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- 64%Local Culture
Member Reviews (21)Write a review
- Baco MercatMember ofSpiritual SeekersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 12Jan 31, 2014
Chef Josef Centeno left Lazy Ox to start his own personal project, Baco Mercat, and we are all so lucky for it. The food is spectacular.
Everything from the caesar brussel sprouts and the PEI mussels to their Toron Oxtail Sandwich and Hamachi Crudo are all PACKED with flavor and so satisfying, but not too heavy.
The only thing they could really improve are their house-made sodas. Way too sweet for my taste!
- Baco MercatMember ofBudget TravelersFoodiesAdventure Travelers+ 2Jun 12, 2014
This place is very very yummy! The name Baco is very unique! I don't really know what it stands for, but my guess is a half burrito half taco.
The Bacos are wrapped in a flat bread, with meat and veggies inside. Very tender meat, with a perfect mixture of dressing makes every bite very fulfilling. We also ordered an appetizer called the Blistered Okra. I have never tried okra at all until here. I believed it was mixed with some tomato and basil, which made it very addicting. I am now officially a fan of okra, thanks to this place!
Overall, I will definitely come back here! Their food is very unique!Recommended for:
- Baco MercatMar 25, 2014
Baco Mercat was our first stop during my girl's night out with girl friends Juliet C. and Sidney T. It was our first time eating here and we had a remarkable experience!
We knew we were off to a good night when we found parking literally right in front of the restaurant! This is unheard of since street parking in downtown is usually a pain during the weekends. To top it off, we failed to make reservations for dinner so we were hoping the wait wouldn't be too crazy since the restaurant was already packed. Luckily for us someone had cancelled their reservations and a table was available for us in the outdoor patio.
Since the weather was nice, the patio seating was a great opportunity for us to people watch and enjoy the romantic scenery with the dim lighting outside. We proceeded in ordering and decided to order the following items to share amongst the three of us:
The Original Baco ($10) - pork and beef carnita sandwich.
Double Mushroom Coca ($13) - mushroom and cheese on a crispy flatbread
Escabeche of Mary's duck breast ($13) - black quinoa, shaved fennel, sherry vinegar with roasted duck.
Baco Pop (Beverage - $3) orange, ginger & juniper soda
The most notable entree for me was the Double Mushroom Coca, for mushroom lovers you will absolutely love this! There's about three types of mushrooms on this thin crust pizza-like flatbread. The Original Baco comes at a close second, it was flavorful and the meat was tender and wonderfully seasoned. I heard that they have an amazing lunch menu as well and since I'm now a huge fan of their sandwiches I can't wait to come back and try some of these items!
- Baco MercatCommunity ManagerAmbassadorMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 6First to ReviewOct 18, 2013
Me and my coworker came to eat here after shopping for work. I love the ambiance; very casual and the chairs reminded me of those old school vintage chairs from school. The food here is EXCELLENT! I highly recommend the brussels sprouts and the original baco sandwich. Definitely drop by the next time youre in downtown LA!Recommended for:
- Baco MercatMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Sep 17, 2013
**GREAT TAPAS-STYLE FOOD IN DTLA**
4.5 stars to Josef Centeno, Chef and Owner.
Walked-in with no reservation around 5:30PM and sat outside.
NOTE: Twelve bar seats and ten patio tables are reserved for walk-ins.
Bäco Mercat is the home of the "bäco," the signature flatbread sandwich that was developed by Josef Centeno.
Their menu has Western and Eastern-Mediterranean influences, includes both small and big plates, and is seasonal.
Located in the historic Old Bank district in downtown Los Angeles, it's a nice neighborhood restaurant with a trendy, but boutique feel.
**PEACHES AND GOAT CHEESE ($10)**
Sautéed peaches with goat cheese, honey and hazelnuts. OMG. And don't forget the mint, and pomegranate seeds on top. This was soooo delicious. It should have been on the dessert menu.
This was my least favorite dish because of the porridge-like texture of the dish under the fried egg. The salt cod and potato all mooshed into porridge. Nothing wrong with the dish, just wasn't my favorite.
**PORK BELLY RAVIOLI ($15)**
ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Pork belly anything is AWESOME. Especially with lebni, pinenuts, and red wine mixed into that filling. 4 nice pieces.
**FRIED CHICKEN N' BISCUIT ($15) **
Wow, this was MY favorite! Tasty fried chicken on a wonderful biscuit with coleslaw, cheddar, yuzu chile! My gaaawwwd! It was so frickin' good! The batter on that chicken was to DIE-FOR! Biscuit was done just right. And coming from a NOLA gal, this was LEGIT.
Friendly and efficient. Good enough.
We didn't order any cocktails or dessert so dinner for 2 was around $60, excluding tax and gratuity.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND.Recommended for:
- Baco MercatJun 04, 2013
So I came here with a group of friends and we decided to eat it family style. We ordered the:
Toron- By far my favorite, has that nice gamey taste
Original- Not too bad,
Pesco- I think I'll pass on this one
Fried Shrimp- It's okay, tastes like the shrimps I have an asian restaurant
Flat bread- Okay
My main gripe is the slow service, it took us about 30 minutes for our food to arrive. Additionally, they closes all the doors and since the place is relatively small, I was sweating in there (I should have sat outside). I guess my main gripe is the small amount you get versus the price. Imagine a dish slightly larger than a twinkie and being charged $12 for it.
Overall, the food is a 3.5 for me but the venue only gets a 2. I rather go here for a snack and drinks rather than for a meal.
- Baco MercatMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesMay 23, 2013
Good food. I think it's a bit pricey for what it is. I would return but it's not one of those places that I'm dying to come back to.
Original, Toron, and Meatball Bacos - I like these bacos. The bread is soft and strong enough to hold up all of that filling and the fillings are all pretty tasty.
Brussel Sprouts - Ok, I don't think I'm a good judge of sprouts. not a big fan of them in general
Tuna/Guac (forgot what they call it) - Good, flavorful
Dessert (flan?) - Tasty, good
SERVICE: Good, Avg. Kind of what you would expect.
PARKING: Paid lots, street; can get annoying
- Baco MercatApr 09, 2013
My first visit was a 2.5 stars experience at Baco (lunch). The dinner menu seems a lot more appealing where my 2.5 stars went to 4 stars on my second visit. I wouldn't have come back if my brother wasn't as insistent about trying Baco out again.
Mushroom + Sausage Coca aka flat bread $18 - Baco are known for their flat bread and this one did not disappoint! It was filled with mushroom cut in various sizes and the sausage was a good mix. The pepper flakes also gave this dish a good kick! Plus, rock salt hidden inside.
2 oz Burrata w/ pickled mushroom, tomato, pomegranate $7 - SUPER refreshing and to perfection! Everything on this plate was good to start for our meal.
Hamachi Crudo w/ abkhazian chile spice, avocado, hash brown $14 - One of my favorite!!! Refreshing and the yuzu sauce is sooo good. This dish is a little more to the the saltier side, but I still like it.
14oz Pork Porterhouse w/ aleppo, sage, pine nut, pomegranate $42 - We were charged $42, but the menu stated $28, which I don't understand (check #1424 on April 8, 2013). I tried calling their land-line, but I only received by a voicemail. Hopefully, they will return my email soon and explain.
Carne Picada w/ semolina, tahini , pomegranate, pine nut, fried egg $13 - This dish was amazingly different. Each layer has a different flavor and when it all mixes in one bite, it's mind blowing! Get it!
Pear Salad $10 - Fresh with fruits and veggies w/ light dressing on this dish. Plus, feta cheese on the bottom.
Caramelized cauliflower w/ pine nuts, mint, garlic, lebni $9 - Who would've thought that a cauliflower can taste SO good?! I'm not a fan of cauliflower and even I like this dish, yum!
Caramel upside down cake w/ pineapple , hazelnut, semi freddo $10 - It stated that it needed 15 mins, but the cake was out in less than 5 mins. I wasn't wowed by this cake and I wouldn't order it again. It tasted a day old - 2 stars
Banana Rice Pudding $10 - Cup full of layers! I'm not a fan of rice pudding or banana, but the waiter recommended it. Each bite was tasty with various flavor coming together, thumbs up.
Overall, Baco Mercat really surprised and impressed me. The layers of each dish comes beautifully together making each bite magical. I would recommend coming here with a party of 4-6 in order to try a little bit of everything. Expect to pay approximately $35-$40/ person without alcohol.
Reservation is available online on their website: http://bacomercat.com/reserve.html
Meter parking (free at night) is available or paid lots, no valet.
- Baco MercatMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Sep 17, 2013
My favorite restaurant in DTLA. I have only been there twice and tried going another two times but the wait was ridiculous! The food and services there are amazing! Few Tips: Park street parking is free after 8pm, make reservations, order plates to share becuase you will want to try everything! few notable items... Toron Baco, Cocas, Brussel Sprouts, Ragu
- Baco MercatFeb 25, 2013
Bäco Mercat just might be my favorite restaurant in LA. Might be. I'll decide that after a few more tries -- and I guarantee there will be more tries, because after this dinner, I can't wait to try everything on this huge menu. Bäco Mercat dishes out some of the most exciting food I've had in ages -- unique concoctions using the freshest of ingredients. It's listed as a Spanish restaurant, but there are wildly inventive splashes of every cuisine there is -- and it's all executed really, really well.
The service was excellent -- Jennifer, our server, was friendly, knowledgeable, and always available. The atmosphere was dark and intimate, but excitingly loud and trendy.
Baco Toron (Oxtail Hash) =
Kind of like a flatbread burger -- and probably one of the best "burgers" I've ever had. Fatty oxtail burger patty with an addicting sauce and potatoes that complemented it perfectly. It's oily, it's rich, it's incredible.
Cavatelli w/ Pork Belly =
Delicious pork belly sauce with some nice al dente pasta. Add some chili flakes and this dish is solid.
Mushroom Coca w/ Pork Belly Sausage =
Excellent crispy "pizza" with tons of rich mushroom flavor. The pork belly sausage was good, but not sure if it was worth the extra $5, since there were only a few small pieces.
Spaghetti Squash =
This was one of the most unique dishes I've ever had and I devoured every last bit. It was reminiscent of a cheesy pasta (due to it's creaminess), but also carried with it a subtle sweetness that gives it its uniqueness.
Japanese Eggplant Salad =
I'm usually not a huge fan of Japanese eggplant but this dish hit it out of the park. It was a bit Asian, a bit Mediterranean, a bit Spanish. The flavors in this dish were incredible.
Caramel Upside Down Cake =
Again, not usually a fan of pineapple upside down cake, but this dessert was really good. A bit too sweet for my tastes, but the texture and flavors were great.
Washed everything down with a bottle of Malbec and it all came out to $125 before tip. Not bad, especially for this awesome of a gastronomic explosion.
Bäco Mercat is definitely one of the most exciting restaurants I've ever been to. It breathes so much new life into the LA food scene that it makes me want to move back to LA just to experience it again. I can't wait to come back and try everything else here.
- Baco MercatFeb 02, 2013
I think I've been here enough times to let you guys know what to get and what to skip
Since Baco is close from my friend's place, every time we plan to catch dinner together...
Git it, son:
- The Pesco - Battered fish sandwich, a little bit on the heavy side. But with a tangy and creamy tartar sauce, the flavors will not disappoint.
- The Toron - another amazing sandwich that is reminiscent of a burger on flatbread. The patty is made of oxtail (guaranteed a soft, juicy bite).
- Chicken Liver Mousse & Foie Gras - order extra bread because you will absolutely not finish the jar with the measly 2-3 pieces they give you. They now add a kumquat jam on top that makes it sweet and so delicious.
- Schezwan Chicken ribs - I asked for something substantial for our group to eat & share. The waitress suggested this, as there was a lot of meat on bone, but only a couple of pieces. Good regardless
I'd skip it:
-Cocoas (ham, egg & cheese flatbreads). I was hoping any flatbread would be promising, but the flatbreads here have way too much parsley spread for my liking. If you like that overpowering herb flavor, it's recommended. I didn't love it
-Octopus and ham hock salad - Good idea and pretty okay lemony flavor. I just thought the octopus was chewy and overcooked.
If you come during the weekends, I'd recommend you to make a quick call for "reservations." Pretty sure that the tables are not booked, but still reserved for those who call in.
I still haven't tried the pork belly wrap, so I will be back to try that. oink~~*
- Baco MercatMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 3Dec 24, 2012
BAH - KO - MER - KAT
I started my journey at the bar. There's no happy hour so what you see is what you get.
I will reiterate what others here have been saying about the seating situation here: make a reservation. Of course you can always get lucky on their ~10-seat bar, but the only guaranteed way that you'll be eating Baco Mercat tonight is by reservation. With that mentioned, even one could get lucky as I did. I showed up early enough on a Tuesday night to spot a few empty tables. My front desk girl, Mintu, was very accommodating in every way, but she did inform me that all those empty tables were reserved. I told her I would wait for a cancellation, but she also told me to not hold my breath. After 30 minutes of lounging at the bar, I would have a table for 5 waiting for me. I must admit that I lost some hope when all the tables started filling up, so get your reservation atleast a day in advance.
I did not experience any of the slow service as others have here. Camber was super cool with us Baco Mercat newbies and informed how ordering works around here. Expect to spend atleast 20 to 30 dollars per person here for dinner. Plates came out in phases. As we finished one, another came out. Wasn't sure if this was meant, but that's how it was.
-=-Oxtail Pot Pie-=- This was considered a "big-plate special" but just think of it as a large tapa serving. A single person could probably chow one down as a lunch portion, but in the spirit of Baco Mercat, sharing is caring. The oxtail in this wasn't in chunks as I'm usually used to. It wasn't as oxtail-flavorful either. Definitely unique and worth a shot if it's on the limited menu, but don't think that you'll be getting large chunks of oxtail meat.
-=-Salty Jowl Flatbread-=- Think pizza. You don't get the same satisfaction though. There's guanciale (pork belly) and an egg on top, but neither do too well for the flavor here. It's almost too bland. Ricotta would be what I must remember from this plate.
-=-Broccolini and Cheese-=- Disappointment. I didn't even enjoy the way that the broccolini was cooked. There was a toughness that wasn't enjoyable and cheese did not rejuvenate this.
-=-Caesar Brussel Sprouts: My favorite dish of the night. It looks like a simple coleslaw at first, but hold on to your seats, because every bite will leak all this flavor in your mouth. Anchovies did something to these sprouts. Mix in the garlic then whooaaaaaaa...outta control. My favorite coleslaw ever?
-=-Toron Baco-=- Now I know what a baco is. It means it's hard to share, but looks pretty. It would be perfect to come in and just grab one of these for lunch, but somehow I don't think that's what this place is about. The inside of this folded up flatbread has sparing servings of meat and shredded cabbage. I can't really recommend it, but it's the namesake of this place, isn't it.
-=-Pork Belly Soujouk-=- This was in the meat category, but it probably belonged under pasta. The meat flavor in this was pretty tame, nothing of all what you would expect from pork belly.
- Baco MercatDec 19, 2012
I LOVE this small cafe.
It's so small cute and intimate. It's on Main St and I had a dinner here in the evening outside. I enjoyed the pretty lights hovering the street and the company I was with.
The white wine we had was delicious and refreshing. The brussel sprout salad was refreshing and crunchy. Of the pizzas I had I really liked the "con tomate" which had tomato, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. It was a thin crust which made me happy.
For dessert I had an iced coffee that came in a cute brown bottle, and the butter cream pie rice pudding was cool and crunchy. I want to come back and try more of their veggie dishes :)
- Baco MercatMar 02, 2014
Total love and hate going on here.. I absolutely hate this place because that dam toron sandwich is so good that i can't get myself to order anything else! yes i can order that and split it with others, but no-- i want that baby all to myself!
perfect balance of flavors with the savory oxtail hash patty, nice crisp from the tater tots, the peppery touch from the arugula, the texture of the flatbread, and that sauce.. absolutely divine and ties it all together..
ahh alas, i wish i could free myself to try somehting else, but it's so dam good!