Mixing with pisco at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

Ask Yucatan-born bar manager Joselino Solis to translate this restaurant’s name, and he’ll tell you that a cebicheria is a place that only serves seafood. Although seafood is unquestionably the main attraction, you’ll also find quail eggs, chicken, empanadas and Peruvian beef specialties such as anticuchos and corazon on the menu. Naturally, the cocktail selection includes pisco-based beverages, such as the pisco sour and pisco punch. Solis has lived and worked in San Francisco for 14 years. His résumé includes Beretta, Chez Papa Resto, and Bacar Restaurant & Wine Salon. Two generations of his family have been restaurant owners, and Solis owns a taqueria back home in Merida, Yucatan, in Mexico, which is run by his wife and 20-year-old son. He also has two daughters.

Isn’t it hard being so far away from your wife and kids? Yes, but I always go see them; every year I go over there. Usually I stay for a month. Two or three years ago, I went and stayed there for 11 months.

How did you get your start in bartending? I was working at Bacar, which is now Alexander’s Steakhouse. My first two bartenders told me, “OK, you want to make drinks? First you have to wash glasses.” I bar-backed there for two years and worked my way up. I became lead bartender in 2005. I had really good mentors: Carlos Yturria, Neyah White and Ryan Fitzgerald. Being a bartender is a really fun job. I didn’t think it was going to be my career, but I’ve been doing it 10 years already.

What makes working at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana fun for you? The customers. Everybody knows what they’re asking for, but they appreciate my input. I had some customers recently who wanted to know the difference between Laphroaig and Highland Park scotch whisky, and I told them about the regions where they are made. They thanked me for knowing, because they’d been to another restaurant where the bartender couldn’t answer their questions. I actually learn a lot from my customers. The more you talk, the more you learn.

Is there any style or sensibility you’re trying to express with your drinks? What I focus on is making a tropical cocktail. When you go to Peru, the cocktails tend to be tropical.

What’s your take on San Francisco after living here as long as you have? This city is wonderful. You can go anywhere and try so many different things. And we have our baseball team winning two World Series already!

Do you have any hobbies? I’m always on the computer learning about cocktails, but my only hobby is checking on my business in Mexico.

Is it a bit of an adjustment to be a business owner, yet also somebody’s employee? Not really. My dream was to open a taqueria. That already happened, but I was not satisfied. To be in San Francisco, working behind the bar as a bar manager — I’m learning a lot of things, and this brings me closer to my next dream, which is to some day open my own Latin American bar.

CHOLITA

1.5 oz Pisco Porton

1.25 oz lime juice

½ oz crème de cassis

½ oz ginger syrup

½ oz simple syrup

1 jalapeno wheel (goes in shaker with other ingredients)

Shake, then pour over ice into chilled Collins glass. Top off with ginger beer, then garnish with a lime peel and another jalapeno wheel.

Bar info:

La Mar Cebichería Peruana

Pier 1 ½ The Embarcadero

(415) 397 8880

lamarsf.com

SF Examiner
Share
Published by
SF Examiner

Recent Posts

SF supes propose raising minimum wage to $17 for nonprofit, elderly care workers

Seven days a week, Najuwanda Daniels is either working behind the front desk of a nonprofit-run housing development in the…

8 hours ago

BART exploring unarmed civilian ‘ambassadors’ to patrol trains

As BART police ask the agency to hire more armed police officers, two board members are taking a different route…

8 hours ago

San Francisco Giants react to Bobby Evans removal as general manager

AT&T PARK -- The changes started gradually, first on the field, when the San Francisco Giants traded free agent signee…

8 hours ago

Oakland Athletics clinch playoff spot, beat Mariners

Just before first pitch in Seattle, thanks to the New York Yankees closing out a 4-1 win over the Tampa…

10 hours ago

Hunter Pence clear-eyed as he looks at possible curtain call with San Francisco Giants

 AT&T PARK -- On Sunday, the day before the San Francisco Giants' final homestand of the season, former third…

11 hours ago

San Francisco 49ers will ride C.J. Beathard after Garoppolo ACL injury, working out backup options

By C.J. Peterson Special to S.F. Examiner SANTA CLARA -- With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo officially out for the season…

13 hours ago