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Savor(ing) Seattle: Pike Place Market

5 Sep

Space NeedleI’m back from my 6-day trip to Seattle with my mom. It was our first time and honestly we had a romantic vision of the city from watching movies like “Sleepless in Seattle”. (Who doesn’t  love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as a romantic movie pair?)

Yet though I had this romantic notion, I was also wary of the old rumor that Seattle gets a lot of rain. By the way people talk about it I was expecting Seattle to be raining all the time. In fact, I learned from the captain of the Argos ferry to Blake Island that Seattle doesn’t even rank in the top 10 of the most rainiest cities in the U.S. In reality it ranks 44th!

San Francisco gets roughly 19.7 inches of rain per year with 63 out of 365 days being rainy. Seattle gets 38 inches of rain per year. Unfortunately, Seattle is rather cloudy and drizzles more days of the year: 158 days in a year. I even experienced this little drizzle last Tuesday when for 5 minutes the dew-like raindrops drizzled upon our heads just as we went underground the streets of Seattle. (We were part of Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.)

But who knew Seattle was drenched ALL the time right? I mean, poor Seattle, it gets such a bad rap.

If you want to know the explanation of the bad rumor, follow this link: The Explanation!

After the Underground Tour, Mom and I went to Pike Place Market for our Savor Seattle food tour. We went to visit 11 different stores/shops/restaurants at the market place, tasted the product they’re most famous about, learned about the history of the market and of the shops, and then received a handy dandy VIP card that gave us 10-15% off of over 25 stores at Pike.

Here are some of the photos of the samples with links to the various places we visited.

1. Daily Dozen Doughnut Company

The doughnuts were made fresh right at the food stall. Plus the doughnuts were delicious and came in a variety! What more could a person ask for?

Daily Dozen Doughnut Company's mini doughnut

A mini cinnamon sugar doughnut. Excuse the fingers....

2. Wild Harvest

Wild Harvest's Huckleberry Cheese Cake

Huckleberry Cheese Cake

I had no idea what huckleberries were but the sign caught my attention. It read: HUCKLEBERRY. Well, I lie. That’s not the whole sign. I think it actually read: HUCKLEBERRY SMOOTHIES but I can be certain because as soon as I saw the word “huckleberry” my mind thought of the book by Mark Twain. Then after my nerdy brain switched into foodie mode, I thought about my Uncle who said he grew up eating huckleberry pies in Idaho.

But I still had that lingering question: What’s a huckleberry?

When I searched the food stall I found pictures of actual huckleberries displayed next to Wild Harvest’s huckleberry jams.  I was surprised to see that they looked just like blueberries, I kid you not.

Then I thought, “Is a huckleberry just a fancy term for a blueberry?”

Before I could ask Caroline or the workers behind the counter what a huckleberry was, we moved on. Later that night I looked up what huckleberries were and found out that they were their own species. However, they are related to blueberries so you can think of them as blueberries’ closest cousins.

3. Market Spice

The Market Spice sells spices like the ones shown in the picture but it also specializes in teas. We tried the fragrant Market Spice tea (yes, that’s what it’s called).

The tea reminded me immediately of cinnamon infused with orange (or is it the other way around?). Caroline said that there were three ingredients. A person offered cinnamon. Correct! Another guessed orange. Correct! But what was the last spice? Cloves!

Market Spice's spices

There were about 20 more shelves segments like these two.

4. Pike Place Fish Market

Flying fish, random yells from fishmongers, and delicious smoked salmon are the three things that come to mind at Pike Place Fish Market. This world famous market, which gave itself this title, is now actually just as well-known as its title suggests.

Pike Place Fish Market store front

It's always crowded here!

I don’t usually like salmon. Salmon burgers? Nope. Salmon jerky? Nope. Salmon sushi? Not a favorite. Salmon puffs? Pass.

Ah, but this place made salmon delicious. While on the tour we were given samples of their original smoked salmon, lemon pepper smoked salmon, and salmon jerky. I didn’t care for the jerky, but the smoked salmon was so tasty.

Original Smoked Salmon

Original Smoked Salmon

It was so tasty that two days later, Mom and I came back to buy a pound each of the original and lemon pepper flavors.

Tour guide Caroline with Fishmonger

Tour guide Caroline with Fishmonger

4. Frank’s Quality Produce

“Quality” is their middle name!

Eggplant

Delicious eggplant

How to Choose Eggplant

How to Choose Eggplant: look for a small 'dot' underneath eggplant. The smaller and more circular the dot is, the more likely the eggplant is male and therefore has less seeds and more flavor. (Male shown on right.)

Fresh Rainier cherries and blueberries

Fresh Rainier cherries and blueberries

Local figs

These local figs were so sweet (literally and figuratively!).

5. Pike Place Chowder

The chowder here is amazing and it better be if it won the Monterey National Clam Chowder three years in a row. My only complaint is that they need better sourdough bread bowls. Seriously, the bread had the look and texture of Wonder Bread. There was a slight sour taste but it didn’t complement the delicious chowder well. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Boudin’s sourdough.

On another note, I suspect that the bread was not great because the starter wasn’t good or perhaps the bread just wasn’t baked properly. If you look on Savor Seattle’s website, the bread bowl has a great looking crust so maybe we just went there on a bad day.

Special of the Clam Chowder of the Day

Special of the Clam Chowder of the Day

But if  great chowder is what you’re looking for, then this place has it! My favorite was the original New England style. My mom’s was the Seafood Bisque chowder. Ironically the large bread bowl shown was of their special clam chowder of the day, which was good but not as good as our favorites. We bought this before the tour – whoops.

Sample Clam Chowders

Sample Clam Chowders: Seafood Bisque (red) and Original (white)

6. Beecher’s Homemade Cheese

The cheese is made on-site even for the public’s viewing. Signs and pictures even describe the cheese making process. Then turn around and the counter to buy the cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and famous macaroni and cheese is right there. Brilliant store planning.

Cheddar Cheese that tastes like Gruyere

Beecher's cheddar cheese tastes like gruyere. Goes well with the whole-wheat seeded cracker.

As I munched on the cheese, I whispered to my mom, “This tastes like gruyere”, and gruyere is one of favorite cheeses after I first used in my baking two years ago. Carolina the tour guide then announced that the cheese was in fact cheddar but that Beecher’s used gruyere cultures. How a cheese can be one kind of cheese when it uses another cheese culture beats me but I was happy that I was correct. It made me feel I was truly becoming more cultured as a foodie!

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

The macaroni and cheese was a tad spicy but too cheesy for my taste. How did I ever eat macaroni and cheese when I was younger? I ate the Kraft version at least once a week. I even cooked it myself and for my mom as lunch sometimes. She ate it and even added tuna and chicken sometimes. That’s what I call love. I don’t find Kraft appetizing any more and now real mac-n-cheese is too cheesy. Whatcha gonna do?

7. Pear Delicatessen & Shoppe

Pear Delicatessen & Shoppe sign

The deli man and the woman whose family owns this delicatessen are fondly known as the perfect ‘pear’. (Cue the aw’s!) The deli man’s name is Brian Jones and he worked at many famous restaurants all over the world. He finally settled in Seattle and joined the family business. Together they renamed the deli to its current name to show that it has entered a new stage.

More about the history behind the deli: here.

Not only does this pair have a cute love story, but the pair also serves delicious sandwiches! We all sampled the ham sourdough sandwich with glazed onions and greens. I’m glad to say that this deli had much better sourdough.

Ham Sourdough Sandwich

Ham Sourdough Sandwich

8. Etta’s

Etta's crab cakes

Etta's crab cakes (the mini version)

Writing an introduction for this one is hard. I could talk about the award winning chef Tom Douglas who established this and other popular restaurants  (Dahlia Restaurant, Dahila Bakery, Lola, Serious Pie, Cuoco, etc.) each with their own specialty.

It’s nice to know Etta’s is a Tom Douglas restaurant because then you can assume that the food is good. But if you don’t know who Tom Douglas is, then knowing that this is his restaurant offers no insight into Etta’s.

I could tell you it has a fancy atmosphere and that the prices are steeper than other smaller food stalls at Pike Market. This, however, may just deter you from checking it out though.

But if you’re going to a restaurant then you will want to know one thing: how the food tastes.

And let me tell you, the crab cakes at Etta’s are to die for. I only had a small sample of the crab cakes – a mini crab cake to be honest – but if you are  a fan of crab cakes or wish to convince someone that crab cakes are delicious then go to Etta’s.

I didn’t eat anything else at the restaurant, but if the appetizer is this good then the entrees must be good here. It’s faulty logic that would never make it into math or philosophy books but you’ve got to trust me on this one.

If you’re not willing to gamble and go for a full meal, then go for the crab cakes. My suggestion is to take out the crab cakes and then hang out at this grassy area across the street. You’ll get a nice view of the water and boats on a nice day.

Grassy Field

By the way, if you’re wondering if I recommend this 2 hour, walking tour, I would have to say that since the price isn’t steep ($39 per person), it’s a acquaint little way to be introduced to the market place. It was definitely nice getting the inside scoop from the tour guide. Our tour guide’s name was Caroline so if you can request guides, ask for her. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and the store clerks all liked her. She even memorized all 15 of our names!

Savor Seattle also has other tours: Gourmet Seattle (3 hrs), Chocolate Indulgences (2 hrs), Craving Capitol Hill (2.5 hrs), Gourmet Kayak (3 days), and private events for groups. All tours are also by foot so bring a water bottle. They provide the napkins and food as well as nifty personal radio sets to hear the tour guide wherever you go. And if you ever get lost, look for the pink umbrella as each guide carries one – rain or shine!

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Eat to Bites: Cheap Burger Joints and an Authentic Italian Restaurant

2 Jul

I love saying Tom Hank’s character in the movie “The Terminal”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about this man from a fake country called Krakozhia. He’s stuck at New York’s JFK airport because he can’t enter the United States because the US doesn’t recognize Krakozhia as a sovereign nation amid a revolution that broke out just as Hanks landed in JFK. At the same time, he can’t go back because there are no flights going there so he ends up staying at the airport for many years. This is based on the true story of  Mehran Karimi Nasseri who stayed for 18 years in one of the airports in Paris, France.

Anyway, that’s where my post title comes from because in the movie Hanks has a hard time saying “Want to get a bite to eat?” when asking Catherine Zita Jones’ character out for dinner. Instead, Hanks says “Want to get an eat to bite?”.

Sandwiches

1. Red’s Java House

Pier 30
Bryant & Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94107

This place is located right near the the Bay Bridge that links Oakland and San Francisco, but is ultimately located in San Francisco. Don’t worry about street noise pollution though because you can’t hear the cars whizzing by at all nor will your views of the bay be obstructed by anything.

Eggs and Chili Rancheros

Eggs and Chili Rancheros - $6.95

When I visited Red’s about two weeks ago, I was somewhat surprised that only two types of coffee are served so if you’re looking for a wide selection of coffee, don’t come here.

Hamburger on Sourdough

Hamburger on Sourdough; came with pickles, mustard, onions (no lettuce or tomatoes) - $3.42

On the other hand, if you like a place full of history – there are perhaps 50+ historic photos hung all around the inside walls – and cheap breakfast – San Francisco style – then come here. The atmosphere if anything will make up for any of the cons that you may find.

Interior of Red's Javahouse

Interior of Red's Javahouse

2. Buffalo’s Burgers Restaurant

5317 Geary Blvd
(between 17th Ave & 18th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121

Chicken Supreme Burger

Chicken Supreme Burger - $5.95 (I think)

Now since I live in this neighborhood, I’ve often seen this little restaurant when walking by on my way to the produce market. I never really stopped in there but I expressed my curiosity about going in to my mom several times.

One night when we were with a family friend and were at a lost of where to go, she suggested the place. I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood for burgers, but I was willing to go anyway. Eating at a new place is always exciting.

Mixed Vegetable Terriyaki Bowl

Mixed Vegetable Terriyaki "Bowl" - $6.95 (I think)

Little did I know that I didn’t have to be worried about the lack of choices. Of course this is a burger place, but Buffalo’s offered chicken breast sandwiches/burgers, fish-n-chips, chili, buffalo shrimps (delicious!), and terriyaki chicken and veggie bowls. Oh, and there’s salads too.

Best of all, everything is cheap. Cheap,cheap,cheap!

It’s such a deal, seriously. The staff are friendly, the food is good, and the cost won’t make a dent into your wallet. I suppose the only thing that may be overpriced is their buffalo shrimps since it’s 1/2 lb for $6.95, but they’re still delicious.

Buffalo Shrimps with Fries
1/2 lb Buffalo Shrimps with Homemade Fries – $6.95 Buffalo’s also has a great tangy buffalo sauce. They sell it in containers just by itself.

Italian Cuisine

1. Mescolanza Restaurant

2221 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tel.(415)668-2221

I saw this restaurant featured on Check Please! last year I think. Like with Buffalo’s Restaurant, I never got around to actually going there until last week.

Polenta al Funghi

"Polenta al Funghi":roasted polenta with assorted seasonal mushrooms - 8.75

And let me just say, if you like thin crust pizza you must go here. And if you like vegetable pizza then you must try the Eggplant pizza called “Pizzetta Melanzane”. Pizzas only come in one size (8 slices). If you’re hungry, then you can finish it as a single diner. Also, the pizza is decently priced.

"Pizzetta Melanzane" (mozzarella, grilled eggplant, pesto, tomato sauce)

"Pizzetta Melanzane": mozzarella, grilled eggplant, pesto, tomato sauce - $13.95

The crust is cracker thin, the cheese on the Melanzane is not too overpowering, and the spices are tastefully used. (There aren’t too many.) I also suggest trying the desserts because they are divine!

"Pizzetta Mescolanza" (mozzarella, gorgonzola, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, tomato sauce)

"Pizzetta Mescolanza": mozzarella, gorgonzola, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, tomato sauce - $13.95

My mom and I told the waiter it was our first time there so he was very helpful. When I asked him if he preferred the tiramisu or “Cioccolata Con Amaretti” (chocolate flan with amaretto and crushed amaretti cookie), he told me the Cioccolata. No problem so that’s what I ordered.  My mom ordered the “Frutti de Bosco” (mixed European berries on cream in a shortbread crust).

"Frutti di Bosco" (a medley of European wild berries floating on a cream filling in an all butter shortbread crust)

"Frutti di Bosco": a medley of European wild berries floating on a cream filling in an all butter shortbread crust - $7.95

"Cioccolata Con Amaretti" : chocolate flan with amaretto and crushed amaretti cookie

"Cioccolata Con Amaretti" :chocolate flan with amaretto and crushed amaretti cookie - $7.95

When the desserts came out, he had three plates.

“This is the Tiramisu. It’s on the house,” he explain.

"Tiramisu": espresso, Marsala soaked lady fingers layered with mascarpone,  chocolate and Italian cream 	 - $7.95

"Tiramisu": espresso, Marsala soaked lady fingers layered with mascarpone, chocolate and Italian cream - $7.95

My take on the desserts? The tiramisu and chocolate flan are delicious! Get these. The tart was okay but the berries were kind of tart. Nice crust though.

Also, you should dress a little nice. Otherwise if you wear jeans (like we did) you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. However, if you don’t mind then you won’t be scoffed at by the patrons or staff. The staff were incredibly nice!

More thoughts…

So with all the restaurants that I review, I’m thinking about creating another tab next to ‘On the Shelf’. What do you think? Would this be easier to find my previous reviews?

Back from a Road Trip

30 May

Just came back from LA. Took a road trip with my mom and family friend Eric. I was supposed to help drive, but Enterprise car rental won’t allow drivers under 21 to drive on long distances.

La Brea Farmer’s Market

Since we arrived at our hotel in Fullerton late Wednesday, we basically relaxed in the hotel until the next morning. On Thursday, we braved the crazy freeways to get to La Brea. Our original plan was to see the La Brea tar pits but we accidentally got distracted at The Grove mall and Farmer’s Market.

I was amazed by everything there. I loved the little food stands everywhere and how tucked away everything felt.

Nuts, nuts, and more nuts!

Confetti Popcorn

Confetti popcorn, anyone? Besides this kind, there were at least 5 other varieties.

The French Crepe Company

The French Crepe Company's cute painting. Lately I've been hearing a lot about the historic World Fairs.

Japanese Teapots

Japanese Teapots. Did you know there are only 3 Japan Town's in the whole United States? There's one in San Francisco, another in San Jose, and a third in downtown Los Angeles.

Cute sign

Because we live on one big green planet!

Jams

Would you like jam?

Ordering ice cream

Ice cream stand. Too many choices to choose from!

Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

Perfect for a warm summer day.

Cajun Menu

Never did get to try that gumbo...

Veggie Chips

Veggie Chips. What doesn't this company make?

Candle Cupcakes

A store even had candle cupcakes.

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

Veggie Market

We got fresh strawberries, cantalope, plums, and bananas. I bet this market would have even more for better prices during the summer.

Strawberries

We ended up mixing this with the ice cream. A delicious combination!

 From Restaurants: Foxy’s and California Ramen

Fish Taco

Fish Taco from Foxy's Restaurant in Burbank

Fresh dinner rolls with sea salt

Fresh dinner rolls with sea salt. The inside of the dinner roll is made up of strips of bread.

Ramen with grilled chicken and fresh veggies

Ramen with grilled chicken and fresh veggies. The cauliflower were purple and orange, but the waiter assured us they were natural.

Made by Family

Chocolate Loaf Cake

My Aunt Pat made this for me to celebrate my graduation. It's chocolate-y but not dense or fudgy. It has a light crumb and moist texture. The key ingredients: pudding and Bailey's and Vodka. :)

Overall, the trip went well – especially the part beyond the realm of food. :)

Lovin’ Mornings

13 Nov

I can’t even remember what I wrote in my last post … That’s a bad thing, I know. But I’ve got more updates on what I’ve been doing and baking lately!

 

One thing I have learned is that non-expired yeast is ALWAYS better than expire yeast even if the expire yeast has just been expire for 2 weeks. Ick. Not only was this bread made out of expire yeast,  but I didn’t have enough flour so there went my idea for a simple white bread. To come out with 4 cups of flour, I used 2 cups of unbleached flour and 2 cups of oat bran flour. While reading the BreadMan instructions, I noticed that it said oat bran was used to “enhance the texture of the bread” and it made no mention of it being the main source of flour. But oh well, I was craving bread and since I was too lazy to buy any proper ingredients and hand-knead the dough, all the mixed-matched ingredients went into the BreadMan’s bucket and the BreadMan did the rest of the work.

Homemade Oat Bran BreadI don’t think that I hated the bread. It did have an awkward sour-ish taste – was it the yeast or oat bran? But the end result was edible and when toasted with butter was delicious. But let’s just say that I’m glad to have store-bought artisan bread again. :)

So today I went back to St. Anne’s to help out – okay, now I remember what I wrote about last time ^^ – and anyway, after I chopped the carrots, peeled the potatoes, diced the apples, and sprinkled lemon juice over the apples, I was able to make Mexican Wedding Cookies! I’ve never made these before so I don’t know if they turned out the way that they were supposed to, but I’m kind of proud of them! Check ’em out:

Raw Mexican CookiesMexican Cookies FinishedWhat do you think? Did they turn out well for a first-timer’s Mexican Cookies?

Anyway, I just love the weekends. It’s always great to relax and do whatever I like during the mornings. Have I mentioned that I really really enjoy mornings?

Cran Apple MuffinCoffee and Mixed Berry Muffin

Shoulda Had an Inkling…

13 Oct

When my mom picked me up from school today and she handed me the box of candy, I should have known what was up.

The sweet smile and the bag of peaches should have been the second clue.

The third bag with Asian characters on it should have been the third clue.

 

Unknown to me, dinner was going to be really unique. It had definitely stained my memory.

 

This is the first time anything so raw, so squishy, and so natural has appeared on Notebookworthy. Take a good long look at it because I think this may be the only post about these little guys. They’re just so unappetizing to look at! Geez – they have a giant eye!

But if you’re wondering what exactly my mom did with them and how it turned out, I have got to say that when she cooked it, the squid turned into familiar calamari bits. I didn’t see any more eyes.

She sauteed it with vegetables so the dinner wasn’t completely unappetizing. I can’t say it was my favorite meal nor would I want it again any time soon, but it really wasn’t that bad. It sure was inky though!

But I will continue to eat squid just as grilled Ika (Japanese for “squid”) at sushi restaurants and deep-fried calamari at The Bitter End, an Irish pub on Clement Street. I swear that The Bitter End has THE BEST calamari and dip. Better than any calamari I’ve ever tasted.

My Almond Brittle Adventure

15 Jun

Went to the SF Ferry Building again today. Seems like I just can’t get enough of the Embarcadero area! I seriously love this place though. It’s particularly attractive when the sun’s out and the Ferry Farmer’s Market stalls are out.

As I was sampling the delectable goodies among the stalls, I happened to munch upon almond brittle.

It was delicious.

Dark Chocolate Almond Brittle - Close Up

Unlike the previous almond brittle that I have had from the store, this one was not as hard probably because it was not processed as much. I’m not sure but I’d like to think it was at least.

I couldn’t actually see as many whole almonds in there as some of the major brands, but the almond flavor was still dominant. It was thinner than most kinds too. Either way, I couldn’t leave without buying a 4 ounce package of the dark chocolate almond brittle.

When I run out of almond brittle, I’m going to have to make some. Any one have any recommended recipes?Dark Chocolate Almond Brittle

I haven’t much else to say except that I absolutely love going to the Ferry Building. The specialty foodie restaurants and fresh produce are simply irresistible!

If you go, check out  G. L. Alfieri’s Fruit and Nut Stand. At the stand you can find an assortment of nuts, nut butters, almond brittle varieties, and more. Reasonably price though not cheap.

To order from G. L. Alfieri online, click here.

Just remember that the farmer’s market is there on Tuesday, Thursdays, and weekends from 10 am to 2 pm. Plan wisely!

La Mar Restaurant and then to Neverland!

6 Jun

Pee-tah! Pee-tah!

Just one of the funny lines in the San Francisco 360 degrees Theater at Ferry Park. I know it doesn’t seem very funny, but just picturing a grown woman with pigtail braids playing a young Wendy Darling in a nightgown saying this in a British accent.

Peter Pan Tent SceneI’m not too sure how purposely comical the performance was supposed to be, but there were for sure some elements that were quite funny because of the character’s dialogue/asides. Some of the other funny aspects came from the lack of traditional technological and theatrical elements. In order to dramatize the fight scene between Peter Pan and Captain Hook, the actors literally faked slow motion while the slow-mo music played in the background. The entire audience underneath the white tent was laughing. So instead of a climax of suspense, it was almost an anti-climax. But, I’m getting too technical here.

The added 360 degree surround sound and backdrop was a nice. It was definitely different than what I am accustomed to having watched numerous Broadyway musicals over the years – Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Jersey Boys, Grease, A Christmas Carol just to name a few. I did find the performance to be home-y and more private as if the actors were more engaged with the audience. I also enjoyed being up close (row D) to the stage. Though the props were simple and used variously for different scenes as new pieces, I enjoyed seeing the actors’ facial expressions. Not that I expected less, but each actor was in-character the entire time whether or not the spotlight was on them. That, I found, was very professional of them.

Of course, my evening in Neverland would not have been complete with seeing Tinkerbell. This, however, she was not the cute green lady-like character Disney protrays her as. Instead, the theater company had an actor play Tink as a grungy fairy with a whole lot of attitude. Her hair was curly and tied awkwardly on top of her head. Her cute green fairy outfit was instead a dirty white tank with a spewing, rough-looking pink tutu with lights. I had to say that she was definitely entertaining as she spat out, “You [Peter], silly little ass!” when Peter could not understand what Wendy truly thought of him.

Unfortuntely, I do not have any pictures of the actual set. The security was very tight. But here are the links to the site where they have ample videos and pictures.

For  official Peter Pan website and pictures, click here.

The Pre-Pan Dinner at La Mar Restaurant, Pier 1 1/2

While I do not have pictures of Neverland, I do have pictures of the mouthwatering seafood at La Mar Restaurant, which is conveniently located right across the street from the Ferry Park. La Mar is known for their Peruvian fusion cuisine, fresh seafood, and diverse menu.

Check out La Mar’s website for their gastronomic dictionary here.

I found the whole experience at this restaurant unexpectedly casual. It’s definitely a casual dressy place, but the waitress assigned to our outdoor table was very nice.  As my mom pulled out her printed out menu of La Mar, the waitress exclaimed, “We love your kind of customers! You’re here for the food and you know what you want.” She was even quite shocked to find out that my mom and I were, well, mom and daughter. With cow eyes, she looked at my mom and asked, “What’s your secret?” My mom laughed and replied, “I don’t drink or smoke”. And to that, she laughed and said, “Well, that’s out of the question for me!” But besides being the great conversationalist, she was an attentive server who returned back at the appropriate times, asked the right questions, and knowledgeably answered all of ours.

Since my mom’s business friend was technically taking us out as her “business clients”, the four of us girls ordered a ton of stuff. Just look at the pictures. I don’t even know how much the bill was – or how we ate it all.

The Appetizers

Ceviche Tasting

Ceviche Tasting: Mixto (Mahi Mahi, calamari, octopus and habanero pepper in ají amarillo leche de tigre), Chifa (Mahi Mahi with peanuts, scallion in sesame leche de tigree), Nikei (Ahi Tuna, red onion, Japanese cucumber, in tamarind leche de tigre with avocado), Classico (California Halibut and red onions in habanero pepper leche de tigre) --- There were about four more varieties available.

Tiradito Nikei

Tiradito Nikei - Ahi Tuna in Nikei sauce with passion fruit and honey leche de tigre

Empanada Sampler

Empanada Sampler: Chicken, Beef, Corn, and Seafood

The Entrees

Arroz Jugoso

Arroz Jugoso - Prawns, clams, mussels, calamari, octopus, white fish and vegetables in a juicy arborio rice with a blend of Peruvian ajis

Special of the Day: Whole Red Snapper

Special of the Day: Whole Red Snapper

Special of the Day: Tiger Prawns, Farro, Beans with Seaweed Foam

Special of the Day: Tiger Prawns, Farro, Beans with Seaweed Foam

Arroz Norteño

Arroz Norteño - North Peruvian seafood combination with mussels, shrimp, octopus, and fried rice with cilantro and Huancaína sauce (like Paella)

The Desserts

Sorbetes Caseros

Sorbetes Caseros - exotic homemade sorbets

Suspiro Limeño

Suspiro Limeño