Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian foods that began in Lima, is going to become major international news this year. While this type of cuisine will likely get considerable more attention this year in Lima as Maido’s Mitsuharu Tsumura completes his book on Nikkei cuisine and Hajime Kasuga’s star continues to rise, two major Nikkei restaurants will open in 2013 outside of Peru.
I have probably visited more Peruvian restaurants outside of Peru than anyone on planet earth (it’s debatable, but maybe inside of Peru too). In most cases I am left disappointed. The primary reason is the lack of access to high quality ingredients, primarily aji chiles, as well as proper substitutions for limes and other fruits, though at times, the entire concepts may seems off. That is not the case at Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-chica in Los Angeles.
Apart from A-Frame’s incredible Peruvian beer can chicken, I haven’t really had the chance to explore L.A’s Peruvian restaurant scene (though fully intend to). So, I’m letting LA Weekly’s James Beard Award winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold do it for me. He’s one of my favorite restaurant critics and going through some of his reviews of Peruvian restaurants I think his understanding of the cuisine quite good. Here what he has to say about L.A.’s Peruvian dining scene in his reviews with the weekly paper:
The best Peruvian style chicken I’ve ever eaten isn’t from Peru. It’s from a Korean-american team in Los Angeles lead by Roy Choi, best known for their creation of the Korean taco and helping jumpstart the gourmet food truck craze in the United States. They call it “Cracklin Beer Can Chicken,” and it’s served Peruvian-style, with century egg, salsa roja, salsa verde.”