LAReview

Bar Restaurant is permanently closed

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image
8.1

Bar Restaurant

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Bar Restaurant, the mostly-French spot on Sunset in Silver Lake, is pretty weird. We love it, but if you told us you didn’t, we’d sort of get it—the name is silly, the interior looks like an art co-op on acid, and the menu reads like it was made by Mad Libs. But we’re going to try and change your mind, because those (admittedly) bizarre aspects are what make this one of the most interesting restaurants to open in LA in recent memory—and one of the best.

Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image

Photos by Jakob Layman

For starters, there are some surprising combinations on the menu. But the most inventive dishes here are also, generally, the best. Their version of moules frites comes with curly fries—just, like, grocery store curly fries. But that’s not a knock: The high/low combination of seasoned lunchroom fries, sweet mussels, and bright Dijon cream sauce is near-perfect. The same goes for the frisée salad, served over what’s essentially a homemade tater tot—it's unique, fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Even when the dishes aren’t entirely perfect, they’re still pretty great. There’s probably too much going on with the NY strip steak (we don’t really need the acidic tomato Bordelaise sauce), but we’re not going to complain, because this is an absolutely massive, well-cooked 16 oz. loin.

Bar Restaurant review image

Stepping through the front door feels like entering an art exhibit that’s six weeks from opening, with largely empty walls broken up by the occasional human-sized sculpture of a woman’s head smoking a cigarette (from California artist Ruby Neri). Yet Bar Restaurant also has a huge, plant-covered patio (with its very own wine cart), a fun bar filled with people you want to be friends with, and a lively dining room that also offers a bit of privacy, thanks to small walls that separate the tables. You could bring your parents here to confront them with your 23andMe results without worrying about ruining the date at the table next to you.

When it comes down to it, any reasons you might not like this place are purely superficial: Maybe you hate the name, or the weird smoking head, or the fact that they serve mussels with curly fries. Forget about all that, and just focus on the fantastic and creative food being served here. Everyone deserves to get a little weird sometimes.


Food Rundown

Cinco Jotas Ham

Maybe you’re still staring at that smoking head, but make sure you don’t miss the top left corner of the menu, which contains a tiny list of shareable plates like raw cheeses, boquerones (white anchovies), and a few different kinds of jamón ibérico. We wouldn’t blame you for ordering any one of these dishes, but the best is the cinco jotas—which is oily, sweet, nutty, and perfect.

Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image

Octopus

This huge tentacle is crunchy but tender, and comes with a yam-and-pumpkin-seed mojo—which is not your uncle’s gourd-themed folk band, but a heavily spiced garlic and yam sauce. The two go together perfectly.

Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image

Moules Frites

On the other hand, we appreciate how much the fries in this moules frites resemble frozen curly fries, an art form Ore-Ida perfected long ago. The creamy Dijon sauce, the sweet brine of the mussels, and the paprika-heavy fries all work together to complete this ideal dish.

Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image

NY Strip Steak

This dry-aged 16 oz. steak is always cooked just-right, and is absolutely big enough for you and your date to split. In a town where steaks this big can cost more than your kitchen table, this $61 one is (relatively) affordable.

Jakob Layman

Bar Restaurant review image

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