It was more than a year ago that the PR team for Rosaliné, Ricardo Zarate's new restaurant in West Hollywood, reached out to me to share details about the forthcoming restaurant. At that time, they told me the opening would take place sometime during the summer of 2016.
Today, a full year and a half since the L.A. Times first reported that Zarate would take over the former Comme Ça space in West Hollywood, Rosaliné is finally opening tonight for dinner service.
Zarate, who was named Food & Wine's Best New Chef in 2012 based on his bright Peruvian flavors at Mo Chica, had a meteoric rise. In a couple of short years, he went from operating one stall in Historic South Central's Mercado La Paloma to being executive chef of a mini-empire of trendy restaurants, backed primarily by the prolific Sprout Restaurant Group. Just as quickly, it all disappeared, with Zarate walking away from his businesses or his investors forcing him out, depending on whose version of the story you believe. Either way, it was high restaurant-world drama and included some very real tragedy: In the midst of the turmoil, Zarate lost his brother in a car accident.
But now, for the first time in years, Los Angeles can taste Zarate's cooking. A few weeks ago, he accomplished something of a sneak attack, opening the casual Mamacita on the fourth floor of the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood. And today he finally opens Rosaliné, named for his mother. Much like Zarate's menus at Mo Chica and then at Picca, the food at Rosaliné is Peruvian and highly creative. You can see the full menu here, and check it out in person starting at 6 p.m. this evening.
Rosaliné: 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 297-9500, rosalinela.com.