By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An authentic taste of Peru is what you’ll get at the all new La Mar restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key.

La Mar is owned by Peruvian celebrity chef Gaston Acurio who created the concept of an upscale “cevicheria” with more.

Chef Diego Oka, who hails the title of executive chef at La Mar, has been working alongside Chef Gaston in his restaurants for more than a decade.

“Gaston thought that having a cevicheria is a good concept to promote our country, to show the world our food,” said Chef Oka. “We started in 2005 with a restaurant in Colombia, then San Francisco, Chile, Brazil and Miami is now.”

La Mar is a high-energy eatery in a setting with dramatic water views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. Seating is offered both indoor and out and the restaurant has two open-kitchens: one for ceviche, the other for grilling.

The menu is diverse, filled with upscale Novo-Andean fare to Asian-Peruvian fusion, some traditional street food and, of course, ceviche.

“It’s the quality of the ingredients that makes a good ceviche,” said Chef.

Tasting some of La Mar’s food, CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo describes her bite as, “The citrus is the perfect amount, the crunch of the Peruvian corn and the freshness of the fish is mind-numbing.”

Next up for tasting, Petrillo is served what the chef describes as “a typical boat in Peru” which was filled with crab, octopus and tuna tartar.

Petrillo, impressed by the presentation of the food, said the array was like a “work of art.”

Following the seafood boat, Petrillo is served something she wasn’t accustomed to eating.

“This is beef heart,” said Chef Diego.

“Beef heart? You’re scaring me,” said Petrillo.

Petrillo took a bite—taking one for the Taste of the Town team.

“You know what? It’s good. I actually like the flavor,” said Petrillo.

For more information on La Mar, visit the restaurant’s website at


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