When my dad offered to take me out to lunch the other day I instantly blurted out "La Mar."
"What?" he inquired, then offering up his suggestion of Il Fornaio.
I said "Dad, there's this new restaurant that just opened up at Pier 1 1/2 and it is supposed to be amazing. It's by this Peruvian superstar and it's his first restaurant in North America."
Dad took the bait and the next day we were off to La Mar.
We walked into the cavernous space along the Bay and I was immediately struck by the bright colors of the place. The theme is obviously turquoise and bright green, as the color motif ran along the menus, the placemats, and even the blue lights that ran along the bottom side of the bar. The main dining room was jammed so Dad and I grabbed a seat along the large and empty bar. Immediately we were brought out the following:The basket is filled with plantain, potato, and sweet potato chips. They were lightly fried and delicious, perfect to dip in the three sauces that were offered. My pretty chips. I definitely ate too many of these.
For starters Dad and I ordered a ceviche. They have a whole list of them on the menu and I have no idea what the others taste like, but this was incredible. I have had ceviche a number of times in my life and typically it's just some raw fish covered with acid (lemon or some other citrus) and has some cilantro, onions and tomatoes along side. I have no idea what is in this or why the sauce was such a brilliant shade of yellow, but whatever they did, they did it right. I wanted to drink the bowl!
Following was another starter of crab atop a bed of potatoes. Sounds pretty simple, right? I have never in my life tasted potatoes that melted in my mouth quite like these. It was incredible, amazing, awesome. This was part of a section called causas. Apparently there are a variety of fishes you can get atop the potatoes, I saw blue potatoes served as well.
I am not sure how to describe the velvety texture and taste that can do these justice, but I could eat these every day (if I could afford it).
Next came the mussels. These were really the only disappointment in my mind. The salsa on top was too much for a mouth full and the flavor just didn't measure up to the earlier dishes. The white on top are HUGE kernels of corn only found in Peru. They were very pretty and tasty, but didn't exactly blend with the other flavors.
My dad ordered this amazing main course which I ate about half of. It was a sea food medley called the Macho, one of many classic Peruvian dishes and stews. Honestly, nothing I would have probably have ordered on my own. But the flavors here were also out of this world. I tasted tastes I have never tasted before! The menu described it as Roasted grouper with Manila clams, calamari, ají panca stew and green tamale cream.
For the finalmente dad insisted on dessert. My stomach went ugh but my mind and mouth said "yes please." We ordered a dessert with pumpkin and sweet potato which was drizzled with, what tasted to me, a molasses type sauce.
On a whole I would absolutely return to La Mar. It was one of the best dining experiences I have had in a long time. It was expensive, but worth it. Thanks Dad! Check them out!