Back when the wine bar opened late April of 2008, the partners of Santos and David were experimenting with staffing and front of the house service. Santos, ex sommelier at AOC, worked the room, while David cheffed. The results were a nice, easy going room, with short menus both in terms of wine and grub.
Due to the undertaking of the SC crowd, Bacaro blew up on Yelp. Within a year, they received the coveted “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker. And we stopped going.
With wine bars since opened (CitySip, Corkbar, BottleRock, The Must), Bacaro’s unique location and short menus became deterrents. South Los Angeles/USC campus is not anyone’s neighborhood, tho Bacaro was clearly a neighborly establishment.
With the help of GrouponLA, Bacaro came back to us in a huge way. Santos and David are still on premise, dishing good advice both vino and gastro, but they’ve since hired a chef to helm the kitchen. The difference is immense; the menu definitely tweeked.
Back in 2008, one had to order half of the wall, with repeating results, just to be satiated. And though the small morsels on baguettes were called cicchetti, unlike Venice, there was no seafood to be found. Forward a year, the dishes matured in size, if not thought, while retaining certain charms of the “small plate” school. Yes, the concept of cicchetti (perhaps inspired by AOC?) was delectable early on, but it was never quite fulfilling. The current menu adjoins Italian small bites with just plain good food
What worked: roasted beets with chevre and taragon.
It’s hard to mess this up. And they didn’t. No one needs to talk smack about the cold station.
Sourdough bratwurst with sauerkraut special panini . Just sour all around. Americans need to eat more sour food. Lil bits of brats were enough to break the grilled cheese monotony.
Seared scallop with corn, tomato, green onions
Huge seared scallop, plenty of buttery corn. Very simple, not over salted, not over cooked.
Open face burger.
Estancia beef burger topped with roasted heirloom tomato and funky dressing. As always, it’s hard to make a small puck patty medium rare, but it is executed well here. Next time: scratch the extraneous sauce. The soft cooked tomato slice is plenty flavorful.
Warm, and just a bit crusty, with none of the raw okonomiyaki goopiness. This is how I like a bread budding – not too sweet, not too much cinnamon.
The game plan here is now simplified. It’s so easy to coordinate Bacaro doesn’t even use a POS system. Pick any 3 plates for $19, excluding bread, starters and cheese. Each person, unless you’re Kobayashi, should be tamed by 3 small plates + 2 (or more) glasses or wine. Finale can be a shared dessert, or 3 cheese for $15 (and another glass of wine). Beyond Drago Centro’s happy hour, there is no better deal in the immediate vicinity. Don’t start talking about taco trucks unless you want to be smacked. Yes! for $20 Bacaro even qualifies as a first date place! Is there anything this wine bar can not do? Besides root for UCLA during a football game?
In case you missed the last Groupon deal, an easy to join link is below.
The discounts aren’t quite over yet. For those who clicked on October 22nd’s Blackboardeats.com link, yes!!! Another 30% off the total bill! [Not valid on Mondays and during daily Happy Hours]
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