Building on the foundation of his Santa Monica pop-up, Chef Ricardo created Once Las Vegas as a one-of-a-kind Peruvian Nikkei dining experience. 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.
Located on the second level of the Grand Canal Shoppes, the design invites guests to leave the bright lights of the strip behind and unwind within Once’s simple yet rustic dining room. The interior design is a nod to native Peru, with floor-to-ceiling living plant walls complemented by dim Edison lighting throughout. It is designed to celebrate family and friends and is surrounded by lush greenery, evoking an outdoorsy, rural vibe. Once is open for dinner daily and for lunch Friday - Sunday.
Debuting in October 2015, Zarate published a cookbook with the hopes of guiding consumers through an exploration of the wealth of flavors and dishes of his home country, dedicating the book to “Peruvian home cooks,” including his mother, “who we should all be thankful for.”
Purchase a copy here!
Named after Chef Ricardo Zarate's mother, Rosaliné is what he calls "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 a California sensibility. Located at 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, California, the space is designed to bring family, friends and strangers together in a communal environment inspired by the streets of Peru. Rosaliné is open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Everything at Mamacita is made from scratch—from the quinoa bowls featuring farmer’s market ingredients and your choice of protein, to the Purple Corn Tea and Strawberry Horchata, to the colorful local street art that adorns the walls—Mamacita comes from Peru but could only be in LA. Named after the Mother Earth, Mamacita celebrates all that She has to offer with a spirited mix of food, music, and culture.
Meaning “eleven” in Spanish, the pop-up series Once (on-seh) was a nod to Chef Zarate’s place as the 11th child in his family, and inspired by interpretations of early food memories in his native Peru. The menu featured 11 à la carte plates (not including dessert)—all intended for sharing—and changed weekly based upon what’s available at the local farmer’s market. Dishes included versions of Peruvian staples such as Lomo Saltado, Ceviches, Tiraditos, and much more.
In 2009, Zarate headed to Los Angeles, opening Mo-chica, Downtown at Mercado la Paloma. Housed in a cultural center designed to showcase local creativity to the broader community, the restaurant was soon followed by pop-up restaurant Test Kitchen, where Zarate offered consumers a new dining experience weekly from a rotating roster of high profile guest chefs.
With Zarate’s cuisine beginning to draw a large following, he introduced modern Peruvian cantina Picca in 2011. A critical success, it was recognized as one of GQ’s “best new restaurants” and a Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot Table,’ and Food & Wine honored Zarate as one of the magazine’s prestigious “Best New Chef,” all within one year of opening.
In April 2013, Zarate opened Paiche, a Japanese izakaya-style Peruvian seafood restaurant located in Marina Del Rey, consequently named one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants.”
In 2013, Zarate also expanded to Santa Barbara, opening Blue Tavern, a quintessential Californian fare-driven restaurant, seen through the eyes of a native Peruvian.