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Bari

Restaurants, Italian West Third Street
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Bari interior
1/4
Photograph: Courtesy Christopher Amitrano
Bari Bombette and Steak Stewers
2/4
Photograph: Time Out/Patricia Kelly YeoBombette and bistecca skewers
Bari restaurant
3/4
Photograph: Time Out/Stephanie BreijoPaparacchielli al tonno, olives, burrata e alici, and focaccia barese
Fior de Latte at Bari
4/4
Photograph: Time Out/Stephanie Breijo

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

While skewers are the star at Chad Colby’s new Apulia-inspired spot, the whole menu is worth a second look at this warmly welcomed addition to Beverly Grove.

Typically—for me, at least—the Italian port city of Bari just summons thoughts of its perennially underachieving soccer team. However, thanks to this rather enjoyable new restaurant bearing that name, I’m likely to turn towards thinking about the comforting, underrated regional cuisine from the capital of Italy’s heel.

Chef Chad Colby’s time in charge of the kitchen at Mozza sibling Chi Spacca and at his own restaurant, Antico, proved his skill at preparing food from across Italy. At Bari, he splits his menu into 10 sections. Each gives a shout out to the fried snacks, breads, semolina-based pasta and grilled meats and fish so beloved in his favorite Italian region of Apulia. Taralli fennel crackers and burrata cheese come served with anchovies and breadcrumbs. A panzerotti di pasquale presents the classic snack with a filling of tomatoes and mozzarella in a rustically crimped fried golden dough. The paparrachielli al tonno, or small-pickled cherry peppers stuffed with tuna, reminds one of the delightful jarred snack that you can buy in most Italian supermarkets. 

Perhaps Bari’s only disappointment were the fave e chicoria, a deeply savory puree of fava beans with a chicory topping whose overwhelming level of acidity would have made Joan Rivers blush. My wife and I were restored to the correct path with a perfect version of another Apulian standard, orecchiette cime di rape, a toothsome little ear semolina dough pasta with broccoli rabe and a hit of anchovy and chili. 

Then came the skewers, the definitive star of the show. The salsiccia agnello, a lamb sausage in a Calabrian chermoula, and the polpo, or grilled octopus with fingerling potatoes, lemon and chive, were both splendid enough for us to consider ordering another plate of each. It’s the bombette (caciocavallo cheese wrapped in a crisp coating of pork shoulder), however, that would be the first thing I would reorder on future visits, and in double portions at that.

I easily could have eaten another plate of the bombette for dessert, but in the name of completion, we ordered a chocolate budino pudding to share. It was an exemplary version of the Italian pudding, but I will admit to thinking of pork-wrapped caciocavallo as I ate it. Open since June 2021, Bari has hit its tracks quickly and my experience confirmed Chad Colby, as one of my favorite chefs in Los Angeles.

THE VIBE

On a dark and chilly fall night, Bari seemed like the perfect place to linger. The lighting is gentle. A fire flickered at the front of the restaurant. The music was played at a level to complement, not deafen, and the service was unceasingly friendly. It’s a restaurant that already seems like a neighborhood favorite.

THE FOOD

While the skewers are the stuff of dreams at Bari, I am sure that there is enough in each section of the menu to justify return visits to order an alternate, but equally satisfying, meal as the one we experienced. But if you don’t order the bombette each time, you are doing yourself a disservice.

THE DRINK

Bari offers a small, considered and gently priced list of wines from Puglia and its neighboring Italian states and islands. It also supplies a decent selection by the glass, from which I chose a glass of one of my favorite Slovenian wines known as refosk. The house martini was made with olive oil-washed gin, and was very definitely not this Englishman’s cup of tea. However, its quick replacement with a more straightforward martini showed that the restaurant’s bartenders are quite capable indeed.

TIME OUT TIP

With its selection of regular tables, high tops and bar seating in view of the open kitchen, this restaurant is the perfect response to the question, “Shall we just eat out tonight?” My suggestion is to have a few friends join you, so you can explore the menu in more depth.




Details

Address: 8422 W 3rd St
Los Angeles
90048
Price: $$$
Contact:
Opening hours: Daily 5pm–late
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