Friends Gather at Baco Mercat – Food Porn Quicky

Spanish tapas! Old friends! Homemade sodas! Nice weather! It was a fantastic way to enjoy the evening for dinner in Los Angeles with a few pals I hadn’t seen in months. A relatively new restaurant (from what I heard around and about my circles), Baco Mercat was definitely part of the re-emerging Downtown LA scene. I mean, it’s just a few minutes to “skid row” as my company CFO warned me…

My, probably, hippest and fashionable friend, Rui, suggested dinner at Baco Mercat for Friday evening. After a couple other friends echoed that suggestion, I knew it was a no brainer. First, beverages.

Chicha Morada, home-made sweet and sour soda – a Peruvian drink made from purple corn and it also had pineapples in it. Yum. Very subtle though…

Baco Pop – an orange, ginger, juniper soda made from a restaurant recipe but outsourced and bottled by “one woman” as I innocently believed three-quarters of the way into our meal.

He tricked me. But yeah, it was definitely more than a one-woman operation. I know that now.

Grilled Peaches – fresh peaches grilled softly with hazelnuts and feta. The flavors blended great together.

Pickled Eggplant Salad – eggplant (duh) with cucumber, mint, radishes and shaved parm I believe… It was good, but it was a salad. Honestly though, I might’ve missed the eggplant and that was Linda’s favorite part.

Hamachi Crudo – a hamachi tartare over avocado and a hashbrown fritter. Rui raved about this dish so we had to get it. Uhm, yes, I rave about it too now. Delicious.

Charred Gem Lettuce (I believe) – charred lettuce with watermelon, feta and petite tomatoes. I don’t love tomatoes but the rest was great.

Picadillo Double Crispy Coca – house ground beef, tomato, cheddar and creme fraiche over their namesake baco bread made into a coca. So fried, you can’t not love it.

Salad Bazole – house-made noodles with romesco, fried egg, beef, pork, basil and mint. Very different and very good.  The noodles and everything were great. The beef and pork seemed fried but the dressing moists it up well.

Meatball Baco – meatballs on top of the baco bread with pinenuts, a small salad and tomato sauce. Yum.

Soudouk Pork Belly Ragu – homemade cavatelli noodles with a pork belly ragu. Oh. My. Gawd. This was my favorite, for sure.

I need to go back and try some moreeeee. It’s a tad on the pricey side but that’s why it’s great to share with friends. Our meal was about $30 with tip per person.

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