Chifa LA, a taste of Peruvian-Chinese cuisine

Chifa, a term used to describe Chinese cuisine in Peru, became Wendy Leon’s culinary specialty when she opened her restaurant in Lima in 1975 when her son Humberto Leon, co-founder of Opening Ceremony, was only four months old. . The family moved to Southern California a few years later in pursuit of the American dream. This meant that Chifa had to close its doors. However, 45 years later, and after spending two years perfecting the design concept of its dining space, the family-run restaurant is back and better than before, continuing its legacy with the creation of Chifa LA.

Located in Eagle Rock, just north of downtown Los Angeles, Chifa is instantly recognizable for its inviting monochrome green exterior as well as its hand-crafted heart-shaped window, one of its most design features. remarkable. “From Chifa, With Love” is scrawled along the perimeter of the window, which suits this fine, laid-back establishment that truly serves food straight from its heart.

There is no doubt that Humberto, who is known to be the Creative Co-Director of Opening Ceremony and formerly KENZO, has exceptional taste and superb attention to detail. With the help of architect and friend Michael Loverich, he came up with a unique design concept for the interior of the new restaurant, which oozes various shades of green that symbolize luck in Chinese culture. The walls are also adorned with a funky black and green wood grain print, a wallpaper Humberto created in collaboration with Calico.

Visually inspired by conceptual artist and industrial designer Syd Mead, the dining room has an incredibly retro-futuristic feel. Unearthed by Humberto in Paris, fortune cookie-shaped chandeliers in golden hues hang above dining tables, while other avant-garde lighting complements these remarkable fixtures. “Perimeter glass spheres come from the 1970s all over the world. They are from Koch & Lowy and I love them, ”Humberto told us.

You’ll also love the whimsical curvilinear tables made from recycled acrylic, designed by Humberto himself. “I wanted something that was reused but also had the elegance of mahjong tiles,” he shared. There are also cutlery to complement the curvature of the marble and mint tables – the gold spoons, forks and knives are all designed by Izabel Lam. Wavy and sculptural vases adorn the tables with touches of vibrant color.

Complemented by large colossal golden feet, the velvety “loveseats” are both playful and elegant. “The chairs have a heart-shaped butt, and I wanted something that appeals to you. There is something so subversive about chairs. They look like marshmallows, ”Humberto said, adding that he wanted to explore the juxtaposition of childish furniture and quality materials. Heart-shaped patterns also decorate the custom terrazzo floor, which contains a mix of glass, seashells, pearls, and other pebbles.

Chifa continues its heritage by serving delicious modern Peruvian-Chinese dishes. In addition to providing warm and engaging service and inspiring customers with its design philosophy, the restaurant builds a tight-knit community with special collaborations. Earlier this year, Chifa teamed up with Solange for a shrimp fried rice inspired by the singer’s childhood memories when he ate Chinese food in Texas. The restaurant also collaborated with artist and cake connoisseur, Lexie Park from NÜNCHI, to create a stunning corn jelly dessert.

For Angelenos looking for a sophisticated dining experience, read our Chifa review below.

THIS PLACE IS PERFECT FOR: Get a delicious taste of Peruvian-Chinese cuisine. Design lovers will also appreciate the elegant interiors of the restaurant.

WHAT YOU SHOULD ORDER: Chifa is not only an aesthetic and visual treat, but also a culinary delight. It is clear that Chifa understands the (gastronomic) mission, as the restaurant was chosen by Condé Nast trip as one of the world’s best new restaurants for 2021. The restaurant’s recipes are infused with natural and organic ingredients, without sacrificing authenticity and taste. Its menu, consisting of Peruvian-Chinese comfort food, is modernized with a touch of American flavor.

The business is truly a family affair, with Humberto as Creative Director and unofficial Director of Beverages, and his sister Ricardina as CEO. Ricardina’s husband, Chef John Liu, is in charge of the cooking, with contributions from other family members. Black Sesame Cheese Pie ($ 7), for example, is Wendy’s grandson’s recipe, while the YoYo Good4u drink ($ 9) can be credited to Humberto.

“We serve our hearts. If it’s not the best, we don’t turn it off, ”said Wendy, who is affectionately referred to as“ Popo ”by her children. Some of her favorites include Chicken Si Yao ($ 29), Char Siu Brûlée ($ 17), Lomo Saltado ($ 31), and Braised Ribs ($ 21).

We sampled an assortment of items including the Pollo Ala Brasa ($ 25), a roast chicken dipped in dry brine for 24 hours for maximum flavor, served with crispy golden fries and a spicy Peruvian aji sauce. Meanwhile, the braised ribs, one of Wendy’s recommendations, have been caramelized in a soy sauce with golden sugar. Both dishes were incredibly tasty.

OUR FAVORITE DRINK: YoYo Good4u drink is known for its beneficial health properties. Infused with Manda, Basil Seeds and Matcha Yogurt Spritzer, the drink was very refreshing.

Chifa
4374 Eagle Rock Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90041


Tiffany Harrison is a multi-faceted designer who is good at visual storytelling. She immerses herself in artistic projects in the fields of photography, accessory styling, product design and creative writing. Tiffany’s work is very conceptual and draws inspiration from contemporary art, which she is really passionate about. You can connect with Tiffany on her website and Instagram.

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