When the Greek restaurant Sofi closed, I hoped another restauranteur would take over the space at this hidden gem in Los Angeles. Recently I learned the Bacari Restaurant Group took over the space and opened Bacari W. 3rd.
I’ve been to the Bacari GDL at Caruso’s Americana at Brand in Glendale. It’s a Venetian-inspired Cicchetti- style eatery offering a menu with sharable plates, pastas, pizza and salads, similar to a traditional Bacari in Venice, Italy.
Now along one of the most celebrated streets offering many popular restaurants in Los Angeles, is a new Bacari. Walking through the brick archway tunnel, I noticed metal mailboxes with painted wine bottles and glass of wine. Bacari is painted on one of the mail doors. There is a beautiful iron gate with a bright blue Mediterranean ceramic pot and distressed wood doors with metal knockers. It’s pushed open to welcome diners into a garden patio with a historic tree and massive Bougainvillea dropping magenta colored flowers onto tables. Most of the seating is out on this patio, though there is a rustic, low-ceiling interior dining space with exposed wood beams.
The day I dined, this area was being decorated for birthday bash, so all the seating during brunch was out on the dog-friendly patio. Looking at the menu, this location offers Mediterranean dishes curated by Israeli-born Executive chef Lior Hillel and Executive Sous Chef Kevin Corona.
It’s already become a popular brunch spot on weekends from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering creative shareable items. We started with a smoked salmon pita served in a metal taco holder. The fresh pita pocket is stuffed with pickled red onions, capers, ribbons of thin smoked salmon and cucumber. It’s served with a pleasing dill and garlic creme fraiche, similar to a tzatziki sauce. Only one comes per order, so order one per diner, because this is hard to share.
The avocado toast is beautifully presented with a chunky avocado spread, and pink and white watermelon radish triangles artistically arranged on top. What makes this toast different is the pleasing, dense house-baked superfood bread. The texture of this gluten-free toast is porous and nutty, ideal to hold the creamy green goodness. There is a drizzle of Mediterranean olive oil and speckle of gray salt to round out the flavors.
Almost every table had people sipping bottomless mimosas, sangria, sparkling sangria or house prosecco. Guests have the option to switch it up with each course for $25.
I didn’t care about the thin, panko-crust crab cake Benedict, however I did find hollandaise sauce with a zest of grapefruit appealing.
We found the free range egg pizza different than expected. The crust was thin and topped with savory fromage blanc, caramelized onions and a softly cooked egg. Finishing on a sweeter note, we ordered the gluten-free baby Dutch pancake presented in a small black cast iron skillet. The bottom of the pancake was caramelized and slightly crunchy, while the top was warm and soft with fresh red and purple berries and a lovely Mission fig and honey compote in the center.
Next to us, a couple were devouring Bacari fries with a special sauce and fried egg on top, along with a Croque Madame and open-face Bacari burger.
Next time you are searching for a new brunch and dinner destination in Beverly Grove, Bacari W. 3rd is a new foodie favorite. Barcai Restaurant Group also has restaurants in Glendale, Playa del Rey, and University Park. $$ Open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and weekend brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8030 3⁄4 W. Third St. (323)452-9149.
This review was featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News on Dec. 13, 2018 –