Saturday, July 11, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart

Gaston Acurio's first stateside restaurant, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is newly opened and serves what some call authentic Peruvian cuisine. On the very large menu are "anticuchos de corazón", or grilled beef heart served with potatoes, Peruvian corn and a side of rocoto (a spicy fruit) sauce. I saw this item, was momentarily grossed out but could not resist ordering it. With Aileen, my eating buddy who is even more daring than I, egging me on it isn't exactly easy to back out. Sitting at the bar in the dining room of the gorgeous waterfront restaurant with its cool blue, grey and white color palette we admire the restaurant's stemware and the calm of the chefs working efficiently in the semi-open kitchen. Stuck in my head is the image of some grotesque skewered meat chunk with many chambers. I picture taking one bite and blood squirting all over the older ladies next to me who will not stop blathering about the beef hearts saying " that sounds gross" and "who would order that?" A stream of blood straight to the face would have been wildly entertaining and served them right. What our server brought out was nothing close to my mental pictue. It looks more like a small cut of a steak. At first taste they are just like a steak, seasoned with lime and some mystery blend of spices. After chewing and swallowing they leave the slightest hint of that chalky eww taste that all organ meats have. Surprisingly beef hearts are good. Maybe this makes me sound like a vampire but the jury is in and the verdict is, DELICIOUS. Pier 1 1/2, (415) 397-8880

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