No, try again—picture a fish that gets up to 600 pounds. Saved from extinction a while ago by Amazonian tribes in Peru. And yeah, 600 pounds. Wow.
Congratulations, you’re now picturing a paiche. Which is pretty important, because:
Meet Paiche, the much-anticipated new Peruvian small-plates joint from Ricardo Zarate—the man atop Mo-chica, Picca and most best-of lists—taking reservations now for April 2.
So you’re on the open road. The windows are down. You’re smelling some sea air. You’re on a date with the kind of someone who reads Food & Wine. And who is incredibly agile with chopsticks. Truly a sight to behold.
Anyway, you walk into a Marina del Rey room a couple blocks from the ocean. It’s heavy on clay-colored concrete, clean lines and angular reclaimed wood. It all feels a bit like Lima, ... Japan. (This time out, Zarate’s got a Japanese-izakaya slant to all the Peruvian.) And then you start into plates and plates of sea bass ceviche, muddled grilled plantains and the occasional pork neck. And yes, paiche—a firm but tender whitefish, for the record—is indeed on the menu here. Order it.
Hey, when in Paiche...