Our Critics' Picks


Bar Ama

118 W. 4th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Critics' Pick
Best Of
Bar Ama +

Photo: Anne Fishbein

In some respects, Chef Jose Centeno's Bar Ama is two restaurants in one. The first serves giant mounds of guacamole, oozy bowls of queso dip and gut-bomb enchiladas smothered in cheese. It's slutty Mexican-American food made with better ingredients than is typical of the genre but with the same emotional underpinnings: salt, fat and a touch of delicious sleaze. The other restaurant has slightly higher ambitions and serves next-generation riffs on Mexican ingredients and California produce. While plenty of customers will be regulars purely for the fat-kid fun of restaurant No. 1, and plenty of food snobs will lean toward restaurant No. 2, the best way to experience this downtown Tex-Mex restaurant is to indulge in both extremes. —Besha Rodell

Related Stories (11)

  • 10 Best Restaurants for an Affordable New Year's Eve Dinner Under $60
    1 month ago by Sarah Bennett

    Picture this: it's New Year's Eve and of course you want to go out and partake in all the food-and-booze-filled gluttony that comes with sending off the prior 364 days, but you'd prefer not to spend hundreds of dollars to dine on ha...

  • 5 Margarita Variations to Help You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
    9 months ago by Bianca Douglas

    Who doesn't remember their first margarita?  Okay, probably a lot of people.  Probably the same people who spent the better part of their early drinking career counting Jose Cuervo among their best friends.  Blended o...

  • Now Open: Orsa and Winston
    1 year ago by Besha Rodell

    After a week of preview nights open only to MasterCard holders, Josef Centeno's newest restaurant is open to the public as of this evening. Centeno is billing Orsa & Winston as an Italian/Japanese omakase restaurant. The 33-seat res...

  • 5 Great Restaurant Bars in Los Angeles
    1 year ago by Besha Rodell

    Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 3), we'll be bringing you periodic lists of some of the best things we've found to eat and drink around town. Ice cream sandwiches and bowls of tsukemen, fish tacos and dan ...

Load More Articles
View All

More Tex-Mex Restaurants in Los Angeles