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Big West Coast Peruvian Chef Is Bringing His Celebrated Vegas Restaurant to NYC

Ricardo Zarate will open his Las Vegas restaurant Once in Carroll Gardens

Ricardo Zarate standing in a restaurant with an apron on.
Ricardo Zarate
Amelinda B Lee/Eater

Celebrated Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate is bringing his Las Vegas restaurant Oncean Eater 38 member — to New York City this fall.

Zarate, a self-proclaimed “godfather of Peruvian cuisine,” will open his Peruvian Nikkei stunner in Carroll Gardens at 315 Smith St., near Union Street, this October. In Vegas, the restaurant — whose name is pronounced own-say, the Spanish word for the number 11 — serves dishes like tuna sashimi ceviche with black truffle and kizami tigers milk and arroz chaufa, a Peruvian fried rice with snow crab. Once nods to the chef’s childhood in Lima, and traditional dishes like causa, a mashed yellow potato cake stuffed with different fillings, and arroz con pollo, or chicken with rice, are also expected.

Zarate is actually based in Los Angeles, where he serves as executive chef at Rosaliné and Pikoh, though he’ll relocate to New York for the opening. He has tapped New York-based beverage consultant Noah Small (Empellon, Peacock Alley, Public) to create pisco cocktails that’ll represent the different ways they’re made in Peru, Chile, and the surrounding region.

Once will highlight the Peruvian Nikkei style of cooking, which meshes both Peruvian and Japanese cuisines. It’s described as Peruvian ingredients like tropical fish, quinoa, and aji amarillo peppers that are then molded by Japanese techniques, created by a wave of Japanese immigrants who moved to Peru in the late 1800s. Though the cuisine isn’t as prevalent in New York or the U.S., a new wave of Nikkei restaurants have been opening in recent years. The first in NYC was Sen Sakana, and the team behind local Peruvian favorite Llama Inn plan to dedicate their upcoming restaurant Llama San to the cuisine.

Once opens in October on the heels of upcoming Nikkei restaurant Llama San, which is scheduled to open in September.


315 Smith St., Carroll Gardens,