CERVETECA DOWNTOWN LA
BEACH GOODNESS COMES TO THE HEART OF THE CITY
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Cerveteca, at least the original Venice Beach location. Now there’s also a Culver City destination, and most recently, a downtown LA eatery as well.
Located in downtown’s Arts District, Cerveteca Downtown LA is, as owner Oscar Hermosillo, who also owns Venice Beach Wines, likes to say has brought his concept of “L.A. comfort food” to the heart of the city. Cerveteca Downtown LA occupies the former East 3rd Street site of sushi icon R23. As in Venice, Cerveteca’s menu offers a fusion of many of the same elements that drive concepts at his other restaurants, but features new dishes that reflect the varying culinary and social appetites that define Los Angeles food culture.
“We married some of the elements from both restaurants, such as the charcuterie and cheese, crafted beers and carefully selected wines we have at Venice Beach Wines, but mainly focus on presenting similar dishes to what we serve at Cerveteca Venice Beach, with some exciting new layers,” said Hermosillo. “One of the things that sets us apart and is new in our downtown location is a fully stocked raw bar with a wide variety of ceviche.”
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with an array of treats from the Raw Bar, including outstanding oysters from Fanny Bay, as well as Peruvian Tiradito, yellowtail, Scottish Salmon Crudo, and Camaron Agua Chile (Key Lime cured butterflied shrimp, cucmber, chile cascabel, and red onion). The Raw Bar dishes are so fresh and light—they’re reason enough to head to downtown for dinner. Other popular menu items include Asian-spiced pulled pork sandwiches, tacos de barbacoa, bitter orange chicken wings, and Chinese chicken kale salad.
“These dishes, I think, are reflective of what we are all about here in Los Angeles, which is a melting pot of many cultural influences,” Hermosillo explained. “And, hey, how much more ‘comfort’ can you get when my mom makes the homemade sauces for many of the items served in our restaurants?”
For our hearty entrees from the Platos Grandes section of the menu, we opted for the Spicy Baby Back Ribs served with mac n’ cheese and green beans, needless to say we added bacon to our mac n’ cheese, along with the Chorizo Burger!
Let’s just stop for a moment and acknowledge the Chorizo Burger. I’m a burger fan and a proud devotee of chorizo so mix the two and I swear you have dynamite. This bad boy burger features a chorizo (pork and beef) burger patty, Oaxacan cheese, aioli, and a fried egg on a brioche bun. Just writing about it makes me want another one stat! This is arguably one of the better burgers around. The pork and beef combo along with the fried egg is pure genius.
And let’s not forget the ribs! These baby back ribs were soft and tender and practically fell off the bone but it was a hard act to follow the Chorizo Burger. Don’t get me wrong, this dish definitely delivers. We split both to these orders and were plenty satisfied.
Because the Ajillo Rice, and Black Beans were highly recommended, we decided to give them a try but it was truly overkill on our part. But they are solid sides. As are the plantains, another favorite of mine. If you save room for dessert, you can’t go wrong with Mama’s Flan, and the Cerveteca Sundae, which is just plain decadently delicious.
Do note that Cerveteca DTLA hosts a daily happy hour from 3-7pm with $1 oysters. Sporting an impressive list of beers and wines, their cocktails (or mocktails) include a tasty Nutty Sake & Dragon Punch, and a decent soju-based Old Fashioned, as well as sangria and mojito. You’re probably better off sticking to beer or wine with your meal, which should prove filling and first rate.
Cerveteca DTLA is located at 923 E. 3rd St. Suite 109.Call (213) 805-5862.
Some Photography Courtesy of: Cerveteca DTLA
Story by Jose Martinez