Friday, July 17, 2015

Ocopa

Ocopa is located in the trendy H Street Neighborhood where food and fun collide. Rich in traditional Peruvian flavors, Ocopa offers the finest in fresh, sustainable, and local foods. The seasonal menu is rich in tradition, featuring such Peruvian dishes as maki, tiradito, causa and cebiche.  Ocopa’s hydroponics system provides the freshest ingredients that are "home grown" to ensure the highest of quality standards.  Closest Metro is Union Station.


We finally made it in to Ocopa and were seated in the narrow area towards the front with a direct view into the kitchen.  The space is very tight, with tables along the wall that are situated so the diners sit side-by-side.  There is also seating at the bar, or outside on the patio.

Ocopa's bar reflects a mixologist's perfect palate. Featuring the Peruvian grape brandy, Pisco, with over 20 choices on display, Ocopa’s cocktails and wine list will impress the forward-thinking spirit enthusiasts and still satisfy the traditional tastes of those who love the classics.  I tried the Pisco Punch made with La Caravedo, pressed pineapple, lemon, and sparkling water.  It was an interesting mix that was not my favorite.  Keith tried the Traditional Chilcano made with Solde Ica, ginger beer, and lime.  It was very tart and gingery.  We nibbled on the roasted corn kernels - a typical Peruvian bar snack while we perused the menu.


Keith started with the Corazon Anticuchos - skewers of grilled beef heart, topped with scallion, and a sauce of Peruvian pepper called aji amarillo.  He really liked the grilled flavor of the meat, and was happy with the start of the meal.


Next, we shared the Causa de Cangrejo - rolled balls of mashed starch called causa topped with king crab, avocado, hauncaina, and sweet drops.  A full bite of each ingredient created a circus of flavor in my mouth.  The crab was sweet with spicy pepper, and avocado to mellow it all together.


Of course, we ordered the Classico Cebiche, tonight made with fluke, lime, aji limo, leche de tigre, and sweet potato.  The fish was incredibly fresh and nicely cut into large chunks.  The combination of sweet and sour from the citrus, onions, sweet potato, and corn all married perfectly.  Keith also ordered a beer so that he could pour the leftover leche de tigre into, to drink at the end as is customary in Peru.  I took a swig, and it was not bad at all.


The Pulpo Anticuchero was a beautiful plate of grilled octopus with causa, chalaquita, and a purple botija olive sauce.  The octopus meat was tender and I liked the briny flavor of the olive sauce.


Keith ordered the Pollo a la Brasa de la PTM - which was a more American spin on the Peruvian chicken meal.  Here, chicken breast, yucca, aji amarillo, and cauliflower was topped with chimichurri.  Everything tasted great and was filling with this dish, however just not what he originally expected.

The Ocopa website boasts: "Casual, classy, relaxed…the ambiance is fun and playful, but the food and drinks are mature and rich. The perfect marriage of today and yesterday." I agree - having been to Peru earlier this year, we found the cuisine to be full of bright colors, fresh ingredients, and exciting flavors.  The only down side was the high prices for the small portions.

We received our bill in a cute traditional box, with complimentary shortbread cookies.  All in all we had a great meal at Ocopa and I look forward to returning soon.

Total Rating: 4.33
Food: 5, Price: 2.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4.5, Accessibility: 4.5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Classico Cebiche
fluke, lime, aji limo, leche de tigre, sweet potato

Causa de Cangrejo
king crab, causa, avocado, hauncaina, sweet drops

Pulpo Anticuchero
octopus, causa, chalaquita, botija olive, ocopa

Plus Keith ate:
Corazon Anticuchos
beef heart, scallion, aji amarillo

Pollo a la Brasa de la PTM
chicken breast, yucca, aji amarillo, cauliflower, chimichurri

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