Viewing Pleasure: Grouper Ceviche, La Mar

Remember how we said we were going to Lima? Well, we did, and we took pictures. This was our first stab at food photography, and it’s rather harder than it looks! Our admiration and respect for the many people who unwittingly contribute to Viewing Pleasure grows and grows.

At any rate, this grouper ceviche (okay, we’re only 90% sure it was grouper) from La Mar is much larger than it first appears. It could have easily been 3/4 of a pound of fish, for starters, and furthermore, the corn on the plate is incredibly misleading as a reference. Peruvian corn has freakishly large kernels, and lacking scale, the dish looks coffee saucer-sized. But in fact, it was a full-on dinner plate, and the fish was nearly endless. Oh yes, and it was also the best ceviche we’ve ever had and ever could have, since this is the best cevicheria in Peru, blah blah blah. The sweet potato half-circle that accompanied the dish was certainly as good as one would expect to find in the birthplace of the tuber. And the red onions were consistently amazing all over the country! Also, it was under $10.

La Mar is only open for lunch, because Peruvians consider fish too old to serve as ceviche by dinnertime. The grouper on the plate was swimming around the rich coast of Lima only a few hours earlier, and the blissful texture of the fish made that abundantly clear. We had ceviche every day we were in Peru and it was always delicious, but this was really a cut above.

The restaurant is run by the same people who own Astrid&Gast;ón, a very-high end chain with locations in major South American cities (Lima’s is the original), as well as Madrid and possibly San Francisco in the near future. We went here as well, and boy was it tasty. There may be some photos forthcoming, so keep your fingers crossed.

Who Needs Clubs When Everyone Is at the Cafe? [NYTimes]

Astrid&Gast;ón [Official Site]

[Photo: yours truly]


Viewing Pleasure: Grouper Ceviche, La Mar