SOUTH PARK’S LOCAL SOCIAL SPOT
One of the first things that you should know about Downtown L.A.’s Latin-themed hotspot Barcito is that they spell it “barcito” in all lower case letters; however, we’re opting for the traditional English spelling of “Barcito” as it is a proper noun.
Something else that you should know is that by day, Barcito is a local neighborhood café and by night it morphs into a lively Latin social club.
Owner Andrea Borgen, who spent her childhood summers visiting her grandparents in Buenos Aires, always intended to open a community café and bar that evokes a Latin sensibility.
“I wanted to create a hyper-approachable neighborhood social club that offers something for everyone who walks through the door,” explains Borgen.
And with Barcito, between the coffee, cocktails, and tasty, hearty fare, consider it mission accomplished.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with Bub and Grandma’s Bread + Cultured Butter. I always question having to pay for bread and butter but it is sourced and it is delicious. A bite into this filling appetizer and I didn’t question the $6 price ($9 if you want to add house pickles to the order).
Ordering bread and butter may have been overkill since we also ordered the Jamon + Burrata Plate, which comes with a generous portion of jamon serrano, burrata cheese, and Bub and Grandma’s Bread. Yes, without really thinking things through, we ordered two dishes with bread and butter. Consider the ham and cheese item a must-have as it’s the best of both worlds.
If you’re looking for cocktails to start the night, the Chegroni with Campari, Livenza Americano, and gin is a good choice. This is their Negroni with a playful nod to the revolutionary Che Guevara.
Also, the Last Word with City of London Gin, Green Chartreuse, and maraschino liqueur is very good.
I’m a big fan of a Paloma, but this one, made with Cimmaron blanco tequila, agave, and grapefruit, is too sweet more my liking as it comes across like more of a margarita.
Another tasty item from the Smaller Snacks is the Broccoli with chili flakes, lemon, and toasted breadcrumbs. It’s a good way to get your greens in and it’s very flavorful.
From the Bigger Snacks, in addition to the Jamon + Burrato Plate, we also opted for the Brazilian Chicken Wings with lime-marinated chicken, garlic, parsley, and chimichurri aioli. It’s a good plate to share.
The Spanish Tortilla with egg, potato, onion, arugula, and cashew romesco is filling but it comes off as more quiche than Spanish tortilla, at least compared to the way my sister Susie used to make them, which is my standard for comparison.
And kudos for the Fried Chicken Sandwich made with buttermilk fried chicken, pickled cabbage, and Tapatio honey as this is a solid, savory filling option.
If you’re looking for liquid dessert, which I ‘m a big fan of, consider The Banana Stand (Arrested Development fans take note) made with Smith & Cross rum, amaro, and house banana liqueur. This one plays like a very nice tiki cocktail. I loved the presentation and it served as a great nightcap.
Whether you want a cool café to hangout at or work at (thanks to free Wi-Fi), or a chill spot for bites and drinks, Barcito has you covered.
Barcito is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to midnight; Friday from 11am to 1am, and Saturday from 5pm to 1am. Call 213-415-1821.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Barcito