Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A taste of Peru in Pacifica: Puerto 27 offers exotic flavor in a majestic setting

August 10, 2013, 05:00 AM By Brendan Bartholomew Daily Journal

Have a seat in Puerto 27’s busy dining room, take in the sweeping, majestic view of Linda Mar Beach and the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll probably agree that Pacifica has finally become the destination its boosters have always said it could be. Since the Peruvian restaurant’s April opening, it has brought a touch of exotic flavor and class to this unpretentious town.

The restaurant is located at the Pacifica Beach Hotel. With its red and white color scheme and conical roofs, the property is intentionally reminiscent of San Diego’s famous Hotel del Coronado, the resort immortalized in the film, “Some Like it Hot.”

For vacationers, and even for Bay Area residents looking to spend just a night or weekend in Pacifica, the restaurant and hotel are two halves of a luxurious whole. Every guest room has at least a partial ocean view, and contains a Jacuzzi built for two. Allow the Jacuzzi’s powerful water jets to relax you, then stroll down to the restaurant, and the transition may feel quite natural, because the members of the wait staff tend to be calm and capable.

Owner and Executive Chef Jose Calvo-Perez is a San Francisco native with restaurants in his blood. The same year he graduated high school, his father Julio opened the first of three Fresca Peruvian restaurants in San Francisco. He learned the business by helping his parents run the Fresca locations, and he also created and owns the Inner Sunset Latin restaurant, Pasión.

Calvo-Perez studied to be a firefighter at College of San Mateo before enrolling at City College of San Francisco, where he graduated from the school’s renowned culinary arts program. He continued his training at the California Culinary Academy, and then lived in Spain for a year, where he said he had fun and honed his craft.

Calvo-Perez said the decision to open a restaurant in Pacifica was unexpected, and came about after the Pacifica Beach Hotel’s new owner suggested the partnership.

“We never would have thought we’d be in Pacifica,” said Calvo-Perez, “but we thought, wow, we need to be here. This just feels right.”

Calvo-Perez’s mother came up with Puerto 27’s name. The number 27 is significant because April 27, in addition to being the restaurant’s opening date, is also the birthday of Calvo-Perez’s older brother, also named Julio. Julio died in a car crash in 1993. To honor him, the dining room features a multi-panel mural by artist and restaurant designer Michael Brennan, who superimposed an image of Julio’s face over a stunning Peruvian lake panorama.


Submitted by Brendan Bartholomew


Anonymous said...

This place was designed very wrong. It is very loud. Also its a bit too upscale for Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

I like it. Something different and the food is good. Must we limit ourselves to the cheap stuff? Pacifica needs to support these new businesses and their brave owners. I sure wouldn't open a business in this town. Good luck!