La Mar Cebicheria
Peruvian restaurants in San Francisco are few, but Peruvian specialities reign at Le Mar, helmed by the chef Gastón Acurio, famous in South America not only as a celebrity television chef, but as a talented restaurateur who’s elevating his native cuisine to new heights. At La Mar, his first restaurant in the US, diners can sample the likes of punchy ceviches, tiraditos (Peruvian sashimi), and other traditional dishes with a modern twist, while overlooking the bay. And did we mention there’s a Pisco bar serving Pisco sours and Pisco punches (a concoction that was created right here in, you guessed it, San Francisco)?
International celeb chef Gastón Acurio does for raw fish what Bobby Flay did for the tamale: elevates it to a new level. Peruvian cebiches, influenced by Japanese, Spanish, and Mexican flavors, form the centerpiece of the menu, while cooked dishes, such as causas (traditional Peruvian whipped potatoes with seafood or vegetable toppings) and anticuchos (grilled skewers of meat or fish) follow. The cool, blue-hued open space attracts a mix of SoMa loft-dwellers, South Beach transplants, and Mission hipsters looking for a new vibe, Pisco Sours in hand. There are two bars-skip the separate anterior space that is completely removed from the scene in lieu of the bar adjacent to the dining room, where you can mingle with the action coming in off the Embarcadero.