The story of La Calma began with Gabriel Layera, with his passion of sea produce, he founded La Caleta Chile, a small business who works with independent fishers and provides seafood products freshly out the sea to the most famous restaurants in Santiago, like Ambrosía, 99 Restaurante, Naoki, Osaka…, thanks to him, eat “pesca del dia” (fish of the day) was finally possible in Santiago.
A great passionate for sea produce for sure, but also for cooking, Gabriel was the chef in the kitchen of Europeo restaurant, I suppose that open himself a restaurant with his own fresh produce has been a dream, and today, this dream comes true!
La Calma is located in Vitacura, not far from where I live, one more reason for me to go there right now!
So I had my lunch with my dear half on the terrace, with Autumn mild sunshine. We had such a hard time to start with, choosing from the menu, all plates sound great, and so many sea food’s names unfamiliar for us, exoticism really does mean something in this case.
For the amuse bouche, we had this typical Chilean bread churrasca (bread baked in a pan) with marinated anchovy, the anchovy was just marvelous.
Almejas y piure (clams with small pieces of piure, a Chilean seafood with a big shell and a red-orange flesh inside, a quite strong taste). The flesh of the clams was juicy and fresh, we have the impression of being at the seaside, the tiny pieces of piure gave peps and more personality. It’s the first time for me to eat the piure, and I was glad to have them in this combination!
Cebiche de pescado con erizo (Cebiche with urchin). Another surprisingly good dish with wonderful urchin, tender, melting and smooth. The marinade was well done, balanced and savory.
For the dessert, caramelized fig with murtillas (a red berry, typical fruit from the south of Chile). Gabriel the chef came to our table with a little bowl of fresh murtillas, and explained to me that this berry can be founded only in Chile, sweet and sour, very fruity, and went perfectly with the fig!
To accompany with our lunch, we also had very nice Sauvignon Blanc wine from San Antonio. I wanted order some fried empanadas which looked very nice, but they were all sold out, that gave me a reason to go back!
We have tried several fish restaurants in Santiago, some very bad ones with not very fresh stinking fish, some correct ones with decent products but gross preparations. Here we finally found a restaurant we like and will return to!
La Calma could well be the newest and the best sea food restaurant in town! The produce is extremely fresh and all very good. The preparations are done to highlight its quality. It is not the most technically complicated cuisine and might even lack of finesse in the very details. But the produce is so fantastic and the dishes put it so generously in the centre. The Chef’s touch always adds a bit of extra and respects the produce. Paying the bill won’t spoil the party either as the prices are still very reasonable for Vitacura.
Nueva Costanera 3832, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile
Tel: 2 2667 4416
Opening: Monday-Saturday, 1:00pm-3:30pm, 7:30pm-11:00pm