Monday, July 11, 2016


Broken Spanish
1050 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tel: 213.749.1460
$$$ ($30-$45)
Sat, 07/02/2015, 8:45pm reservation
(4 Piglets)

Sophisticated. Contemporary. Flavorful. Those are all adjectives that I would use to describe the bustling restaurant in downtown Los Angeles known as Broken Spanish.  

Chef Ray Garcia is a native Angeleno who is able to bring his influence of Latin flavors with a touch of finesse from his classically trained days as a chef. With inspiration from the City of Angels, the dishes are refined in such a way to bring fresh ingredients with a hint of modern flair. 

The space is unique with a touch of character. Simple and chic with modern clean lines comprises most of the decor in the restaurant. An open kitchen with bar seating embody a quarter of the restaurant while the remaining space are seats arranged as both communal and independent. With that in mind, it's a wonderful location with a cool vibe with none of the pretentiousness that you would get in the Westside. 

The interior
The interior in the back room
The interior in the back room
TEPACHE FIZZ ($14.00): Blanco Tequila, Bols Genever, Alvear Cream Sherry, Lime, Fermented Pineapple Tepache, Nutmeg, and served in a tin mug. This was a refreshing drink. It was slightly creamy and a hint of spice from the nutmeg gave the drink a depth of flavor and complexity. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was neither too strong or super sweet. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. TAMALE ($16.00): Summer Squash, Brentwood Corn, Rajas, Queso Oaxaca. O.M.G. This is probably one, if not, the best tamale ever. The texture was soft and decadent. The vegetables were super fresh. What really stood out with this dish was the sauce the tamale was dressed in; it was creamy, slightly buttery, rich, thick and full of deliciousness. It had so much flavor that I just wanted to soak up every last bit of it with the tortilla. It was so good that we ordered another one! Definitely a must order! 
TOSTADA ($13.00): Habas, Pea Salsa Verde, "Little Lamb", Carrot Escabeche. This was absolutely delicious. The tostada was nice and crisp with a definite crunch. The topping was fresh and spicy. The peas and carrots almost made you think you were eating a healthy dish. 
TORTILLAS, WHIPPED CARNITAS FAT ($8.00): I thought the tortillas were good and obviously were homemade. The carnitas fat had a slight spiciness to it but honestly, it didn't really do anything for me. It coated my tongue like how fat does but I felt it lacked taste and flavor. Maybe it just needed some seasoning to bring out the fatty taste? 
ENSALADA RUSA ($15.00): Heirloom Potato, Pickled Pepper, Smoked Marlin, Pork Rind. This dish was recommended by the staff and quite honestly, it wasn't one of my favorites. Sure, it tasted like potato salad with a bit of sophistication to it, but that's all it was. It wasn't anything special. 
QUESADILLA ($15.00): Oxtail, Plantain, Habanero, Salsa Quemada. This was another outstanding dish from the chef. I loved oxtail, It wasn't dry and had a great amount of flavor to it. The habanero offered a kick to the dish that hit you at the end of your bite. The salsa quemada was delicious. A must order. 
PULPO ($22.00): Alberjones, Chorizo, Crema. This dish was good, but for the price compared to the other dishes, I would order something else. The pulpo was tender and not rubbery like most octopus can become when overcooked. The beans were good and had a good flavor to it, but it wasn't one of my favorite dishes. 
CHICHARRON ($39.00): Elephant Garlic Mojo, RAdish Sprout, Pickled Herbs. This was an excellent dish. If you don't like pork belly, this dish may convert you. The pork belly was tender and fatty. The chicharron that coated the pork belly had a great crunch to it, even with the sauce. The herbs were fresh and had a good amount of acidity to cut through the fat. It was a well-constructed dish and definitely innovative. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
VERVE COFFEE SINGLE ORIGIN ($8.00): 20 oz. This is a lot of coffee. It definitely was good and not bitter. It's one of those coffees that you actually could probably drink it black cause it's that good. It's a great amount of coffee to share amongst 2-3 people. Twenty ounces is a lot; so for one, it's a bit much. 
A closer look at the coffee
ICE CREAM/SORBET (3 FOR $10.00): Goat's Milk Ice Cream, Horchata Ice Cream, Guava Sorbet. The goat's milk ice cream was pretty interesting. I've never had it before and it definitely had a slightly pungent taste to it. I don't think I loved it. The horchata tasted like horchata in ice cream form. It was good and the cinnamon was prominent. If you're on the fence with horchata, then it's not for you. The guava was probably the best out of the three. The guava was slightly sweet and was still super creamy even though it was a sorbet. 
CAFE DE OLLA ($13.00): Hazelnut Dacquoise, Canela Pastry Cream, Jivara Ganache, Macha Stout Reduction, Cafe-Canela Ice Cream. This dessert was the best out of the two. The layers of all the different textures and flavors worked well together. The canela pastry cream almost had a texture like marshmallow creme. The dessert was sweet but with the ice cream, it cut through it all. I wish there was more of the ice cream because it was super delicious. This dessert was good, but not by any means amazing. 
Overall, Broken Spanish is a great restaurant offering Mexican/Latin food with elevated flavor profiles. It's already difficult as it is to find good Mexican food that's contemporary and somehow, Chef Garcia managed to pull it off. The space is great and the location is in the heart of Downtown which means parking can be difficult. They offer valet parking that can be easily missed. With everything being said, it's definitely worth a visit. 

Notable Dishes: Tamale, Quesadilla, Tostada, and Chicharron.  

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