Bäco Mercat

408 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-687-8808
B&aumlco Mercat +

Photo by Anne Fishbein Mergaz picada b&auml:co with lamb sausage at B&auml:co Mercat

Details

  • Mon.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5:30-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-mid.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.
One day, the city of Los Angeles may well rename this part of downtown “Centenoville” for the delicious influence chef Josef Centeno has had on the couple of blocks where his four restaurants reside. Bar Amá, his ode to Tex Mex, is as fun a place to eat and drink as any in town. Orsa & Winston delivers one of the most interesting, thoughtful tasting-menu experiences around. Ledlow is a model for the modern neighborhood diner turned sleek and gourmet. But Bäco Mercat stands resplendent as Centeno’s original vision for what downtown needed: a place that reinvented the sandwich (or is it a taco? A wrap?) in the form of a bäco, a flatbread/pita arrangement that smooshes soft bread with tangy sauce and meaty meat, whether it be beef tongue schnitzel or oxtail hash. The rest of the menu darts all over the globe and reveals more about Centeno’s point of view than it adheres to any particular trend or style. Hamachi crudo with Abkhazian chili spice is tangy, fresh and pert; vegetable dishes such as shishito pepper and baby kale panzanella remain utterly original in the face of an onslaught of derivative vegetable arrangements elsewhere. Be it a smoky romesco on a veggie-driven flatbread or a yellowtail collar with yuzu kosho and walnut vinaigrette, something at Bäco Mercat will get you, and get you good. —Besha Rodell

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