food at the original Mo-Chica in Mercado La Paloma, Zarate has been considered the city's leading Peruvian chef, and while he's done some pop-up dinners (and written a cookbook), there's been no reliable place to get his cooking for more than a year.
In January, the L.A. Times reported that Zarate would be taking over the former Comme Ça space in West Hollywood, in partnership with Culinary Lab, the company that runs Hinoki and the Bird. Since then, details have begun to trickle out, including the name of the new project: Rosaliné, as a tribute to the chef's mother.
The personal nature of the restaurant's name is more than a casual homage. “Since I was young, my dream was always to open a restaurant,” Zarate says. “Fulfilling that dream a few years ago, I now want to showcase and introduce Peruvian cuisine on a more personal level. Recently going through deep reflection and really finding myself, this time I want to do something that is very connected to me. I want the restaurant to be named after my mother as a tribute to my life and where I come from.”
That deep reflection has been well documented. Recently, Zarate was featured in a Munchies piece detailing the reasons he left his restaurant empire, in which he also talked about the sudden death of his brother in a car accident.
Today we get a sneak peek at a few of the menu items Zarate will be featuring at the new restaurant. According to a press release, “Zarate’s new restaurant will include small bites, placing an emphasis on grilled vegetables and dishes highlighting both land and sea. The streamlined menu will use a traditional Josper oven with open charcoal grill, infusing ingredients with smoky, rich, earthy flavors and spices prominent in South American cuisine.”
Tuna ceviche salad seems like a Peruvian/Japanese mashup, the tuna coming with wasabi tamari leche de tigre and pickled vegetables. The bun con chicharron also has a fusion vibe, with slow-cooked, crispy pork belly, charapita salsa criolla, smoked sweet potato puree and a brown butter bun. Camote fritos are described as sweet potato beignets stuffed with manchego cheese, with a jalapeño, stinging nettle and huacatay sauce.
Rosaliné is slated to open sometime this summer at 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.