Brunch

Brunch on Brickell Key: La Mar's Peruvian Extravaganza

The best things in life are free. Unless it's La Mar's Peruvian brunch extravaganza.

Nosh away on an array of flavorful bites on their intimate waterfront terrace or inside with a deep-house DJ spinning in the background. Sunday brunch at the Mandarin Oriental eatery is bold. 

Start at their extensive hot and cold plate buffet showcasing a blend of traditional and modern South American cuisine, with hints of Japanese and Chinese inspiration. As you journey, keep one thing in mind: These are just appetizers. Don't make the mistake of filling up too soon because three more courses await.

Find a variety of ceviches and Peruvian-style sushi rolls, BBQ pork belly buns and pan con chicharrones, anticucho grilled chicken, octopus, veal heart, and yellow corn, leche de tigre shots, scallop crudo, and an assortment of empanadas, sliders, and whole fish. End your appetizer spree with a fruit bowl and your choice of orange, strawberry, or mango syrup to cleanse the palate.  

It's time to glance at the menu and choose your main plate. But if you think that means a quick food break, think again. As you wait, indulge in chaufa aeropuerto, a Peruvian spin on fried rice. It's made with Chinese sausage, roasted pork, egg, nikkei sauce, and pickled salad in a bowl of pan-fried rice mixed table-side. 

Now on to the third course. The menu boasts four plates: Pescado chorrillana made with the catch-of-the-day, tamarind chorrillana sauce, mashed yuca and smoked bacon; jalea frita made with calamari, octopus, fish, shrimp and yuca; lomo saltado and fried egg made with Angus beef, stir fried potatoes, red onions and cilantro; and plancha anticuchero made with grilled octopus, calamari, crushed potatoes, aj√≠ panca and chimichurri. Craving seafood? Go for the jalea frita. Not a seafood lover? The lomo saltado and fried egg is a surefire choice. 

Brunch isn't complete without dessert. And at La Mar, dessert is as important as any other course. The eatery will do all the choosing for you, adding a hint of suspense. Trust us, it'll be worth it.

You'll receive a colorful, wooden, dollhouse-esque box at your table. Open it up to find a line-up of La Mar's sweetest sweets. Nibble on mini ice-cream bars, fudge cones, Key lime pies, tarts, macarons, truffles, and alfajores. Yum. 

And as most luxuries in life, this brunch comes with a hefty price tag. What we described will have you out 85 bucks plus gratuity. Add on another $35 for an upgraded main-course menu. But the good news is both include unlimited brunch cocktails and select wines. And if you had to choose, go for their classic pisco sour or bloody mary. 

Their Sunday brunch runs from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. To be safe, plan for about a two-hour dining experience.

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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch