Peruvian Perfection…

Authentic and delectable.

Llama San is a new, creative and welcoming restaurant in the west village serving up Nikkei cuisine, a complex blending of Peruvian and Japanese flavors.

The place was hopping last Friday night.

I booked at the bar and ended up with a table in the back by the kitchen.

The 65-seat space is done up in blonde wood adorned with a plethora of plants and inviting, soft lighting.

It was interesting to see all the beautifully plated dishes, showcased on attractive crockery, sashaying their way out to eager diners.

Excited to sample the cuisine, we kicked things off with the Hamachi Tiradito with Maine Uni and coconut. It was fabulous, highlighted by the memorable matcha foam which had substance and flavor ($24).

The Japanese Eggplant with pine nuts, small mounds of cheese, Peruvian black mint and sectioned grapes was refreshingly delightful. The eggplant served as a platform for the grapes and creamy cheese with the pine nuts contributing a crunchy, tasty dimension ($18).

An outstanding entree was the Octopus with crab, jasmine rice enhanced with creamy butter, dashe and a divine 6 minute egg marinated in soy ($30).

We tacked on the Tuna Ceviche with black trumpet mushrooms and walnuts which was bathed in ponzu. The tuna was sweet and silky ($22).

The Miso Banana dessert with white sesame was rich and creamy. I am not a big banana fan, but this dish could convert me ($10).

The staff is professional and gracious, especially general manager and wine director, Kasia Krupinska,  who has opened up all three properties, Lama Inn in Williamsburg, west village sandwich shop, Llamita and Llama San.

Heading up the beverage program is Lynnette Marrero, Her cocktails mix well with the food, integrating the signature Japanese and Latin flavors.

Chef Erik Ramirez who opened Llama San a month ago is delightful and amazingly busy running between his 3 restaurants.

Chef Ramirez told us about his intriguing omakase menu which must be ordered 48 hours in advance and has a $150 price tag.

He is one half of the innovative duo comprised of Ramirez and business partner Juan Correa.

The menu is Nikkei, a cuisine created by a wave of Japanese immigrants who moved to Peru in the late 1800s…inspiration by way of Ramirez’s Nikkei grandmother.

Lama San is located in the old Tertulia space on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village and the owners have taken the space from darkness into the light, featuring their illuminating cuisine.

The original opening was set for January.

A fire put a stop to those plans, but it was worth the wait.

Llama San is a tantalizing, intimate restaurant which provides the very best of the melding of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, culminating in a perfect marriage of outstanding flavors.

Llama San 359 Sixth Avenue New York City. Open Sunday-Tuesday 5-10pm, Wednesday-Saturday 5-11pm. Reservations on Resy.


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