Show 274, May 19, 2018: Chef Ricardo Zarate, Once at The Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas

Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and PiccaSeveral years ago Chef Ricardo Zarate created quite a foodie sensation with his original Mo-Chica restaurant located within walking distance of USC in the Mercado la Paloma. The menu was modern interpretations of traditional Peruvian comfort food.

Currently Chef Ricardo operates Rosaline in Los Angeles and the recently debuted Once in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.

Once is a one-of-a-kind Peruvian Nikkei dining experience from Chef Ricardo Zarate. Once (on-seh), which means ’11’ in Spanish and symbolizes Ricardo Zarate’s spot in his line of 13 siblings, is inspired by the food of his native Peru.

Drawing distinct flavors from both Peru and Japan, along with the comforting dishes of Chef Ricardo Zarate’s childhood, the menu includes dishes such as Big Eye Tuna Sashimi Ceviche, with black truffle and kizami tigers milk; Arroz Chaufa, Peruvian fried rice, snow crab, yuzu aioli and crispy calamari; and Ox Tail Bibimbap, with black mint stew, tacu tacu rice, fried egg and plantains. To compliment the menu, there are 11 signature cocktails, including a Rum & Cola “slushee” machine for an irreverent, Vegas-style twist on a boozy classic.

Dinner nightly with the recently introduced Brunch on Weekends.

One of the distinct design elements is the chefs’ counter. Guests have front row, center views of the goings-on in the open kitchen and can interact with the engaging culinary team. Live theater of the culinary variety…

We relished the “Avocado Toast” on the Brunch menu. It’s not what you expect…It’s spicy tuna, crispy quinoa bread, avocado mousse with a Yuzu aioli.

Chef Ricardo is our guest.

 

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Show 134, August 8, 2015: Executive Chef Brendan Collins, Birch and The Corner Door Continued…

Brendan CollinsFor the past three years, The Corner Door has been known as one of the best spots for cocktails in all of Southern California, filling both the bar and dining room with guests imbibing on their always seasonal and innovative beverage program. And now, with Executive Chef Brendan Collins at the helm of the kitchen, The Corner Door has introduced a completely new Dinner Menu with eats to match.

Collins, formerly the chef at such notable spots as Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse, opened his own acclaimed restaurant Waterloo & City just next to The Corner Door until he decided to close (and sell) it late last year. Though he was also working on his newly opened Hollywood restaurant, Birch, at the same time, Collins was deeply invested in Culver City. “It is a close-knit community, and all the restaurants are friends with each other,” he says. “I lived and worked in Culver City for seven years, and wanted to keep a connection with the neighborhood.“

As Executive Chef, Collins will be cooking at The Corner Door at least one day a week, but his longtime lieutenant and Chef de Cuisine Ali Haji has taken charge of day-to-day operations. Haji has worked with Collins continually for the last eight years, beginning at Mesa, in Costa Mesa. “I am closer to Ali than anyone, maybe even my own wife,” Collins says. “He knows what I like and the standards I like to keep; he is ready to step up and run his own kitchen.”

The Corner Door has a popular, and agreeably affordable, Happy Hour program every day. The signature Avocado Toast with burrata, radish, arugula, olive oil and sea salt is a modest $6.00.

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