For the “Ceviche Nights” dinner series, chef Ricardo Zarate, business partner Stephane Bombet and Food GPS invite some of L.A.’s best chefs into the kitchen at Zarate’s downtown restaurant Mo-chica. “Ceviche Nights” previews Paichẽ, a seafood-focused cevicheria debuting in Marina del Rey in 2013, while pushing the boundaries of ceviche. On December 9, we welcomed Mélisse chef-owner Josiah Citrin to help create a five-course menu, with every course featuring sea urchin, even dessert. Inventive bartender Matt Biancaniello served three exclusive cocktails for Uni Night, Mo-chica bar manager Deysi Alvarez crafted three cocktails of her own, and New Belgium Brewing contributed complementary tasting flights. Better yet, 10% of proceeds benefited American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Josiah Citrin and Ricardo Zarate stood side by side at the Mo-chica pass before dressing in their chef coats and taking ceviche to the extreme.
Zarate sourced several wood boxes of top grade sea urchin for Ceviche Nights.
To prep for Ricardo Zarate’s first course for Uni Night, one of his right hand men sliced geoduck, the notoriously clam. The only part that he didn’t use was the belly, which are better deep-fried.
Course #1: Josiah Citrin’s Ceviche of Black Bass, Oxalis and Smoked Sea Urchin Mousse with finger limes
Course #2: Ricardo Zarate’s ceviche “sabor de mar” – Geoduck, Sea urchin, Scallop, Wasabi Tobiko, leche de tigre
Course #3: Ricardo Zarate’s chupe gratinado de erizo y langosta – Lobster & scallop gratin. Sea urchin ceviche sauce
Course #4: Josiah Citrin’s Lime and Orange Beef Cheeks, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Uni
New Belgium Brewing Area Manager Dallas Byerley and I worked together to pair each course with a New Belgium beer. Frambozen, their raspberry brown ale, paired with Josiah Citrin’s beef cheek ceviche.
Course #5: Josiah Citrin’s rice pudding with Hachiya persimmons, yuzu sorbet and torched sea urchin
Guest bartender Matt Biancaniello and Mo-chica bar manager Deysi Alvarez cranked out inventive cocktails all night.
Matt Biancaniello’s Fish out of Water cocktail incorporated tequila, sesame toasted nori, cumin simple syrup, uni broth, lemon juice, and applewood smoked salt.
Matt Biancaniello’s Un Cafe Va Bene consisted of coffee infused Cynar, egg and chanterelle mushroom infused whip cream on top.