Ricardo Zarate’s first Las Vegas restaurant celebrates his Peruvian roots that extend to the design details of the restaurant. The chef from Los Angeles dubbed the godfather of Peruvian cuisine debuted Once, pronounced ohn-se, the Spanish word for 11, at the Grand Canal Shoppes on Sunday. Once symbolizes Zarate’s spot in his line of 13 siblings.
Every table in the restaurant features a colorful, handmade tile, each different and a staple found in his Los Angeles restaurant Rosaline.
Diners can look around the dining room to find bulls scattered throughout the space. Two large bulls facing the front door sit on a staircase inside the bar. Peruvian folklore believes that the horns facing out the door rid the space of any negative energy. Little bulls hide around the restaurant. Patrons who look hard enough will see them. Just as the menu features 11 dishes and the cocktail menu another 11 drinks, the space features 11 bulls.
Two tribal statues sit in a case behind the bar (facing the bar), representing fertility and romance. Zarate feels the bar is the best place for that to happen.
The space with room for 160 features floor-to-ceiling living plant walls complemented by dim Edison lighting throughout, while the patio features five large communal tables surrounded by greenery for a rural feel.
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