La Mar by Gastón Acurio has always had a special place in my heart. This restaurant combines 3 things that I especially love – Peruvian cuisine, outdoor seating by the sea, and exceptional service. I was going thru yet another professional transition in my life, so I decided to have lunch here as a symbolic gesture of faith. It was 4 of us this time, including Mister B.
We started with the Tiradito Nikkei – Tuna tataki, candied tuna, chives, tamarind Leche de Tigre, sesame butter, pickled vegetables. This dish was outstanding and simply impressive, each bite was the equivalent of a ton of deliciousness. This Peruvian style of Japanese sashimi was a superb way to start the meal. If I were rich, I could get addicted to this.
The Cebiche Carretillero was made of snapper, shrimp, octopus, crispy calamari, sweet potato, choclo, cancha, spicy Leche de Tigre. Mister B. has an intense love for fried calamari and always manages to find a way to order it in a restaurant, much to my chagrin. Not that I do not like it, just had too much of it in my life, and it is rather dull to photograph. It was presented in a glass cup, so it was quite a little beauty, not mind-boggling in flavor but delicious.
I barely got to taste the Empanadas de Ají de Gallina as they were ravenously hogged by the little chickens – Ají de Gallina, chicken, ají amarillo, pecans, manchego cheese. The bite I did get was lovely and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
The Planchaza was a super-incredible seafood fest in one dish- Scallops, Spanish octopus, jumbo shrimp, vegetables, and anticuchera sauce were assembled in a rich, juicy, crispy, tender, smoky, bold plate that was the ultimate gift to the senses. The seafood aroma steadily penetrating your nostrils and inviting you to eat more.
The little chickens had the Lomo Saltado – Stir-fried tenderloin, red onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, cilantro, thick cut fried potato wedges. As sharing is an issue with them, I sneaked a piece of meat when they were not looking, and it was so juicy that some of the juices squirt on my shirt – almost got caught.
For dessert, we had the Beso De Moza – Peruvian chocolate shell, strawberry, and rocoto meringue, crispy quinoa, goat yogurt ice cream. I am not a dessert person, so I just tried a little of each of the components of the dish. What struck me the most was the goat ice cream which had a distinct funk that zinged my tongue like a lightning bolt – never had such a “meaty” ice cream before.
As usual, the service was impeccable, and the ambiance warm and welcoming. You have no idea how grateful I was for this meal.
La Mar by Gastón Acurio
500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami, FL 33131