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Our Story

At Llama San we specialize in Peruvian Nikkei cuisine which emerged in the early 1900s when many Japanese people migrated to Peru and quickly merged their traditions, ingredients and cooking techniques with Peruvian cuisine. This wonderful symbiosis happened primarily in the coastal urban cities of our plentiful Pacific Ocean.

Our take on Nikkei is unique, as it reflects our own perspectives as immigrants in the United States. We have also adapted to incorporate local ingredients in our humble efforts to advance the boundaries of Peruvian Nikkei. Behind the creativity of our concept and food is Chef Erik Ramirez, JBF’s Best Chef nominee 2023, who isa first generation American-born Japanese – Peruvian. With his food, Chef Erik channels the nostalgia of being raised by, and learning to cook along, his Japanese/Peruvian grandmother with his upbringing in Northern New Jersey and New York City.

Naturally, our cocktail program walks hand-in-hand with our culinary program, taking inspiration from the flavors and ingredients, its techniques, merging both, classic and modern approaches, to connect Nikkei with the cultural hub that is New York City.

Our wine list, crafted by our sommelier Daniella Lauricella, has also taken a very deliberate point of view, focusing exclusively on coastal wines (except for champagne). Peruvian Nikkei food is predominantly seafood oriented, thus salinity, minerality and agility are virtues that we seek in the wines that we offer. 

We feature a selection of white wines, that again, do not resort to expensive and ubiquitous euro-centric clichés, but rather to what works with our food; skin contact wines that in many instances substitute the need for reds, and then a shorter but extremely well-considered selection of red wines that is intended to complement and accompany our food rather than obscure it.

Our Team