Finally had the time to try out Bracero - and came away very disappointed on many levels
Food: The first three courses (albacore two ways, baja hiramasa crudo and the octopus) were good, everything else OK to disaster. Corn Masa with “perfect egg” had completely overcooked egg, lousy steak tartare etc, both tacos were completely unremarkable (cauliflower and lamb neck - especially the last one was disappointing with being so flavorless and something we often normally enjoy in tasting menus - here one of the worst interpretations in a long time), verde est vida salad just boring (and normally local produce gives other chefs so much possibilities with similar dishes), Cooks Pig Ranch New York Pork Chop - just horrible - uneven cooked meat (some very overcooked) , very unbalanced dish with way too much neat compared to horrible cooked vegetables and moles sauce, and as dessert a cake with some pineapple and joghurt sorbet which was just amateurish - the component didn’t work together, weren’t well made).
Service: Just bad - our server was completely uninterested in anything, e.g. if we like any dishes, water was hardly ever refilled, in a high end restaurant which focuses on small plates it is common everywhere to change plates and silverware after each dish (you don’t want to mix completely different flavors) a concept completely new to Bracero.
Overall the ambience was disappointing and not inviting - very loud (even compared to favorite places in LA) and a crowd which is more a bar crowd than people interested in good food. And it is bad service that you allow other tables which were booked for four people suddenly have more people sitting there so that some of them started sitting at our table - fortunately a bus boy was even annoyed that our server didn’t care about anything that he helpef us move tables
Overall we came with high hopes to have an additional restaurant on our frequent rotation list but after this visit it will be while until we come back - service (even this bad) we can to a certain degree accept if the food is good an unique but beside a few dishes it was surprisingly underwhelming in terms of execution, creativity and flavors. None of the flavor combinations (mix of Baja/Mexican and Asian and Mediterrean/French) had were completely new to us from other chefs (each chef might have different emphasis on the different influences in each dish). It seems that there is a lot of hype about the chef which seems not more than just hype and little substance. Is it ground breaking as other claim on CH - definitely not and far away from the quality (and consistency)and creativity of restaurants like Georges and Juniper & Ivy. And yes, the service is ground breaking in a negative way for a high end restaurant.