One of our favorite views in the city at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key just got a little livelier. La Mar by Gastón Acurio is adding a new waterfront concept to its already impressive venue. Last week YAKU by La Mar celebrated their opening day. The terrace of La Mar has been transformed into a Peruvian cocktail lounge with fun tiki style drinks and delicious light bites.
Executive Chef Diego Oka says it’s a concept he’s had on his mind for many months and has been working to make it just right before finally launching it. We were fortunate to get a sneak peek just prior to the SOBEWFF craziness and we can’t wait to go back. YAKU, meaning ‘water’ in Quechua which is an ancestral language dating back to the Inca Empire, is inspired by the gorgeous panoramic water views of the restaurant and brought to life by the beautiful Brickell skyline.
Open Thursday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., YAKU will feature hand-crafted punch cocktails, beers, wines, and champagne by the glass. Cocktails are priced at $12, a modest price considering its Brickell location and those views (seriously, can’t get enough of the views.)
● YAKU Punch, rum, mango puree, lime juice, chicha morada
● La Picarona Punch with rum, Midori, lime juice, pineapple juice, orange juice;
● Sexy Bombon Punch with bourbon, orange juice, cinnamon, orange bitters
● Amorsito Punch which includes Pisco, Quebranta infused with ginger, lime juice, pineapple juice, ginger beer, angostura bitters and a dash of eucalyptus syrup.
Of course, where there are cocktails there is a need for a little food. Chef Diego has created a light bites menu of eight items priced at $8 each.
Some of the dishes include:
Cebiche Tostado with tuna tartare, crispy onions, chipotle aioli, avocado
KFC Popcorn Chicken with Korean fried chicken with Peruvian Chilies, gochujang, sesame, scallions
Los Choritos with mussels in their juice with caucau flavors, toasted bread and crostini
Yuccas Estrelladas with hash yuccas, queso fresco, garlic and egg.
YAKU is a perfect spot to begin or end your night, or even make it your entire night. Props to Chef Diego for bringing this spot to life! If you happen to be lucky enough to get a llama keychain on your visit, feed your llama or get it drunk (as per Diego’s request) and share your photos using #yakubylamar - we will be on the lookout for them!
500 Brickell Key
( Photo credit: Andrew Giambarba for MIAbites )