The sweet spot for ceviche and seafood
Claim to fame: Famed Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio’s biggest hit
Reason to go: The essence and ambiance of traditional cevicherias, made contemporary
To look out for: Desserts are among Lima’s best, just like the lines to get into this no-resy restaurant are among the city’s longest.
There’s nothing more Limeño than a cevichería, the traditional joints offering ceviche and other aquatic delights. Gaston Acurio’s La Mar in Miraflores takes this Peruvian classic to a whole new level. It’s without a doubt one of Lima’s most popular restaurants, for locals and visitors alike.
Ultra-fresh catches come directly from artisanal fishermen in northern Peru; Chita, Pez Diablo, Pejesapo, Cabrilla, octopus, shrimps, scallops and other species are transformed into Lima’s finest ceviches, causas, rices and soups. The colossal menu contains almost every imaginable Peruvian seafood indulgence. When diving into town for the first time, La Mar is the top spot for a proper Limeño landing. The recent addition of a clay oven has expanded the kitchen’s possibilities; octopus is roasted to perfection with olive oil and garlic. Incredibly, Chef Gustavo Montrestuque has managed to improve La Mar’s already killer recipe for this local favorite. The same goes for his arroz meloso con mariscos, a fantastic and unique take on the very traditional and ubiquitous seafood rice served in every cevicheria across Lima.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during sea urchin season––Peruvians have become very respectful of seasonality––the urchin, rocoto chili pepper and garlic spaghetti is a must. You could opt for the urchin ceviche but that pasta dish, as simple as it sounds, is a perfect example of what this kitchen is capable of by working with some of the country’s best produce. Another house specialty is the pez diablo en salsa nikkei, an expertly deep-fried Pacific scorpion fish served with a sweet and sour (and spicy) sauce. It’s as delectable as it’s spectacular-looking. It’s also prime Instagram-bait.
But don’t think La Mar is solely about seafood, it does swimmingly well with the cocktails too, offering a formidable beverage list that’s heavy on fruity pisco-concoctions.