A few months ago I got introduced to this gem in Downtown Los Angeles. My life got busy with love and career and I completely abandoned giving tips on where and how to eat well, clean and healthy. Now that one of those two things is on hiatus I felt compelled to share my appreciation for this fine establishment. The chef and owner, Josef Centeno was able to successfully fuse Spanish and Lebanese cuisine staples into one incredible menu. The dishes contain a few solid ingredients and that simplicity gives each plate a distinct ‘Baco’ flair. As a vegan it is close to heaven, for a vegetarian it is pure, unadulterated paradise.
The two things that I keep coming back for are the “za’atar & sumac” and the “caramelized cauliflower”. The first one comes with the signature bäco bread. Za’atar is a blend of middle eastern herbs -mostly oregano and thyme mixed with sesame seeds and the crushed dried berries of the elm-leaved sumach shrub. If this is way too much information for you to digest , just go for the lebni in the middle of it -which a form of strained yoghurt that doesn’t contain whey. The flavors are earthy and the texture is inexplicably perfect. The caramelized cauliflower has the perfect texture and the color reminiscent of a ridgeback puppy. The chili infused lime reduction is a perfect antidote to the sweetness of chives, roasted chestnuts and micro greens. I have had the brussels sprouts, the ocra, the beets, the cucumber salad and they all get a glowing checkmark. If you are a vegan all you have to do is to ask for the cheese or the lebni (lebneh) on the side, but honestly even a committed vegan like me makes an exception once in a while. The prices are reasonable unless you are a carnivore-another reason why you might consider a plant-based diet . Bäco is a perfect place for a date, a casual business dinner, or if you are single the waiter will make sure you get your daily dose of compliments.
Originally Posted on February 26, 2014
408 S. MAIN ST., LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90013 | 213.687.8808