Limon bursts back onto the dining scene

Limon finally reopened a month ago after a fire. In the year and a half it took to rebuild, Peruvian cooking jumped out of neighborhoods onto The Embarcadero, where La Mar Cebicheria burst onto the scene. Straight from Lima, it brought the high-style, cutting-edge excitement of big-city Latin American restaurants to The City.

So it’s a good thing Limon has relaunched with a hot new look and an urban vibe. It still keeps one foot in the neighborhood with a communal table and plenty of first-come bar and counter seating, but a quieter mezzanine with lime-green leather banquettes and dark wood tables and chairs provides the comfort for a full evening of culinary entertainment.

The fun starts with dishes from the cebiche bar. In tres tiempos ($14), slices of ono, red snapper and ahi each get their own modulated, creamy-textured Peruvian salsas built with tropical fruits, Peruvian herbs and a spectrum of fresh and dried chilies. The pastel sauces support the delicate and elusive flavor of raw fish.

Atun al Tausi ($16) evokes filet of beef, each deep red slice of ahi coated around the edges with powdered fermented black beans, adding a truffle-like quality contrasted by a tart-sweet tamarind sauce.

Thick medallions of charcoal-grilled octopus ($12) have a wondrous texture, a standoff between tender and chewy that gives it the heft of meat. A sprightly salad of Incan quinoa ($8) is like a fine grained tabouli, except with avocado, olives, hearts of palm and a lively, fruity dressing. If you share cebiches and appetizers, not everyone at the table needs a main course, but don’t neglect them. They are some of the best dishes on the menu, especially a whole fried red snapper ($24). Mine the head for the best bits. Dip the fish into a velvety rocoto chili curry. A molded mound of coconut fried rice is so luscious, it may cause fights.

Lomo saltado ($21) also causes the normally generous to covet. Juicy fingers of sirloin are wok-tossed with strips of red onion, tomato and soy sauce, creating a smoky dark gravy, which also sauces a top knot of french fries wrapped in a fried plantain ribbon, Peruvian-Chinese-steak frites!

For dessert, choose lasana amazonica ($8), a delicate construct of caramelized paper-thin slices of pineapple layered with puffy guava cream, surrounded by strawberry sauce, crowned with spun, caramelized sugar.

I like a glass of versatile cava ($8), Spanish sparkling wine with the appetizers, and then a soft Argentinean pinot noir from Alfred Roca ($8/$30) with real pinot noir character for the entrees.

Patricia Unterman is author of the second edition of the “San Francisco Food Lovers’ Pocket Guide.” Contact her at pattiu@concentric.net.

 

Limon

Location: 524 Valencia St. (near 16th Street), San Francisco
Contact: (415) 252-0918
Hours: Dinner 5 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday
Price range: Cebiche and appetizers, $3 to $16; entrees $17 to $25
Recommended dishes: Tiradito tres tiempos; quinoa salad; grilled octopus; lomo saltado; whole crispy red snapper; lasana amazonica
Credit cards: All major
Reservations: Accepted

entertainmentFeaturesFood & DrinkFood and Wine

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The sidewalk on Egbert Avenue in the Bayview recently was cluttered with car parts, tires and other junk. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
New surveillance effort aims to crack down on illegal dumping

’We want to make sure we catch people who are trashing our streets’

The recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled for Sept. 14. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF could play a big role in overcoming Democrat apathy, driving voter turnout for Newsom

San Francisco voters are not used to swaying elections. Just think of… Continue reading

Health care workers treat a Covid-19 patient who needs to be intubated before being put on a ventilator at Providence St. Mary Medical Center during a surge of cases in Apple Valley, Dec. 17, 2020. Confronted with surging infections, California became the first state in the country to mandate coronavirus vaccines or testing for state employees and health-care workers. (Ariana Drehsler/The New York Times)
In California, a mix of support and resistance to new vaccine rules

By Shawn Hubler, Livia Albeck-Ripka and Soumya Karlamangla New York Times SACRAMENTO… Continue reading

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

Most Read