As I lock my car after parking on a quiet street near Cevichería, I am a bit worried I wouldn’t have any tires when I return. Oddly, I don’t feel too nervous walking the block to the restaurant because somehow the neighborhood feels snug and somewhat safeguarded. As I turn the corner onto Pico Boulevard, the Cevicheria is revealed, sitting quietly with all of its bright blue splendor, in its place behind the sidewalk. It’s an unassuming ostensible hole in the wall. There is a small silver lawn table with two matching chairs out front, and a tiny 7 table restaurant inside. Its impression is that of a movie set; a restaurant facade in an impoverished area, perhaps where two antagonists will meet to discuss love, life, and friendships. This appearance is extremely deceptive, except for the friendship part because the inside does house friends yet unknown. The staff and clientele are familiar and convivial as if I’ve been visiting here for years. I receive a menu and water immediately. Owner and Chef, Carolina Orellana is welcoming, accepting, and all around lovely, not to mention an AMAZING culinary artist. She is excited to give recommendations and impressively as excited to TAKE recommendations. A sign that Cevicheria’s menu will never be stale or stagnant.
In the Tostadas De Ceviche department I order the Pescado but am served the Camrón. This is an obvious error but somehow, in this laid back environment, feels acceptable. The mix up is actually a blessing in disguise. The dish comprised of perfectly small bits of shrimp, moistened with citrus and chiles, sits beautifully atop a crispy tortilla with an avocado topper. With a squeeze of extra lime, the Camarones dish tastes bright and fresh and is unexpectedly filling!
The Mejillones, muscles in garlic butter sauce, are outstandingly decadent. Unlike other restaurants, each muscle is sweet, well cleaned (no sand, thank you!) and has the perfect texture blend of chewy and silky. A party in the mouth for any garlic lover.
My favorite dish on the menu is one that Carolina recommends as a Guatemalan favorite, called Aguachiles. This dish of raw shrimp marinated in a light green sauce of line, cilantro, jalepeño and onion is out of this world. OMG That sauce! Its fresh and crisp with that perfect amount of citrus zing. Its dreamy, and if it were up to me I would use it on practically every dish I make! In fact, once the large chalice of Camarón Ceviche lands on the table, we pour the remaining green sauce over the camerones to see how the flavor changes. The results: in the immortal words of Emeril Legasse, “BAM!” The other flavors become so alive and active, each bite is just WOW. The camarones ceviche also remained delicious over the next three days (I took home left overs, with the green sauce mixed in).
Having gotten to know Carolina a little, I am not surprised that the kitchen appeared clean and well-organized. The service was great, despite any mishaps. The waitress offered to correct the error immediately, but I was excited and happy to go with the flow and taste whatever came to the table. Thats the thing about Cevichería, visiting there was like taking a little break from the pressures of mundanity and reminding me to just go with the flow and see what the universe brings; and at this place, most likely everything it brings will be delicious. I highly recommend taking what will feel like a little trip to another world and visiting Cevicherįa. You will not be disappointed. And I hear the Blood Clams are amazing, so I guess I’ll be going back!
On a side note, my tires were fully in tact when I returned to my car.