Rosaline, the third Peruvian restaurant in Los Angeles from chef Ricardo Zarate has exceeded its mark. Picca and Mo-Chica, now shuttered, were the first eye-opening experiences the chef had brought to Los Angeles with tastes of Lima Peru. Gaston Acurio, probably the most famous chef in Peru, was one of the first talents to bring our attention to these authentic flavors in the U.S. with his restaurant La Mar in San Francisco many years prior.
Rosaline has stepped up the Peruvian food dining game with plates that are not only delicious, but satisfying to look at. The restaurant is located off of Melrose Avenue in a light and somewhat tight venue. The front bar and dining area with kitchen is the space I recommend you designate as yours, the back greenhouse is amped up with conversation, so if you can, stick to the front.
The cuisine this time around for Chef Zarate is much more exciting with a focus on traditional Peruvian foods, but with a bigger twist of freshness. The cocktail menu is the place to start, and don’t miss sipping on a Natural High – a tequila, turmeric, lemon and egg white combination that is frothy and fabulous. But, if you want to stick to true Peruvian, a Pisco Sour with a hint of cinnamon, should be on your list.
Ceviche is probably the most Peruvian dish to mind and the Kampachi Ceviche with raw amberjack, aji amarillo chile pesto, aji lime dressing and charcoal sweet potatoes knocks it out of the park. The tastes of fresh seafood with a hint of spice from yellow chili mash is not only divine, it’s authentic in every way.
If you’re looking for Causa, Peruvian seasoned mashed potatoes, the Causita Crocante is the way to go. Crispy salt cod and creamy causa whipped together and fried into a crunchy ball with dijon wasabi sauce sets the stage for more great eats to come.
If greens is what you are after, Solterito is an amazing mix of fresh lima beans, potatoes, avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, olives and choclo corn. The beans, baby potatoes and corn are slightly charred and tossed into a pool of balsamic and citrus heaven and topped with fresh basil.
Arroz con Pollo exceeds tradition with its light and bright colors of roasted organic chicken, tomatoes, pickled onions, cilantro beer rice and huancaina feta sauce. The combination of earthy, meaty and tangy brings this Peruvian plate to a completely different place.
Don’t skip dessert either, Bon Bon Bons is a plate of scooped lucuma ice cream coated in Peruvian chocolate and topped with crispy quinoa. The frozen balls of mango-like cream with a crunch of chocolate and grains is made for a nice ending.
Rosaline is one of those places you can’t get out of your mind; food with some unfamiliar flavors that leave a mark of divine. I can hardly wait to go back and experience Chef Zarate’s paella, and another plate of ceviche and perhaps another Natural High. Rosaline is open daily at 6:00 p.m with brunch on Sundays.