Originally situated near USC, Mo-Chica was a place I’d been wanting to get to for a while. The only trouble was that…well…why would I ever hang out around USC? Fortunately, earlier this year they moved to central Downtown LA to bring their Peruvian delights to a more cultured audience. I found my way to Mo-Chica for lunch and quickly found out they had themselves an interesting lunch special. And by interesting I mean that you couldn’t order any entrees without getting the lunch special. The lunch special included two sides and a dessert, which were different every day. In truth, they could have said all entrees come with two side items and a dessert, but for some reason the wording made me feel like I was somehow being cheated.
Camels are useful animals. They retain water for a damn long time and are a great mode of desert transportation. Yet, while their alpaca cousins in South America make for some good eating, camels haven’t exactly been big on the plate outside of the Middle East. Yet, that seems to be changing.
Alpaca wool is known to be some of the softest and warmest wool in the world, which made it even more intriguing to me as a meal. When I was traveling in Peru, I knew the meat of that woolly animal had to be tasted.
My quest wasn’t easy, and the translations on the menus didn’t make it any easier. During the course of the trip, I happened upon a dish called “German Nicket to the Pleasure,” “Red Shoe,” “Chicken a la Coca-Cola” and the most frightening of all, “Chicken Locust.” At a restaurant in Puno, I ordered the seemingly simple “Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.” When it arrived, it was spaghetti, some sort of yellowish sauce and a massive chicken breast just plopped atop the noodles, where you might typically picture a diminutive meatball.