Ilona (2)

Hello! I'm Ilona

CWAS: CA Wine Appellation Specialist~Wine~Spirits~Travel Writer~Photojournalist~Educator~Judge

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Restaurant Review Series #5 — La Mar

Restaurant Review Series #5 — La Mar

La Mar Cebichería Peruana, San Francisco


I first walked into La Mar Cebichería Peruana four years ago. I immediately felt that I have won the restaurant lottery. The moment I tasted the first bite of cebiche and took a sip of the perfect Pisco Sour, I knew that I would return. Simple, elegant, refined are defining characteristics of this fitting tribute to Peruvian and Asian fusion cuisine.


World-renowned visionary chef Gastón Acurio, opened La Mar to offer foodies a full immersion into authentic Peruvian flavors. He hired chef Victoriano Lopez, a champion of sustainable seafood and eco-friendly ingredients. Victoriano aims to inspire diners with a symphony of flavors and sensations. From his familiar traditional Peruvian fare to exceptional, inspired cuisine he prepares meals that can only come from a true artisan’s heart and mind.


Should you find yourself in San Francisco’s stunning waterfront district, don’t dare miss La Mar. Whether you pop in for a cocktail (their happy hour is the best in town) or sit down for a long relaxing meal, you will be most pleased.




Bright, airy, and contemporary décor with stunning views of San Francisco Bay.


It just doesn’t get any better.






Offering a whirlwind journey through Peru, La Mar’s has something for everyone. Scrumptious seafood, marinated meats, and vegetarian delicacies abound. Their ceviches are beyond outstanding. Cebiche Clásico, prepared with halibut in a classic leche de tigre with red onion, habanero, Peruvian corn, yams, and Tiradito Gastón with Peruvian bay scallops and ají amarillo leche de tigre are so good that I can consume them daily. Chef Lopez’s passion for the freshest ingredients and sea-to-table cooking is evident. Visually the food is the feast for the senses. The flavors bespeak Peruvian inspiration merged with contemporary California cuisine.


Other favorites include the classics: Causa, a duo of whipped potatoes crowned with seafood (or vegetables) Lomo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian-style stir-fry of beef tenderloin, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and soy sauce, topped with a fried egg, papas fritas and rice. The delicate whole fish is nothing short of pure delight and is large enough to share with friends.






Many of La Mar’s cocktails celebrate Pisco’s renaissance in the modern cocktail scene. They are simple, straightforward and perfectly balanced. I believe that they make the best Pisco Sour in the city. I urge you to try them even if you think that you are not a Pisco fan. You might just be converted.






I have dined in La Mar at least a dozen times. Each time the service was excellent. I value quality and consistency equally. La Mar scores high marks for both.





total score

I suspect that I will not award many restaurants a 100-point score. It’s not because I am exceptionally hard to please. It’s just rare to hit that perfect intersection of simple, yet complex, elevated, yet lacking pretense, gorgeously sexy, yet approachable and quintessentially delicious!