We have always loved dining at La Mar which serves fabulous Peruvian Cuisine and has a beautiful location right on the San Francisco Bay near the Ferry Plaza on Pier 1.5. We learned that they recently added seven additional items to their Weekend Brunch Menu and decided we’d better check it out. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and we were seated on the all-weather outdoor dockside Patio overlooking the Bay and soon were enjoying their habit forming Sweet Potato and Plantain Chips and excellent Pisco Cocktails. The Pisco Sour made with Pisco Quebranta Brandy, lime juice, simple syrup, and dash of egg white and a drop of bitters was quite unique and the Pisco Punch topped with pineapple was excellent as well! Both the chips and the Pisco drinks go down easy…. so make sure you don’t fill up as the cuisine is excellent.
Our first course was the Cebiches which are the national dish of Peru made here with 100% sustainably caught fish and shellfish then marinated in “leche de tigre”. We loved both the Cebiche Clasico made with California Halibut in a classic leche de tigre with red onion habanero and Peruvian corn and yam and the Cebiche Nikei which was Tuna, red onion, Japanese cucumber, daikon avocado, nori, and sesame in tamarind leche de tigre. The portions are perfect and not only is Cebiche very flavorful it’s quite healthy. Next, we enjoyed another Peruvian specialty, Causa Limena, which was whipped yellow potatoes topped with fresh Dungeness Crab, avocado puree, quail egg, cherry tomatoes, aji Amarillo huancaina sauce and basil cilantro oil. The texture of the potatoes and the freshness of Crab made this an amazing starter.
The new Brunch Main Courses were all wonderful and quite unique. We loved the perfectly prepared Grilled Salmon Fillet which was served over a bed of red chard, fried choclo and marbled potatoes sautéed with butter and garlic crowned with a perfectly Poached Egg in an aji amarillo hollandaise and Hawaiian Smoked Salt. Then we enjoyed the Montadito Burrata served over grilled artisan Acme bread topped with fresh burrata cheese, pisco, aji amarillo sautéed mushrooms and a quail egg. The creamy texture of the burrata along with the other ingredients paired perfectly on the crunchy Acme Bread. This would also make a great starter. A very unique and excellent brunch choice was the Chicharrón (for two) which was a traditional Peruvian pan con chicharrón, Pork Belly sous vide served with sweet potato and yucca fries, huancaina, criolla, tartar sauces and slider Acme rolls. The Chicharron was not rich at all…. as it is cooked for 17 hours which enhances the flavor of the pork. This is quite fun to share!
La Mar has an extensive International Wine List. We enjoyed the The 2010 Vevi La Mar Rueda Spain Verdejo which paired perfectly with the Cebiches ,the 2011 Albarino Lagar de Cerera Rias Baix , Spain which paired perfectly with the Salmon and the 2009 Tempranillo Vina Vallarin Ribera del Duero, Spain which paired perfectly with the Pork Belly.
We saved room for Pastry Chef Astrid Gutsche’s desserts. We loved the Alfajorzon which was homemade Vanilla Ice Cream marbled with manjar blanco and alfajor cookie served in a tulie bowl. The presentation was lovely and it was actually a light desert that went down very easily! We also enjoyed the Passion Fruit and Colchagua Sorbets. A Hand Tied Organic Jasmine Green Tea and an Espresso were a great ending to our brunch.
La Mar serves a fantastic brunch! They feature Peruvian Cuisine made with local and organic ingredients, Peruvian spices, fresh seafood and meats prepared with Peruvian, Japanese, California and Chinese influences. The atmosphere and décor are upbeat, colorful and comfortable. There is a separate bar area in the front, large dining room and counter seating which is great for watching preparation and plating in the exhibition kitchen. The menu developed by International Restaurateur /Chef Gaston Acurio, the execution by Chef de Cuisine Diego Oka , the excellent service, the spectacular San Francisco Bay setting all contributed to making our dining experience outstanding. We also enjoyed chatting with a friendly neighboring foursome who had come via boat and used the private boat dock to tie up while dining.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Pier 1.5 Suite 100 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA. 94111