Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: April 2, 2009 (La Mar)

Posted 3 April, 2009 at 1:44am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

I met Harold McGee for lunch at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana‎ (Pier 1.5, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA‎ - (415) 397-8880‎) near the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I had never met Harold before but had read many of his writings and discussed several of his articles with Papa and my wife (most recently, this one for the New York Times on How Much Water Does Pasta Really Need?). Harold is friendly and easy to talk to (he's got a great easy going attitude but carries himself with an air of attentiveness) - we ended up talking about everything from my upcoming move to Austin, some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area, and, of course, his incredible book On Food And Cooking (which everyone that reads Cooking For Engineers should have a copy of).
Harold McGee and Michael Chu

At El Mar, they started us with fried chips (plaintains, sweet potato, potato) with dipping sauces. The chips were so good I forgot to try the dipping sauces that came with them.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana - Chips

I ordered their Cebiche Mixto as my first course. The ceviche was spicy and brightly acidic. The flavors were great and the fish (mahi mahi, octopus, and calamari) were extremely fresh. (Unfortunately, the camera didn't properly focus on the ceviche…)
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana - Cebiche Mixto

I followed with Tiradito Clasico which is a tasty sashimi of corvina fish with lime and cilantro.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana - Tiradito Clasico

And ended with Causa Limeña. Whipped potatoes in column form are topped with a delicious Dungeness crab salad topped with a little avocado puree. The sauce was aji amarillo Huancaina and had a quail egg and cherry tomato served with it. This was a great dish - but a little too filling. I think two would have been good - then Harold and I could have had the antichucos de coraz&oactue;n (beef heart, potatoes, and Peruvian corn grilled on a skewer) that we had planned to order.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana - Causa Limena

For dinner, Tina and I heated up some leftovers (pork ribs and cornbread from Nate and Annie's). We also had a pomelo.
Leftover Pork Ribs

4 comments to What I Ate: April 2, 2009 (La Mar)

Don, April 3rd, 2009 at 7:11 am:

  • That last dish looks very unique. Is the entire white mass above the column the crab salad? It looks very… mayo-ey?

Michael Chu, April 3rd, 2009 at 9:19 am:

  • That white ball top the yellow column is all crab salad. It actually didn't taste like it had too much dressing - in fact, while eating it, I commented to Harold that it was just the right amount. You could taste it, but it didn't overwhelm and it was just the right amount of lubrication for the crab meat. The only problem was that for two of the three, there were a few pieces of crab shell in the salad.

Nate, April 6th, 2009 at 10:11 pm:

  • How'd those ribs taste after reheating?

Michael Chu, April 7th, 2009 at 9:41 pm:

  • A bit dry… but you can still taste the differences in each one. (I knew exactly what I was eating when one of them had a particularly strong celery flavor!)