Opening a restaurant during a pandemic is a daunting task, but Opening Ceremony’s co-founder Humberto Leon is up for the challenge. Along with his mom, Wendy (more affectionately known as popo, which is Cantonese for grandma); sister Ricardina; and brother-in-law John Liu, Leon soft-opened Chifa, a Chinese-Peruvian spot in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, at the end of November.
Named after the Peruvians term for Chinese restaurants, Chifa represents the family’s unique mix of cultures. Popo Wendy immigrated from China to Peru, where she owned a restaurant in Lima before moving again to Los Angeles. The menu includes Peruvian chicken and fries, traditional zhongzi (aka sticky rice dumplings), and a nod to Liu’s Taiwanese heritage in the form of a three-day beef noodle soup.
Chifa opened the week that the city of Los Angeles shut down outdoor dining due to a growing second wave of COVID infections. That timing