Milena Perez Loaiza
Why is it unique? The flagship cebichería in Gastón Acurio’s gastronomic empire that launched many global outposts, La Mar has long set the pace when it comes to Peru’s favourite marinated fish dish. Only opening for lunch to assure top-notch product quality and total freshness, this casual restaurant’s strength is serving up the Pacific Ocean.
In the kitchen: While Peru’s godfather of gastronomy founded La Mar, its head chef is one of Acurio’s trusted culinary soldiers, Anthony Vásquez. He led the Buenos Aires branch of the same name before returning to his native Peru to head up the restaurant located in trendy Miraflores.
What’s the vibe? A buzzy atmosphere awaits, with dating couples, business meetings and family gatherings all going on to a tropical soundtrack. Browse the fresh fish counter for the day’s offerings and, if offered a paper bib, accept it – matters might get messy when it comes to eating a whole chilli crab.
On the menu: The menu is lengthy and dishes are plentiful, so go hungry. Choose one or some of the 13 ceviches, such as Clásico or Afrodisíaco, the latter made with uni. Other fresh fish dishes include tiradito, Peru’s answer to sashimi, and yellow jack tartare. Many mains have Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) and Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) influences: try El Pez de Profundidad Nikkei (a tonkatsu-style stew with loche squash cream) or Chaufa Aeropuerto – fried rice with char siu Cantonese-style barbecued pork, quinoa and fried noodles topped with a shrimp omelette.