Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bar Ama

Yes I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. What can I say? Shit happens. Mea culpa. Are we good? Yeah? You sure? Cool. Let’s move on to what we’re here for, shall we? Let me tell you about the delectable meal I had today at Bar Ama (  

We were in the Jewelry District in downtown L.A. today when we found ourselves hungry and close to Josef Centeno’s Bar Ama, one of his many restaurants in DTLA. Bar Ama is Centeno’s take on the Tex-Mex food he was raised on. And since we’ve always wanted to try it, we figured today was to be the day. Don’t you just love it when your stomach is in the right place at the right time?

 When we arrived at Bar Ama it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner. It was like being in some kind of culinary purgatory. Lucky for us, they were having Super Nacho Hour. It’s a limited menu they only serve at the bar as they prepare for the dinner crowd. Although on the website, it says it’s from 10pm to close Monday to Saturday, we were there on a Saturday afternoon so maybe they decided to start it earlier on Saturdays. But you’re not here for semantics. You want to know how the food was.

We decided to get the Super Nachos. I mean how can you go to something called Super Nacho Hour and not get its namesake? Along with the nachos, we got the short rib taquitos. Because, if you recall, I love me some short rib.

The Super Nachos were indeed super. They came with avocado, crema, and salmorejo topped with pickled onions. For an extra fin, you could add picadillo or chorizo so we went with the picadillo. The tortilla chips were fresh and crunchy and the crema was like an upscale version of nacho cheese. The picadillo was tender and the pickled onions blended nicely with the rest of the flavors on the plate.

What do you get at Super Nacho Hour? Why the Super Nachos
of course.

The short rib taquitos had a queso mix, chile, mint, and dill and were delicious. They were spicy enough to wake up the tastebuds but not set them ablaze. When I told the bartender who served us I was a short rib fiend, she said they have a short rib chalupa on their dinner menu that is excellent. So I guess I’ll be stopping by some night for dinner.  

The short rib taquitos. Mucho delish.

The restaurant itself is charming and cozy. It’s a lot smaller than I expected but that adds to the aforementioned coziness. However, there were only about eight people there on this particular Saturday afternoon (culinary purgatory, remember?) so I don’t know how cozy it is when it’s busy and crowded. 

I also enjoyed the music they played. It was a nice mix from different decades. Not only was New Order playing when we came in (which I took as a sign of good taste) but Psychedelic Furs’ “Heartbreak Beat”—one of my absolute favorite songs ever—came on while we were eating. It was a win-win. The staff was friendly and attentive and the iced tea was refreshing.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a not-so-sunny afternoon in L.A.