Bäco Mercat

408 S. Main St.
downtown, CA 90013
213-687-8808
Critics' Pick
Best Of
B&aumlco Mercat +

Anne Fishbein Amergaz Picada bäco with lamb sausage, horseradish and cucumber

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.
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
One day the city of Los Angeles may well rename this part of downtown “Centenoville” for the delicious influence chef Josef Centeno has brought to the couple of blocks where his five 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 cafe, and PYT, his newer ode to vegetables, will show you how to appreciate a turnip as you’ve never appreciated a turnip before. 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 with 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 roasted romanesco with treviso and pea tendrils remain utterly original in the face of an onslaught of derivative vegetable arrangements elsewhere. Be it yam, pea and pomegranate on a spiced beef flatbread or a yellowtail collar with yuzu kosho and walnut vinaigrette, something at Bäco Mercat will get you, and get you good. —Besha Rodell
Read our full review.

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