To Showcase the Flavors of a Modern Cebichería
Chef Gastón Acurio, who has been elevating his native cuisine at his Lima fine-dining destination Astrid y Gastón for fifteen years, is bringing the authentic flavors of his renowned Peruvian restaurant La Mar Cebichería Peruana to San Francisco at Pier 1½ on The Embarcadero. Opening September 29, this will be Acurio’s highly anticipated first restaurant in the United States.
La Mar Cebichería Peruana represents the cutting edge of Peruvian cuisine with a modern adaptation of classic Peruvian cebicherías, the first of its kind to debut in this country. At La Mar, Acurio focuses on serving the freshest seafood and ingredients available reflecting the country’s rich Andean, Spanish, Asian and African heritage – all central to Peruvian cooking.
“Peruvian food is one of the world’s most authentic, richly flavored mix of cuisines,” Acurio says. “San Francisco is a natural fit for La Mar, not only because of its proximity to the freshest seafood and produce in the country, but also because of the adventurous diners who live and visit here.”
Peruvian-born chef José Luis de Cossío, who was the opening chef at the original La Mar in Lima, will serve as the San Francisco restaurant’s chef de cuisine. De Cossío, who also worked with Acurio at Astrid y Gastón and was previously the executive chef of Andina restaurant in Portland, Oregon, brings his own wealth of experience with cutting-edge Peruvian food to the kitchen.
La Mar takes the elements of a traditional Lima cebicherías to another level. Signature dishes will include a dozen cebiches offered at $12 to $19 for a full order (i.e. ceviche or seviche, the national dish of Peru prepared with the freshest seafood very briefly marinated in citrus and peppers), tiraditos at $14 to $15 (Peruvian sashimi), several versions of causas at $10 to $11 (seasoned whipped Peruvian potatoes topped with fresh seafood), anticuchos at $13 (skewers of grilled fish), tacu tacus (a creamy mixture of Inca pallar beans and rice) served with braised lamb shank at $26, and clásicos including lomo saltado at $22 (the well-known stir-fry of beef and tomatoes). La Mar’s menu will also include a variety of vegetarian options.
In a nod to his country’s rich culinary heritage, La Mar has a traditional pisco bar and lounge which front The Embarcadero. Pisco dates back to the 16th century and is made from distilled grapes often of one variety then aged for a minimum of three months. La Mar will offer more than ten specialty drinks made with pisco, including the classic Pisco Sour and Pisco Punch, which originated here in San Francisco.
Acclaimed Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji, whose resume includes the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, has crafted a global wine list to complement La Mar’s coastal, multi-cultural cuisine. Spanish and California wines will be highlighted, as well as Argentinean, Chilean and a handful of wines from Brazil and Uruguay. Kemiji has created a list of well-priced and more unusual wines, with approximately 25 wines by the glass. Highlights include the “Show Down,” a fun and unique tasting of Californian vs. Uruguayan Tannat wines, a grape originally from the Basque region of France that made its way to South America to become the “national” grape of Uruguay. Another tasting will include Pinot Noirs, made by Byron Kosuge, from Chile and California.
Offering delightful views of the San Francisco Bay, La Mar is located on the waterfront at the landmark Pier 1½, formerly the passenger waiting room for the Delta King and Delta Queen. The restaurant was designed by renowned Bay Area architect Cass Calder Smith in collaboration with the distinguished Peruvian design team of Nathan Pereira Arquitectura Diseño. The two firms worked together in translating the atmosphere and inspiration of Acurio’s Peruvian cebicherías to the San Francisco site.
La Mar has an airy and casual, yet chic, feel with high ceilings and superb views of the waterfront showcased through large windows on three sides of the restaurant’s main dining room. Design elements include an open exhibition kitchen, a large 80-seat waterside patio, an 88-seat dining room, the Pisco Bar, a 27-seat cebiche bar and 38-seat lounge, and an 18-seat private dining room.
ABOUT GASTÓN ACURIO
Trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Acurio’s cuisine is known for portraying the best in traditional Peruvian cooking while integrating a contemporary approach to classical Peruvian food. Acurio and his cuisine have captured international attention from food critics and he has garnered a sizeable loyal following and regarded reputation for his stylish and popular La Mar Cebicherías, as well as for his eponymous Astrid & Gastón fine dining restaurants which he shares with his partner and wife, pastry chef Astrid Gutsche. Acurio operates restaurants in ten countries.
ABOUT LA MAR CEBICHERÍA PERUANA
In addition to San Francisco, La Mar Cebichería Peruana restaurants are located in Lima, Costa Rica, Santiago de Chile and Mexico City, with plans to open in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the near future. San Francisco’s La Mar Cebichería Peruana is on Pier 1½ on San Francisco’s waterfront and open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. For reservations, call 415/397-8880, visit www.opentable.com or visit www.lamarcebicheria.com.