Ocopa has been rising to the top of H St NE’s restaurant scene with its flavorful Peruvian tastes. Its fresh ingredients and relaxed feel make Ocopa a great spot to check out in this warm weather. A small restaurant, the Peruvian hotspot has limited but fun barstools with an outdoor view. The patio will hopefully be opening in the coming months as well. If you enjoy watching the food being prepared like I do, sit at the main bar and watch how fast Ocopa’s team makes their dishes.
In addition to its fine Peruvian dinner, Ocopa has recently started serving brunch. The restaurant is known both for their food and for their cocktails. Chef Carlos Delgado has paired with Peruvian mixologist Giancarlo Cruz to showcase traditional Pisco cocktails and classics with a savory twist that are must tries.
As I am not a Bloody Mary fan, I was recommended the lavender Pisco Sour instead. It is the kind of drink you could easily have in one go without realizing what you have just done. The perfect amount of sweetness, this Pisco Sour is incredibly smooth to the palate. I also got to try the Pisco fizz, a drink not featured on the menu. It has the same smoothness to it as the lavender Pisco does. I was nervous when I heard that egg whites were in it, but I soon realized that this crucial ingredient is what gives the Pisco sours their deliciously creamy texture. If you are a Bloody Mary drinker, however, make sure to check out Ocopa’s. Based on my drink experience there, I’m sure their Bloody Marys are some of DC’s finest.
To combat the drinks of the day before, I also had the Conchas Leche de Tigre, or Peru’s hangover cure. This drink has scallops, yellow pepper, and tiger’s milk, the marinade that cures the seafood in ceviche. The sweetness of the citrus marinade balanced well with the kick of the yellow pepper. This drink has a bite to it that can undeniably cure any hangover.
So, how do you make a dinner menu into a brunch menu as well? Just add egg! Ocopa does this right. My favorite dish, the Lomo Montado, features tender filet with potato confit, all topped with an egg. We started with the classic ceviche with flounder, their fish of the day. The flounder was thin and light, with sides of sweet potato and Peruvian corn that both paired well with the fish. The Causa Cangrejo, a potato dish with crab, was soft, light and creamy.
Meanwhile, the Jalea Pescado had the perfect amount of fried crunch and soft, melt-in-your-mouth fish. We finished off the meal with an ice cream dessert that had chocolate ganache, tapioca powder and crunchy quinoa, for a bit of a savory taste. Like all of Ocopa’s dishes, this dessert especially had an attractive presentation. The paletas, or ice pops, are also a must try.
I will definitely be going back to Ocopa soon, but next time for their lively dinner. Whether you’re going out on H St at night, or walking around the hip neighborhood during the day, make sure to try something new and check out Ocopa’s fine Peruvian cuisine.