DTLA: Chef Ray Garcia’s Broken Spanish is Now Open
Chef Ray Garcia‘s Broken Spanish restaurant is now open in Downtown Los Angeles, not too far from his more casual spot, B.S. Taqueria. Taking over the old Rivera space, I couldn’t wait to check out the transformation from a modern Latin restaurant to well, another modern Latin restaurant. When I ran into Chef Ray a few weeks after he left Fig, I asked him what was next and he said something “Mexican-ish.” And Broken Spanish is definitely that way. It’s not quite traditional but feels fresh and new.
Broken Spanish’s decor feels warmer with colorful and heavy water pitchers and an entrance where you see the kitchen right away (versus the former door that lands you into a sleek, dark restaurant). Seating at the bar is much coveted but we nabbed a nearby hightop.
We started with a couple of mixed drinks including the Paloma Phosphate and Senor Ted Mosbley. We were slightly confused by the Phosphate since it stated it was served tall and I do believe it would have tasted better to have a little bit more soda. However, I really enjoyed the Senor Ted Mosbley. Are you a fan of “How I Met Your Mother”– then this drink is for you. It has everything I love– whiskey, Fernet, oro blanco grapefruit, a mysterious liqueur and I even love tea pot bitters from Dr. Adam Elmegirab. It is on the sweeter side but it’s very balanced.
Paloma Phosphate – blanco tequila, grapefruit gomme syrup, citrus oil, acid phosphate, grapefruit soda, sea salt
Senor Ted Mosbley – bourbon, Fernet Vallet, oro blanco cordial, Damiana, tea pot bitters
We ordered the molletes not knowing what to expect. It’s traditionally made with pinto beans but these were made with smashed English peas. I liked these quite a bit and the traditionalists may be surprised to like them as well.
When I arrived on day 5 of opening, I already knew the turkey leg was one of the most ordered and photographed dishes. Certainly Ren Faire heads (yes, I used to go a lot) have had these massive legs but for the most part, the legs are ignored during Thanksgiving. I was super excited that not only was the meat tender but I loved the sauce. Also I will openly admit I ordered this dish because of the mention of okra — I love okra.
Under the Botanas section, are fun snacks or appetizers. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have minded to have the corn as a side dish (though there was corn with our turkey leg). These esquites (corn) were served with a squiggle of kewpie mayo. Yes, the Japanese mayo with the cutesy Kewpie doll logo. There’s that “Mexican-ish” cooking again, introducing new flavors that make perfect sense. Kewpie mayo is a little bit sweeter so it works well with the spicing and Parmesan cheese.
We also ordered the tortillas with the whipped carnitas fat. Butter is great and all but pure piggy fat goes so well with these tortillas. I rolled the turkey into torn bite-sized pieces of tortillas creating the perfect meal.
We were very full but couldn’t pass up the interesting sounding flan with goat’s milk, pistachio, roasted apricot and cajeta (caramel). For those who don’t like the wobbly texture of most flans might enjoy this firmer cousin.
Currently the restaurant is only open for dinner but there are plans for lunch and brunch. There doesn’t seem to be a rush to open for lunch soon because there is BS Taqueria.(213) 749-1460 © The Minty 2015