Gastón’s La Mar in San Francisco [Featured]

October 18th, 2008

Ceviche in San Francisco USA

Talented food critic taster Juancho (critics criticise while Juancho praises) of Camina El Autor was recently able to visit Peruvian celebrity chef Gastón Acurio’s and wife Astrid Gutche’s newly opened La Mar restaurant in San Francisco – the first in North America. Receiving rave reviews, Juancho adds his opinion.

The original La Mar was opened by Acurio a few years ago in Lima, on Ave. La Mar, in Miraflores (with Pescados Capitales just a few blocks away, the area is becoming a high-end seafood mecca). The restaurant in San Francisco’s Pier 1½ is the first of what are projected to be several La Mar’s throughout the continent (Santiago, México, and San José locales are in the works) as well as Acurio’s first US restaurant. It is not any exaggeration to say that it has been one of the most anticipated openings in the city.

The restaurant itself is comprised of four spaces: a pisco bar near the entrance, followed by the cebiche bar, and the main dinning room; outside, through a set of French doors, there is an al fresco dining area overlooking the water. We chose to eat in the main room.


Next came a tasty, but small, Tiradito criollo, comprised of thin slices of fish bathed in a creamy sauce of lime juice, ají amarillo, and habanero pepper. Despite the ingredient list, it was not very spicy, the cooks having done a nice job of attenuating the peppers’ heat while retaining their flavor characteristics in the sauce. I’ve got to say that it was the best cebiche I’ve had north of Ecuador.

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