La Mar Bar Opens on San Francisco’s Iconic Embarcadero

Reveling in the Spirit of Peru, La Mar Cocina Peruana Launches Reimagined Bar
La Mar Bar Opens March 23 on San Francisco’s Iconic Embarcadero
Photo: Marc Fiorito // Gamma Nine

La Mar Cocina Peruana, the Bay Area’s Peruvian sea-to-table restaurant by chef and leader in Peruvian gastronomy Gaston Acurio, announced the reopening of the newly renovated La Mar Bar on Thursday, March 23, 2023. La Mar Bar embraces the spirit of Peru with a sea-inspired design inviting guests to imbibe pisco and agave-centric cocktails paired with an array of sharable Peruvian bar snacks by Executive Chef Victoriano Lopez amidst a bustling social scene.

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“As we redesigned La Mar Bar, we wanted to breathe new life into the Embarcadero’s bar scene and provide an enhanced experience for our guests while finding innovative ways to showcase Peruvian cuisine, spirits, and hospitality,” said Thomas Medl, Director of Operations in a statement. “It was easy to imagine the energy of the renovated space — guests clinking cocktails, sharing tastes of their favorite dishes, and late nights set to a live DJ’s soundtrack. We are ready to welcome guests for evenings spent over good food, cocktails, and music accompanied by a scintillating ambiance.”

The bar program has an exclusive menu of craft cocktails—separate from the restaurant’s offerings—as well as the Bay Area’s largest selection of pisco, the grape-based national spirit of Peru. The cocktail menu tempts imbibers with selections from Bubbly & Bright to Rich & Round, Bold & Brash and Clasicos de Peru. Standout cocktails include a twist on the classic chilcano, the Citrus Chilcano, grapefruit & lemon, Cuatro Gallos pisco acholado, Mommenpop blood orange aperitif, ginger, and carbonation; a Peruvian take on the espresso martini, Que Bacan, Barsol pisco torontel, Kahlua, espresso, and Lustau East India sherry; Golden Gate Punch, La Caravedo pisco acholado, spiced pineapple cordial, Fernet Branca, and lemon; and Pasado de Moda, Maker’s Mark bourbon, La Diablada pisco acholado, rooibos demerara, spiced chocolate bitters, and hickory smoke. The impressive spirit selection highlights highly sought-after bottles of piscos, tequilas, mezcals, Japanese whiskies and more.

A menu of well-curated, Peruvian-influenced snacks entices guests to share amongst the table with Nigiri offerings like Cebichero, cured Hamachi, rocoto sauce, and chalaca; Norteño, duck breast, aji Amarillo-cilantro, and chalaca; Lujoso, Maine scallops, artichoke, parmesan sauce topped with caviar; an array of Taquitos in crispy shells including Salmon, purple corn tortillas, avocado, jalapeno-cilantro sauce, salmon tartar, salmon roe, and greens; Dungeness Crab, purple corn tortilla, local Dungeness crab, avocado, salsa roja, and chalaca; and Tuna, yellow corn tortilla, ahi tuna tartare, avocado, smoke aji Amarillo sauce, and golden tapioca; and Especiales de la Casa like Aji de Gallina Croquetas, chicken breast stewed in aji Amarillo, parmesan, polleria, and black olive sauce; Choclo con Queso, Peruvian corn, sweet corn sauce, queso fresco, and gruyere; and Chicharron de Pollo, chicken thigh marinated with lemon and Peruvian spices served with salsa roja.

“I playfully approached the La Mar Bar menu to pair well with an evening of socializing, drinking, and dining,” commented Executive Chef Victoriano Lopez. “To create offerings exclusively available within the new space, we reinterpreted the authentic Peruvian dishes and flavor profiles into bite-sized bar snacks and finger foods that highlight local, seasonal ingredients. I hope guests will find new tastes to savor and enjoy joining us again and again.”

A natural extension of the main restaurant, located in a dedicated space adjoining the lobby, the 49-seat bar and lounge is ideal for drinks with friends or colleagues, late night libations and bites, pre- or post-dinner cocktails, or a dining experience in and of itself. Designed by David Magid of Los Angeles-based architecture firm, Magid Studio, La Mar Bar’s interiors draw inspiration from the fishing villages south of Lima, Peru, coupled with the oceanic themes that recall not only the restaurant’s seafood-centric cuisine but also its waterfront setting in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district.

Stepping into La Mar Bar, guests are immersed in shades of blue and green. A 13-seat bar greets guests at the entry with a multicolor fish scale-like glazed ceramic tile siding, zinc countertops that will patina over time, and globe-like pendants softly illuminating from above. Behind the bar, custom backlit white oak shelves housing Pisco, tequila and Japanese whisky bottles with steel mesh backing allow for glimpses of the picturesque San Francisco Bay beyond. During the day, sunlight filters through the large front windows shimmering onto the stone high-top tables outfitted with cherry wood backed barstools with teal-colored seats. By night, dimly lit lounge-style vignettes framed by lush greenery lure lingering evenings with woven leather chairs reminiscent of fishing nets and linen sofas accompanied by powder coated smoky aqua tables. Swimming above the lively landscape, a playful, handwoven calamari sculpture from Peruvian artisan David Goicochea suspends from the airy 18-foot ceiling, specially crafted for La Mar Bar and imported from the artist’s workshop in Lima, Peru.

Located at Pier 1 ½ on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, La Mar Bar at La Mar Cocina Peruana will be open seven days a week 5 – 9 p.m.

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.
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