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La Mar: Reviews

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La Mar: Reviews | restaurant info + video | full episode video

Andrew Vontz
Name: Andrew
Occupation: Writer/Freelance Journalist
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: La Mar
Reviewed La Mar: Friday, January 3, 2014

When seeking adventurous and tasty cosmopolitan dining options, the areas most likely to spring to mind include the Mission, Pac Heights and the Marina. But a handful of restaurants on the water on the Embarcadero shine bright, and if you have a passion for Peruvian food, then La Mar at Pier 1.5 should be a must-visit.

An open, airy, white space with waterfront views and high ceilings, the large dining room hosted a very diverse group of diners on this visit. Once seated, our server, Tony, proved exceptionally friendly, helpful and attentive, all in a very genuine manner. We indulged in our favorite appetizer; a tasting of four ceviches showcasing a broad range of inventive flavor profiles ranging from Japanese and Mexican-inspired to traditional Peruvian. If you love ceviche the way we do, this dish is not to be missed. While you’ll find the ceviche portions to be smaller than comparable dishes at Limon, the city’s Peruvian standard, the quality of the fish and ingredients at La Mar are superlative, by far the best we’ve sampled.

In the entree domain, the Lomo Saltado boasted tender chunks of beef with vegetables in a rich, hearty marinade with fried potatoes. We ordered the Arroz Norteno based on a recommendation from Tony and weren’t disappointed. A paella-like dish featuring an abundance of scallops, shrimps, mussels and vegetables in a delicious reduced broth that infused wok-sautéed rice with deep, rich flavor, we will definitely order this again on our next visit.


For dessert we indulged in Queso Helado, a four-milk ice cream topped with cinnamon and rice foam that tasted like a light, icy horchata treat. Sweet and delicious, but not too heavy after a very filling meal.

Danny Gracia
Name: Danny
Occupation: San Francisco Firefighter
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Capo's
Reviewed La Mar: Saturday, January 4, 2014

Upon arrival at La Mar, we parked in the lot across the street at a cost of $18. A hostess seated us almost immediately. The restaurant is in a beautiful port building with a spectacular entrance and bar. Upon being seated, the waitress promptly took our drink orders and another server brought us plantain chips with 2 sauces which were quite tasty. The waitress then explained the menu and we ordered what we thought would be best for our palates.

The crab and potato dish was very good along with the tuna ceviche. After that, however, things went downhill. The noodle dish tasted and smelled like the burnt microwave popcorn that I’ve encountered in my home. The chicken dish was salty and scarce. Wrapping it up, dessert was actually somewhat of a meal saver – it was very good.

The overall experience was fair. Even the beautiful décor and ambience isn’t enough to have us return.

Maria Fort
Name: Maria
Occupation: Foundation Executive
Location: El Cerrito
Favorite Restaurant: Bistro Liaison
Reviewed La Mar: Friday, January 3, 2014

If you reminisce about your trip to Machu Picchu via Lima and Cuzco, dining at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana will bring back fond memories of Peruvian gastronomy. This restaurant is truly authentic Peruvian.

The ambiance is contemporary with several large rooms and an open kitchen. There is also a covered and heated patio room next to the water. The décor is beautiful with smart modern design and interesting tropical flower arrangements. We were seated in the patio next to a window. Staff also made sure that the temperature on the patio was just right for comfort.

Service was attentive and the waiter took time to explain ingredients. He politely checked in periodically to see if we were satisfied. Timing of food delivery was just right, but we had to ask for a dessert menu. Most of the food centered on fish and other seafood. It was tasty, fresh and in creative combinations. Most of it was spicy, per Peruvian taste, but there were a few dishes that catered to those who don’t like or can’t eat spicy food. The portion sizes were large enough to share among two or three people and just right for tasting a variety of plates. We chose Cebiche Nikei, Ensalada Andina, Short Rib Seco, Pescado (yellow tail), Tapioca de Coco, Mazamorra Morada Tart and coffee. Prices are moderate to high, however, dishes can be shared and value is generally good because of the quality and service.

I will recommend La Mar to friends and I plan to return.

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