This place gets mentioned often in other threads, but it seems like it deserves its own thread on the forums.
I finally made it out to Bizarra, and the guide to the chimichangas and pulpo were incredibly spot on.
Free chips and salsa are above average, though there’s not a lot to say about them, it lends the place a pleasant traditional, homey feeling when they come out.
The pulpu in mojo verde is the kind of dish that just floors you when you take your first bite. The pungency and kick of the garlic in the mojo verde is tremendous, the tenderness of the octopus is nearly unrivaled in the city, and with crisp potatoes and a heartening chipotle aioli just for added absurdity, the dish is completely off the rails, maybe the best octopus dish in LA.
Chimichangas display a remarkable intellectualism, though it is subdued by the immense flavors on display. Easily the best chimichangas I’ve ever had, filled with succulent beef and savory black beans. The beef fat drippings turned into a Mexican au jus that turns the plate into a sort of french dip plate is almost obscene…dipping fried cylinders of meat into a hot juice of its own fat before slathering it in tart avocado salsa, and thick, slightly peppered Mexcian crema? Ludicrously hedonistic, and fucking amazing.
The shrimp taco, hailed as one of the top 25 best tacos in the city, was the only thing that fell a bit short for me. Everything was well prepared, excellent, hefty tortilla, and nicely grilled shrimp, but the sauce was too delicate perhaps…or maybe it was just that it was too subtle in comparison to the outrageous dishes that preceded it. Not a bad taco, but not necessarily mind-blowing either.
Overall, there is a subtle current of intellectual playfulness really on the same level as, say, Broken Spanish at Bizarra, for much less moola. Cocktails are also quite cheap, and pretty good, and the chips and salsa are free, and quite tasty in their own right. Maybe you won’t find the same heirloom maize in the tortillas, but Bizarra is a fantastic representation of Los Angeles Mexican food that feels both authentic to Mexican traditions, and interwoven with SoCal culture. I know every major food writer has already written about this place, as their quotes are plastered on the walls there, but it was worth writing more about. I expected it to be good, but not quite as totally balls-to-the-wall kickass, nor as playfully thought-provoking as it turned out to be.