Ricardo Zarate Says He Isn’t Done with L.A.

Paiche and Mo-Chica are closing, but the chef looks to open another restaurant

In the wake of the news that Paiche is closing, sources tell Los Angeles magazine that the staff at Mo-Chica–the Downtown restaurant at the heart of what was once chef Ricardo Zarate’s restaurant empire–has been informed that it will be shuttering in the coming days.

Zarate has heard the news about both restaurants, which was first reported on Eater L.A., but declined to confirm it because he is no longer involved in their operations. He does acknowledge that this is a sad day for him.

“There’s not much I can say,” Zarate says. “Unfortunately, I split with my former partners and I’m no longer part of the company. I haven’t been involved for months. The most important part for me is I want to let all my staff know I’m really happy about the support they all gave me for these successful restaurants. But it didn’t work out, and it’s just a part of business.”

Despite what is “obviously very bad news for me,” Zarate says he remains grateful that he’s had the opportunity to showcase his Peruvian food in Los Angeles. He insists he’ll continue to do so in the near future.

“I’m definitely working on something for next year,” he says. “L.A. is a part of me. It’s impossible for me not to have a restaurant in L.A. Hopefully, I will work again with the people I love.”