92. Moqueca Brazileira at Pearl Restaurant & Lounge
Pearl Restaurant & Lounge re-opened this year with a focus on champagne, yet when we sat down at the table, it was this dish that truly percolated to the top. The "Moqueca Brazileira" ($34) is listed under the "Latin" section on Pearl's extensive menu, which reads like an international novella. The environment may feel a little Clockwork Orange, but ask for a table outside, with a view of the Nikki Beach craziness below.
Moqueca is a traditional seafood stew, similar to a bouillabaisse, but Pearl's version manages to marry the flavors of a Thai coconut soup with what tastes like a rich lobster bisque base. There are chunks of lobster meat, plump mussels and Amazonian paiche (a Peruvian cod known as the "king of the Amazon") floating in a coconut pepper sauce. It has a good amount of spice, and it's topped with gobs of garlicky aioli and fried plantains for crunch.
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