We were recently invited to La Mar to preview Chef Victoriano Lopez’s new menu inspired by his recent trip to Peru. We had never been to La Mar before, so we were excited to try out it’s Peruvian fare, especially since we love seafood.
All of the cocktails we tried were based on pisco, a Peruvian brandy. We especially loved this pisco and pineapple cocktail. Sipping it on the back patio with views of San Francisco Bay reminded us of being on vacation.
La Mar’s appetizers were all delicious. We thought these Wagyu skirt steak niguiri were especially delicious and an interesting twist on sushi nigiri.
We both love scallops, so this tiradito scallop served in the shell with rocoto cream was our favorite.
Next up was the bandeja de cebicheria, a huge platter of classic ceviche, causa limena, tiradito la mar, and niguiri cebichero. The halibut in the classic ceviche was perfect, and believe it or not, this was our first dungeness crab of the season.
Our huge ceviche platter was followed by another huge platter of Peruvian street food: a quinoa tamal, beef anticucho, chicharon, and chicken empanadas. The family-style dining experience was really fun and we hope it carries over to the new menu.
The whole fresh Tai snapper, cooked in butter, capers, lime juice, and parsley, was delicious. We can’t wait to re-create this dish at home and we think this platter from Crate & Barrel would be perfect for serving whole roasted fish.
The desserts were really creative. The basil shaved ice with marinated apples and pisco sour foam was super-refreshing, and the chocolate mousse with caramelized quinoa was definitely the most creative use of quinoa we’ve seen. Who knew it could be a dessert?
We ended the evening in the bar, where Thomas Medl, the general manager, led us through an educational tasting of pisco. We tried three from the same producer, Barsol. Now we want to make more cocktails with Pisco. Try our Pisco Sour recipe here and our Pisco Punch recipe here. We had such a great time exploring the cuisine of Peru. After we left Clayton wanted to know where he signs up to go to Peru. We may have to plan a trip!
Thank you to La Mar for hosting us for such a lovely evening.