La Mar Cebichería
When the news of our upcoming vacation to Peru came up in conversation, the restaurant La Mar had been recommended to us by our dear friend, Courtney (@awanderingbroadabroad). She raved about the ceviche and the atmosphere in general in Lima, the capital.
It was a dreary Saturday afternoon which was immediately brightened by the bustling restaurant. We were greeted warmly and sat at a table for two. The decor was simple, but popped with color. It gave the seaside feeling that one should have at a place that is both on the coast and serves mainly seafood.
The server was kind and patient as we scoped out the menu attempting to use our elementary Spanish. (Good thing we got some practice before our Spain trip!) He was helpful and made wonderful suggestions. The table for two started off with a Pisco Sour.
Ordering food at La Mar
We went with the ceviche trio. This included classic ceviche (fish), a mixto (fish and seafood) ceviche, and finally a ceviche that was Nikkei (Japanese) style. (To learn more about Japanese & Peruvian fusion, read our experience at Maido) The classic was bursting with the traditional citrus and red onion flavor. The mixto, a more complex and slightly spicy flavor, cilantro, and perhaps with papaya? Finally the Nikkei is everything you know about Japanese cuisine (sesame, soy, umami) but with the added latin twists of avocado, citrus, and red onion.
The amount of fish that in each was astonishing. For the price, we thought that we would not receive such large portions, but we were pleasantly surprised. All 3 gave us completely different flavor profiles. There were more kinds of ceviche on the menu and these 3 made me want to try them all. Instead of just filling up on ceviche, we trusted that La Mar would make other food taste great as well.
Street food at La Mar
The skewers were octopus tentacles cooked to perfection. I never knew the variety of corn that accompanied even existed . We come from the land where corn (or corn products) are in every dish. This corn had huge kernals and was starchy enough to be mistaken for a potato.
The Tamal was in the Top 10 dish of any food both of us have ever had. It was rich, smokey, and packed full of seafood. Perhaps this is that mysterious Umami flavor that is so sought after? Words do not do it justice.
After our Pisco Sours were gone, Maxwell ordered a local beer, Cusqueña. This was a refreshing beer that tasted different than any beer in America. (We ordered several more later on during our trip)
After such a filling meal, our energy had dipped. Espressos were in order. Despite being too full to function, the table next to us continued to torture our appetites with more dishes we wanted to try. A plate full of rock lobsters, and a giant (and ugly) whole fish, among others, came in a constant stream of deliciousness.
Overall, the meal, service, and location were superb from beginning to end. My friend, Courtney, was absolutely correct. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Lima.
-Max & Leeann