Seasonal Small Plates at Bacari Playa Del Rey

Bacari Playa Del Rey is a new addition to Playa Del Rey’s dining scene.  Located in that cute, coastal area where Vista Del Mar meets Culver Blvd, Bacari PDR is neighbors with other local kitchens and pubs like The Tripel, Prince O Whales, and The Shack.

Bacari PDR

Bacar PDR is nestled on a thin strip of land in Playa Del Rey at the intersection of Vista Del Mar and Culver Blvd.

Bacari PDR’s focus is on beer, wine, cocktails, and tapas-style small plates.  The menu is a mix of hot items, cold items, and pizzas; each one features seasonal fare or the year round fresh items that we’re blessed with here in Southern California.

Priced around $8 each, the suggested serving is around 2 to 3 plates per person. Frugal diners will be glad to know the portions are generous and there are plenty of specials to choose from.  A few that caught my eye were 3 plates for $21; an 90 minute open bar deal on beer, wine, and sangria for $25/person; and happy hours with discounts on plates ($6), wells ($6), and signature drinks ($8) on weekday nights.

Small Plates Worthy of Being Licked Clean

While the menu is fairly succinct, choosing items to sample on a recent visit was still difficult.  Everything was appealing.  I ended up relying on the very attentive and knowledgeable staff as a sounding board to nail down some of their best selling items.

I love mussels but wondered how they would jive with sauerkraut and chorizo in Bacari’s seasonal Mussel Bowl.  My fears were quickly dismissed.  The chorizo (sourced from a local butcher) added a spicy kick while the sauerkraut gave the broth a tart savoriness, enhancing the briny, salty flavor of the mussel.

They served the dish with a small fork to scoop out the mussels but I asked for a big spoon to focus on that broth!  I wanted to tip the bowl up and drink it.

bowl of mussels

The mussels are the star in this dish but the chorizo, sauerkraut, and broth play a significant part in seasoning!

Next up was the lamb burger, served open face on toast with radish and cucumbers.  The whole thing was smothered in a tangy kale tahini sauce.  The perfectly cooked lamb burger was toothsome enough that I wanted to pick it up but a fork and knife was par for the course.

The open faced lamb burger smothered kale tahini sauce.

The open faced lamb burger smothered kale tahini sauce.

On the cold side, I tried another favorite suggested by the staff: the crab crostini.  This lovely dish consisted of a creamy, peppery crab salad on toast.  There was plenty of crab in the salad with chunks of peppers adding a punch that was mild but enough to notice.

Crab crostini.

Crab crostini.

Moving back to the hot entrees, the next item on the menu was a pork belly skewer.  It’s easy to see why this expertly prepared “bacon” is a best seller; the meat was melt in your mouth tender and was accompanied by an umami sauce that prompted another lick-the-plate-clean dilemma.

Pork belly skewer.

Pork belly skewer.

A Lively Pub at the Crossroads

I mentioned earlier that Bacari PDR is located at the intersection of Vista Del Mar and Culver City.  Quite literally, the restaurant occupies a tight sliver of ground where these two streets meet.

The space in side is tight but spaced nicely.  You’ll be right at home if you don’t mind having a two-top table with friendly diners on either side of you.  With the limited supply of space and the high demand for it, wait times during peak dining hours might get long.  Late, weekday nights will be the optimal time to quickly get a table.

There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to beers, wines, and cocktails and the bartenders are skilled in their craft.  With rotating taps and seasonal items, theirs likely to always be a reason to stop in to meet friends to share a drink and a few plates.  If you’re looking for a new Sunday Funday spot, Bacari PDR will begin weekend brunch service on Saturday, January 24.

The cozy, lively scene inside Bacari PDR.

The cozy, lively scene inside Bacari PDR.

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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

One Response to “Seasonal Small Plates at Bacari Playa Del Rey”

  1. I am on my way to LA!
    I’ll stop by your house to stay,
    then off to this restaurant down the street.
    I’ll lick the plate after all the food I eat!!
    Looks and sound good! I’ll just cut the gab
    And get straight to the Costini Crab!!
    Momma Jerrie