[Photos: Patricia Chang]
After a decade in a desolate stretch of SOMA, Carlos Altamirano's Mochica is roaring into prime time with a big new space right on Potrero Hill's main strip, in the former home of Rocketfish (1469 18th Street). Like Altamirano's other restaurants (Piqueo's, La Costanera, Sanguchon), Mochica specializes in Peruvian fare, with four kinds of ceviche, empanadas, grilled skewers, causas, and other regional favorites. Bigger plates include grilled stuffed calamari, slow-cooked pork shoulder with sweet potatoes, paella, and lomo saltado. Here's the full menu.
The 80-seat space, redesigned by Abueg Morris, sprawls across two dining rooms, with fun touches like Peruvian-inspired murals and an eight-seat full bar that turns out pisco sours and chilcanos (a combo of pisco, ginger, and lime, with or without an addition of super-spicy leche de tigre). Dinner service starts tonight, with brunch to follow on November 9, offering a mixture of standard and Peruvian-inspired dishes. For now, hours are Monday-Thursday, 4-10 pm, and Friday-Saturday, 5-10 pm; when it launches, brunch will be weekends from 10:30 am-2:30 pm.