La Mar Cebicheria serves authentic Peruvian dishes on the Embarcadero

This is one of the restaurant openings I’ve been waiting for in a long time. La Mar Cebicheria, a Peruvian restaurant and ceviche bar, has just opened on the Embarcadero next to the Ferry Building. It is part of the La Mar Cebicheria group of restaurants in Lima, which includes La Mar and Punto Azul, where I had excellent ceviche in August 2008 (see my Lima, Peru restaurant recommendations). I love Peruvian food, but when outside Peru, I am leery of restaurants that claim to serve “authentic Peruvian”. La Mar, however, is the real thing.

Here’s what you can expect from some of the dishes:

– ceviche mixto: just the right amount of lime and if you want it spicy, just say so and they’ll add more aji peppers;

– ensalada nikei: delicious Japanese-style salad with green papaya, jícama, soybeans, pickled carrots and daikon, crunchy quinoa, Peruvian purple corn and rocoto;

– chorrillana: pan-fried Alaskan halibut filet, mashed yucca, tamarind, red onion and tomato sauce, very savory and piquant;

– picarones: amazing dessert, African in origin, deep-fried ring-shaped pumpkin fritter coated with molasses, with a fig sauce.

And finally, the Pisco Sour, my favorite drink in Peru. At La Mar, they make it just like they did in Lima: strong and sour.

  • Vibe: large airy open space with separate area for ceviche bar, wooden tables and chairs, relaxed seaside feel
  • Pros: authentic Peruvian food, good service; excellent ceviches, very spicy upon request; they make a wicked pisco sour
  • Cons: it can get very loud at times; the only real drawback I can foresee is the temptation to dumb down the food to attract more tourists (since they are on the Embarcadero and have a large space to fill). They must resist!

UPDATE (9 February 2009): I went back to La Mar this week and found that the food was not as good as it was before. I was disappointed. The pisco sour is still, however, the best in SF.

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La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Pier 1 1/2, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA


About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.