When the L.A. Weekly offices were located in Silver Lake what seems like a millennium ago, the area could not have been more of a culinary wasteland — the only place within walking distance was what may have been the single worst Mexican restaurant in L.A. That stretch of Hyperion Avenue is now something of a restaurant row, and Barbrix is exactly what many of us yearned for back then: a loud, busy converted house; a decent list of artisanal beers and a quirky list of wines by the glass, reasonably enough priced so that you can try both the Leroy white burgundy and the obscure Croatian white that tastes like licking a freshly unwrapped cigar; a small plate of roasted organic vegetables from Oxnard’s McGrath Family Farm; and a plate of crunchy fried sweetbreads that go down like pancreatic popcorn.
Barbrix is the dream wine bar of Adria Blotta and her husband, Claudio Blotta, the cerebral Argentine best known for running the front of the house at Campanile, La Terza and the South Bay La Brea Bakery. The pan-Mediterranean dishes, prepared by Don Dickman — whose rustic Italian cooking at Rocca won him a devoted following a few years ago — seem almost surgically designed to go with the wine: a minted grilled sardine for an herbaceous Friulian white, roasted pork belly for a fruity Languedoc red, most of it priced around $8. Just a couple of days into its existence, Barbrix is already jammed to the eaves.
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Barbrix: 2442 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, (323) 662-2442 or www.barbrix.com.