Another Find, Just Down The Road
Posted by Glenn Gritzner on February 17, 2012
Hello Enthusiasts –
Loyal readers of this little vanity project will know that my favorite places are often “finds.” Put another way, location and context matters. Stumbling on a cute little wine bar in Brentwood isn’t that exciting. It doesn’t fill you with that exhilarating sense of discovery. You expect cute little wine bars in Brentwood. But stumbling on a cute little wine bar a couple blocks north of Adams, just off Hoover? Now that’s something worth getting enthusiastic about (in an amateur way, of course).
Before I go on, let me stop you. I can read your mind. You are thinking “Hoover and Adams? That’s not really Downtown, is it?” Well, no. But it’s darn close. It’s 2 1/2 miles from my office, 1 1/2 miles from Staples. To put that in context, it’s only a little farther that it is for most of us to get to Villains Tavern, and we all love that bar, don’t we?
So … ladies and gentlemen, I give you Bacaro. But wait. I can still read your mind. You’re thinking “Hoover and Adams? Isn’t that just a bunch of garish storefronts?” Au contraire. Here’s the outside:
See? Just what you want in a cute little wine bar. Menu on a chalkboard, casual, almost communal seating, and check out that cool ceiling made of wine bottles on the left here. (Photos from Food GPS and Citysearch).
And the food is really creative – to use my own cliche, it’s way better than it has to be. Lamb stuffed eggplant … pan seared scallops … roasted bone marrow (don’t wrinkle your nose until you try it) … poached shrimp with chili sauce, etc. All served tapas style, perfect for noshing with your friends. For something fun, come on the first Sunday of the month: all you can eat grilled petite fillet steak with roasted market potatoes, onion rings, and all you can drink red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, sangria and beer. 30 bucks for two hours of gluttony.
The wine list is, as sommeliers like to say, tightly curated. They work hard to find good, obscure wines, it’s almost all French or Italian (fewer than 10 from California), and it’s almost all in the $25-45 price range. Near to my heart, they even carry an Alentejo from Portugal.
Final virtue of its location? Street parking is pretty easy to find.
You want to go to Bacaro when you’re meeting friends after work (it’s not open at lunch) – especially if they are driving to meet you – and you want to go somewhere a little different, but not too far away. It’s especially good when you want to surprise people – just tell them where to go, tell them not to complain, and let them compliment you on how cool you are for knowing about it when they find it.
Oh, and try to ignore the USC students.
2308 S. Union Ave.