The colorful quilt of international flavors that characterizes Peruvian cuisine is the inspiration behind native son Ricardo Zarate’s new restaurant in the Grand Canal Shoppes. But Zarate is narrowing the focus to Peruvian classics with Japanese influences.
Once — pronounced on-seh, and representing Zarate’s spot in a family of 13 children — is scheduled to open in early to mid-March at the top of the escalators entering the Grand Canal Shoppes from Palazzo. It will welcome visitors with its name in neon green. Inside will be floor-to-ceiling walls of live plants that will complement the rustic vibe evoking his native country. That feeling will be carried out on the patio, where five large communal tables will be surrounded by greenery.
Zarate, who has had four James Beard nominations and once was named Food & Wine magazine’s best new chef, gained experience at London restaurants including Zuma. He moved to Los Angeles and opened Mo-chica in 2009, followed by Picca in 2011, Paiche and Blue Tavern in 2013 and Rosaliné in West Hollywood last year. Once grew from a pop-up Zarate operated in Santa Monica in 2015 to launch his cookbook, “The Fire of Peru” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35).
The Las Vegas restaurant will have a beverage menu of 11 signature cocktails to reflect the restaurant’s name, plus a gin-and-tonic slush machine.
On the food side, it will present 11 shared plates, which will rotate weekly and reflect seasonality. Examples are Peruvian olives with edamame mousse; Arroz Chaufa, Peruvian fried rice with snow crab, crispy calamari and yuzu aioli; Anticucho Miso, black cod with roasted cauliflower puree and Japanese pickled radish; and a steak fillet with wasabi-pickled quinoa puree and sea urchin butter.