La Mar

We walked along the Pier looking for an appealing dinner option.

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Once I spotted this busy restaurant on the Pier, I was set.

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There was something about it. I didn’t know what the cuisine was or if it could accommodate my dietary needs, but I was drawn to it.

The Boyfriend wasn’t satisfied we had looked long enough. There were other places. They all seemed popular and busy enough.

We circled back only because I told The Boyfriend I would check the menu before deciding.

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The restaurant was Peruvian. I always ask about wheat free options and was assured that I would be able to find something to eat.

The hostess told us we could sit at the bar as there were no tables available.

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But a timely miracle for us, the manager approached and found seating for us and we were escorted to a table immediately.

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What a great table it was. We were right where the action was beside the grills of the open kitchen.

I also had a view of the patio looking over the water.

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The Boyfriend was entertained by the other side of the kitchen and the rest of the dining room.

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Our waiter, Menic, was tall and fair with a wonderful accent. The Boyfriend guessed he was from Argentina. He cannot help himself. He has to know where people are from. He is a product of his vast traveling. He guessed right. What The Boyfriend wasn’t prepared for was that Menic was from one of the places in the world where The Boyfriend had lived as a child. The two had a wonderful scenic reunion reliving days gone by (I sit through many of these story telling moments on trips with The Boyfriend. We walked through Pakistan with the taxi driver just this morning). Don’t ever play “where in the world” with The Boyfriend unless your name is John and you are from where garlic is famous.

Now the food:

First Chips and Salsa or bread and butter

The chips were deep fried plantains and potatoes with the most wonderful dipping creations—you will see these two dips again. And you will want to because they are so delicious.

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Next is the salad. The Boyfriend had never eaten Quinoa. Tonight he ate it in so many different ways.

His first exposure was in this salad. The cheese was melt in your mouth delicious. The basil and balsamic vinegar reduction, fabulous! The tomatoes, California Fresh!

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Moving on now to the one item that we did not order and kind of blew my mind, Ceviche, a sushi of sorts, marinated California haddock. Let’s just say that The Boyfriend is not a fan of raw fish. He usually will not even try a dish containing raw fish. But since his new friend Menic brought it to the table with compliments of the management, The Boyfriend tried it. And he almost liked it.

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It is a cold dish with corn nuts as well as cooked corn, red onion and yams. Spiced to perfection

Now for the entrée

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This delightful sampling of menu items put us over the edge. There is just no way two people can consume all of this food.

Again the sauces appear, chopped red onions, as well as an additional sauce that should actually have FLAMABLE attached — the red sauce is extremely spicy. We were already very full from the chips, salad, and appetizer. However, we ate around the platter. We were quite choosy about what we did and didn’t eat. Several items were not gluten free so I was even pickier. The staff was diligent in pointing out what I could and couldn’t eat.

Before we ordered off the dessert menu The Boyfriend had mentioned that La Mar was probably one of his top ten favorite restaurants of all time. He has eaten in a lot of places. Remember the “Where in the World” game I mentioned. Well, after dessert this place moved into his top five category.

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You will note that dessert does not look all that spectacular. The Boyfriend had freshly made berry sorbet. I had Peruvian Mouse with caramelized quinoa and meringues (really?). He combined my dessert and his dessert to make what he considered the most fabulous dessert ever. After a few bites of that, I had to pick up my dessert and eat it off in a corner because soon there was to be nothing left of it! He was going to dominate both. And my dessert was unbelievable.

The manager came to our table during dinner to make sure our meal was just right because apparently there had been some mixup… Not noticed by us. After dinner I asked him about the restaurant, the owners, if it is a chain, etc.. He tells me that it is somewhat of a chain and some of these restaurants can be found throughout the world.

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The original creator of the cuisine concept is Gaston Acurio. If you find one of his restaurants in your travels, stop by. You won’t be disappointed.

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