Ceviche: it's what's for brunch at La Mar. Well, ceviche, Peruvian sushi, anticuchos, pork buns, causas, and whole grilled crispy snapper. Also: three kinds of pisco sours, lychee mimosas, Bloody Marys, and a drink called el tunki (a Peruvian concoction of barsol acholado, peach liqueur, lemon juice, and fruit punch). If that sounds dangerous, it's cause it is. This, by the way, is just the beginning.
Once you've had your fun and helped yourself to as many items as you can from the hot and cold stations, you'll actually order entrees a la carte. But save room for dessert, because you'll receive either a house or a tower of sweets. If that's not the definition of brunch, I'm not really quite sure what is.
Priced at $85 per person, La Mar's brunch ain't cheap, but it's well worth the pricetag. The inclusion of pisco sours alone (choose from chica, classic, or guava) when combined with the food give you your money's worth if you drink four (an easy task to accomplish during brunch). Pisco not your thing? Bloody Marys, mimosas (go for the lychee), or el tunki are your all you can drink alternatives. It's Sunday funday indeed.
As for the all-you-can-eat food, La Mar's spread is a wonderland of all things Peruvian. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but every single plate I tried (and I tried it all) was delicious.
Out of everything offered, the lobster chupe was the only thing that didn't really tickle my fancy. Served with an egg, jalapeno, and a few other garnishes, it had too much going on.
It could have also been that I was sitting outside in 85-degree weather wearing boots and having soup. But with a view like this, who in their right mind would brunch inside?
As you navigate through the cold section, start with the BBQ pork belly bun or the pan con chicharron. Both are delectable.
Classic potato causa with octopus, beet and crab causa, and vegetarian are served on the cutest little platforms to keep you going back one for more.
Scallop crudo is served in its shell, and besides its gorgeous presentation delivers in clean and fresh flavors.
Tuna aficionados like myself can get their fix with the ceviche nikei or tuna tiradito.
Want some fruit? Bowls of fruit salad with your choice of syrup.
Have your way through the rest of the cold station. That means oysters, ceviche classico, shrimp ceviche, yuca, and leche de tigre shots. In Peru, leche de tigre is the ultimate hangover cure, Pretty sure you know what to do here.
On the hot side, you have anticucho grill items that include free range chicken, octopus, veal heart, scallops and yellow corn. Also, La Mar's signature whole fish nikei. In our case, the catch of the day was snapper but it will vary according to what's available.
You'll then order one entree per person from the four choices included with the $85 brunch. While you wait, a chaufa aeropuerto for the table will keep the food momentum going strong. Another Miami signature dish, the fried rice specialty, combines Chinese sausage, roasted pork, shrimp omelet, nikkei sauce, and pickled salad in a wok that's mixed table-side.
Entrees include grouper chorillana (grouper in tamarind chorrillana sauce and mashed yuca with smoked bacon); jalea frita with calamari, octopus, fish, shrimp, plantain chips, cebiche sauce, chalaca, and yuca; lomo saltado topped with a fried egg; and plancha anticuchero, which is grilled octopus and calamari with crushed potatoes, ají panca pepper sauce, chimichurri and choclo corn. From these options, my personal favorite was the jalea frita.
But for $105 total (so $20 surcharge) you can have the king crab plancha anticuchera with crushed potatoes,ají panca pepper sauce, chimichurri and choclo corn. it's brunch -- go big or go home. Or in this case, go king crab.
The real treat of La Mar's decadent brunch spread is dessert. Custom-made dessert houses have been commissioned from a Peruvian artist. Better than any doll house, this colorful contraption opens from all sides to reveal a bevy of sweets.
From alfajores, seasonal macarons and tarts, lemon pie, homemade candies, and La Mar's signature chocolate mousse with quinoa, it will satisfy any and every sweet tooth.
Watch out Biltmore, Peruvian brunch at La Mar is here to stay.
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La Mar's brunch is served on Sundays from 11:30am to 3:30pm. The last seating will be at 3pm.Cost is $85 per person. For an additional $20 per person, guests will receive a choice of one premium Peruvian entrée specialty. For children ages 6-12, brunch is $35, and children under 6 years old are complimentary.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha