Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday Night Fail: Bacaro Wine Bar

Bacaro L.A.
2308 S. Union Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

I have been dying to eat at Bacaro Wine Bar. It is in an unlikely neighborhood not too far from my house on Union in the University Park neighborhood. It is owned and operated by ex-AOC sommelier Santos Uy. Both glasses of wine we tasted that night were yummy, and both were priced fairly reasonably.

Unfortunately for me, Bacaro is starting to catch on. I had heard it was a quiet little place, and I figured in that neighborhood, surely we could eat at the bar or just wait a little while for a table. I was wrong.

It is located on a likely little strip of cute shops, nestled surprisingly in that weird nether region between K-Town, downtown and the USC neighborhood. There is a cute nail ship next door and about a block away is the Union Theater, well lit and retro looking.

The menu is enticing. They offer all small plates, at $7 each or three for $19. I perused the menu while standing at the stand only bar (a'hem, chairs please) and decided what I was going to order. Grilled artichokes, beet salad and the hangar steak, a perfect small plate combination of veggies and protein.

I love how the wine menu is written on the chalkboard walls with illustrations, notes and other commentary.

A small but decent selection of beers, something to please ever beer palate, including the sophisticate and the lager swiller alike who would surely enjoy a Moretti.

Along the facing wall is a selection of simple but pretty paintings...I cannot remember what they are but I liked the effect. And I loved the wine bottle light fixture. We are starting to see wine bottle light fixtures around, but this one is different. It looks homemade and has a crafty quality to it, like someone sat around drinking that wine prepping to make the fixture. It filters through the garish light bulbs above very nicely.

The fail of the evening came on two fronts. First, there are very few tables. And people sit. And sit. And sit. This is really a place where people can nurse their wine and chat. Two members of one three top left and were gone for about 15 minutes, the third party just sat and texted or surfed the webs on her smart phone, eating nothing, and when they came back finally the group ordered more food. Grrrr.

The waiting for a table was compounded by the fact that there are no bar stools to wait on. Given a bar stool I would have happily eaten at the tiny counter.

The wait without stools was exponentially multiplied due to the fact that D is extremely grumpy when hungry and you never know when that grumpiness is going to hit full force. I was pressured to gulp the last third of my very nice wine, so we could leave and find an open table somewhere else. We tried again last night, as the waitress/hostess said we could call and reserve a table, but in answer to my ring all I got was a fax machine. Le sigh.

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