Surprised nobody’s mentioned this on the site.
I’ve always had enjoyable meals at Zarate’s restaurants Mo-Chica and Picca. (OK, maybe things got a little shaky at Picca around the time RZ went AWOL…) Haven’t made it to Rosaliné yet.
Zarate and his former CdC James Jung recently opened Pikoh, an all-day cafe, in the old Thai Dishes space near Pico & Bundy. I went to check it out last week.
I’ll leave the full vivisection to another FTC’er but I was impressed.
The menu raised red flags for me. It seems like it casts too wide a net but Zarate manages to wrangle it all under the umbrella of a light touch, top-quality ingredients and brilliant secondary components.
A few examples:
Quinoa Kamameshi : More of a bibimbap, with brown rice, quinoa, shiitake, fresh wasabi. Unexpectedly savory and satisfying, served in a dolsot. With the crucially important rice crust on the bottom.
“Shakshuka”: This is a tomato stew fortified with katsuobushi + eggs + a couple of tiger prawns. I doubt this will pass muster with the FTC Shakshuka squad. But I’d order it again.
Halibut Cheek: Great attention to detail, came in a deeply flavorful dashi broth with shimeji mushrooms, bright herb/yuzu(?) crust to perfectly balance out the whole dish.
I’m thrilled to have a café in the neighborhood cooking at this level. I’m not sure I’d consider this a full-fledged FTC destination ‘worth a special trip’ but check it out if you’re in the area.
Parking is iffy, valet available or take the expo line.