Ricardo Zarate is no stranger to the LA dining scene. He was previously the chef and co-owner of Mo-Chica, Picca and Paiche. This time, he named the restaurant after his mother, Rosaliné, and calls it “the next phase of Peruvian dining”. Taking diners back to his roots, Chef Zarate has created a menu of classic Peruvian dishes alongside ‘street-food’ updated with his take on modern Peruvian cuisine.
The restaurant is beautifully designed. A portion of the kitchen is open and the scene can be captured by action seekers. The bar is lively and well attended. The back half of the dining room is a greenhouse with hanging potted plants. White tile lines the perimeter which adds to the beauty of the dining room. Unfortunately, this makes the rooms acoustically live.
Tiradito is the Peruvian version of ceviche and raw fish is usually sliced like sashimi instead of cubed. Listed as “corvina”, the fish was actually a velvety soft Ensenada white sea bass. I thought the tamari yuzu walnut dressing had a slight amount of acidity that worked well with the mild fish. I bit into something that looked like a golden raisin which turned out to be an Amazonian charapita chiles. I was surprised that there were juicy, spicy and had a strong vinegar taste.
The name of our main entree should be Chaufa, paella-style, because that is really what the dish resembled. With the paella name, some may think that the rice has saffron, but this is really Peruvian chaufa prepared in a paella pan so that it is nice and crispy. Lap chong sausage and prawns were added to the rice. Bagoong fish sauce seasoning gave it a unique taste. This dish was delicious and one of their most often requested dishes.
I’m not skittish when it comes to eating organ meats and I was happy that we had the Corazon Anticucho. Unlike chicken hearts, the beef heart skewers had the taste sensation of eating steak. The rocoto pepper, feta cheese and walnut sauce made for a delicious topping. It is a dish that I would definitely order again.
If you like beets, you’ll love the ensalada de beterraga. Beets are prepared three different ways for this dish: boiled, shaved and pureed. Included was creamy burrata, candied pecans and a blood orange vinaigrette. This dish had a nice sweet and salty balance.
Despite lomo saltado being a ubiquitous dish in LA, we ordered it anyway, and we were happy that we did. It was nothing like a conventional lomo saltado as it included sautéed filet mignon, roasted baby potatoes instead of fries, tomatoes and braised cipollini onions. It was topped with a sunny side egg. One could call this a saltado on steroids.
Clams Sudado was beautifully presented with grilled sourdough crostini. The chili lime broth had all of the right elements for an excellent seafood broth: clam juice, garlic and Peruvian spices. We asked our server for another order of crostini just to finish up the broth!
Most flans lack imagination, but this one was made with pisco, banana creme fraiche cream, chocolate sauce, candied hazelnuts and banana chips. The chocolate sauce with the banana creme fraiche cream delighted the taste buds. Candied hazelnuts and banana chips gave this dish some crunch and made the dessert unique.
Rosaliné is a fun and enjoyable place to visit with friends. You can watch the action in the open kitchen or enjoy the beautiful greenhouse-like dining room. Zarate uses the knowledge gained from his worldwide trips and has created an innovative Peruvian menu. Above all, the servers are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.
Rosaliné, 8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069