Lately there has been a lot of buzz about Chef Gaston Acurio’s new Peruvian spot La Mar which just recently hatched on Embarcadero’s Pier 1 1/2. I am a huge fan of San Francisco Peruvian restaurant Limon, so I was eagerly anticipating my visit to Chef Gaston’s latest dining establishment with my fabulous friends.
La Mar definitely has a undeniably ideal location right on the water with an unobstructed Bay Bridge view. From the moment you enter, you see that the memo is out and everyone and their mother is at La Mar. The night we were dining there, I had friends eating with a group of 20, and other familiar faces scattered both at the street level bar and the ceviche area. La Mar is a huge space with several varying dining sections. Upon entering, there is an industrial warehouse vibe area with high ceilings and concrete floors which sets the location for the more casual seating area. Neighboring that is the high energy ceviche bar which appeared a crowd pleasing favorite. And to top it off is the main dining room for a more traditional sit down dinner where we sat with our larger group.
We had our Sommelier Alex with us and he took liberty of ordering several bottles which he thought would go well with the diverse cuisine. He did an excellent job, but a part of me felt I should go with tradition and order the legendary Peruvian, Pisco Sour. For starters, we ordered an assortment of appetizers to share including the Anticuchos- Grilled Octopus Skewers on Herbed Mashed Potatoes with Chimchurri sauce and Aji Panca and the Cebiche with Prawn, Sea Urchin and Scallops in Sea Urchin Leche de Tigre.
For entrees we were all across the map with meat, seafood and vegetarian plates including the Lomo Saltado- Traditional Peruvian Style Stir Fry of Sauteed Beef Tenderloin, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, soy sauce, garlic and aji amarillo with potato fries and rice and my order of the server recommended Steamed Sea Bass special with asian greens and mushrooms in a soy based sauce served with a side of fried rice. You will notice that there is a touch of Japanese influence in Peruvian cuisine due to the vast amount of Japanese residing in Peru. Yet, the food is true Peruvian with a contemporary take.
Dessert was delectable and the group ravished our sweet selections including our favorite Picarones – Traditional Warm Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Fritters with Spiced Chancaca Honey and the Tiramisu de Lucuma with Lucuma (eggfruit) Ice Cream.
La Mar is a good choice for a high energy hot spot to go with friends for drinks, ceviche, and a social night on the town in San Francisco.
La Mar is open for lunch and dinner. Valet parking is available right around the corner.
Pier 1 1/2
san francisco, california 94111
(415) 397 8880