The city’s latest pop-up dinner series brings Peruvian flare to the vibrant town of Santa Monica with no signs of stopping.
Named after the spanish word for “eleven” (pronounced on-seh), Once is helmed by Lima-born Chef Ricardo Zarate (former chef at Picca and the now-closed Paiche and Mo-Chica) and is heading into its second weekend taking over tapas bar Santinos. The pop-up’s namesake is a nod to Zarate’s place as the 11th child in his family, explains the LA Times, and will have a menu featuring 11 à la carte plates nightly that are “meant to bring back his childhood memories of Peru”.
Intended for sharing, the dishes range from $12-$36 each and will change weekly based upon what’s available at the local farmer’s market. “The setting is intimate enough to feel like someone’s dining room”, writes one pleased patron, adding that “…Zarate takes the Asian influence pervasive in Peruvian cooking and combines it with the Asian influence pervasive in Los Angeles food—and adds flourishes of Southern, Spanish and Italian to tie it all together.” In addition to a dessert selection, guests will also be able to order beer, wine and low-proof cocktails by Feisser Stone, known for his libations at Hinoki and the Bird.
This weekend marks the second run of the series, which runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available from 6 to 10 p.m., exclusively through the restaurant reservation service Table8 and can be made up to two weeks in advance, beginning Friday.
Once, 3021 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, eatonce.com
As there is no official end date to the pop-up, you have plenty of opportunities to experience Chef Zarate’s culinary skills. You can also catch him at year-old restaurant Smoke.Oil.Salt, where he just announced that he has signed on as executive consulting chef.