Broken Spanish - Chef Ray Garcia's Elevated Mexican Cuisine with Farmers Market Produce [Thoughts + Pics]

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More noise nowadays. Makes one man’s voice, no matter how authoritative (or not), that much harder to hear.

Please describe the tres leches further.

What was wrong with fucking jay golds review ???

Interesting… part of the reason I love BS so much is that it is much more approachable (And tastier) than Bazzar ever was.


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I wish you posted more often. This really made me laugh!

No kidding.

They are made with heirloom blue corn, supplied by Taco Maria.

Dropped in to Broken Spanish for a quick dinner last night. The first time I went here (in a big group) I thought it was so so, but last night with my babe, we thought it was amazing.

Tostada (Pinquito Bean, Goat Cheese, Pickled Wax Bean, Sea Bean): Nice amount of acid and tartness combined with just enough savory from the beans and goat cheese. Not too heavy. Good way to start the meal, but not a must order.

Beet pibil (Yellow Beet, Achiote, Pickled Onion, Bitter Greens): Beets are cooked whole until almost translucent and then served in an orange sauce. Soft and sweet concentrated flavor of the beets then contrasted with the tangy and spicy sauce. Highly recommended.

Quesadilla (Oxtail, Plantain, Habanero, Salsa Quemada): Maybe one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while, just hit the spot for me. Lot of flavors going on inside the tortilla, from the richness of the oxtail, the spiciness of the salsas, and the cooling effect of the crema / avocado.

Tortillas with whipped carnitas fat: As others have noted, the tortillas are a bit thick, but was nice to have these with the steak. Carnitas fat wasn’t all that rich surprisingly.

Carne asada (Rib Eye, Maui Onion, Fingerling Potato, Salsa Molcajete): It took a while to get this dish because the first one they cooked was overdone and they tried again. What’s not to like here? Slightly spicy seasoning, green salsa. I wanted to hold the beef in my mouth for a bit longer just to enjoy the flavor. Onions cooked until soft and almost creamy. Potato just a bit crispy on the skin, but also soft underneath.

What a stellar meal, won’t be long before returning. Only minor complaints are that our server seemed a bit blase and I think the dining room is a bit loud (I have never complained about this before even at Bottega Louie).

The only picture I took, sorry!


Thanks @DTLAeater. Nice report and glad to hear your dinner was good.

That beet pibil sounds amazing! :slight_smile:

Is it proper to use ribeye in carne asada? haha Sorry if that’s a stupid question. Is it aged steak? Looks pretty good, damn.

Best dish I have had so far. Highly recommend it as well.

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It had been a while since our last visit to Broken Spanish, Chef Ray Garcia’s modern take on Mexican cuisine through the lens of fresh California produce.

Ever since the showing on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, it seems Broken Spanish has seen an uptick in business (it was 90 - 100% full on these last two visits).

Lamb Neck Tamales (King Oyster Mushroom, Queso Oaxaca):

A favorite of ours during the first visit, these were as wonderful as I remembered. :slight_smile: Moist, tender slivers of Slow-Roasted Lamb, a bit of the soft King Oyster Mushrooms and the slight funk of Queso Oaxaca.

Beet Pibil (Yellow Beet, Achiote, Pickled Onion, Bitter Greens):

Besides looking beautiful, biting into these small Roasted Beets reminded me of what I loved about Chef Garcia at FIG (Santa Monica). Thoughtful incorporation of seasonal, fresh farmers market produce makes a difference. These Beets were earthy and yet they were elevated to another level in this Pibil preparation. The Achiote Sauce was fantastic, lively, dynamic, spicy. Thanks @A5KOBE @DTLAeater. :slight_smile:

Rabbit Albondigas:

Served during Happy Hour, the Rabbit Albondigas were stunning! :open_mouth: Super tender, moist Rabbit (which is usually on the dry, lean side), Chef Ray Garcia’s skills were evident here. Be warned the immediate heat was real, perhaps a Howlin’ Ray’s Level 3.5 type of heat. But so delicious with some of their Handmade Tortillas! :slight_smile:

Carnitas (Lamb Shoulder, Carrot Escabeche, Spring Onion Mermelada):

Their Carnitas were made with Lamb Shoulder - a nice touch and change from the usual Pork preparation - and the result is a slightly gamy, moist, break apart dish of slow-cooked Lamb. I understand the inclusion of Carrot Escabeche and Spring Onion Mermelada, as it provides a tart component to break up some of the fattiness, but the pickling was a bit too heavy and it overpowered the Lamb unless you took a half bite of the Carrot or Onion.

Otherwise, adding some of the Lamb Carnitas with some of the Heirloom Corn Tortillas…

… resulted in fantastic Lamb Tacos! :blush: The hefty, yet wonderfully pliant, supple Handmade Organic Tortillas really make these dishes so much more enjoyable. I can see why @Dommy and others love them so much. So good! :slight_smile:

Escarole (Coconut, Turnips, Amaranto, Agave):

This was an interesting mix of flavors, the bitter Escarole with a bit of fragrant Coconut, peppery Turnip slivers were countered by a bit of tartness.

Quesadilla (Oxtail, Plantain, Habanero, Salsa Quemada):

Using the same thicker, pliant Handmade Heirloom Tortillas, Chef Garcia stuffs it with some slow-cooked Oxtail - really tender and delicious! - and covered with melting Cheese. :slight_smile:

4th visit:

Ensalada (Broccoli Sprouts, Peas, Persian Cucumber, Habas, Meyer Lemon Dressing):

Now this is what I really remember Chef Garcia for at FIG: Just absolutely beautiful farmers market-driven fresh veggies! Usually in a normal “Salad” the base green might be the star / main component, but here the Lettuces were taking a back seat to the Spring-like Broccoli Sprouts, the absolutely wonderful fresh English Peas (inherently sweet, nice body), and the Habas. The Persian Cucumbers were refreshing as well. The only minor quibble is that they overdressed the Salad, a bit too much of the Meyer Lemon Dressing, but otherwise, quite nice. :slight_smile:

Hecho en L.A. (Amaro Angeleno, Tequila Blanco, Mint, Honey, Lime, Seltzer):

It still feels a bit sad to pass by the bar where Rivera used to house Bar Director Julian Cox and his team of up-and-coming bartenders; their Cocktails were still some of the best that L.A. had to offer.

The Hecho en L.A. was refreshing! In this heat wave, the Amaro, Tequila Blanco, cooling Mint and fizziness went well with the Honey & bright Lime. :slight_smile:

Stuffed Squid (Green Chorizo, Heirloom Brown Rice, Fava Leaves, Ravigote):

Wow! Imagine just cooked through Squid, genuinely tender (not rubbery), providing this supple brininess giving way to the Green Chorizo, a real porky meatiness with a touch of heat, all somehow combining perfectly with the Sauce Ravigote. Slightly herbal, vegetal but the whole thing just worked.

Some of the most refined cooking from Chef Garcia that I’ve ever tried. It was our friend’s favorite of the evening and I’d have to say it was a tie for me as well! :heart:

Duck (Grape, Peanut, Mole, Chile Tepin):

I love Duck in general, and it looks like Chef Garcia has rotated out the Roasted Lamb Head for this dish. As we ordered it, our server cheerfully said this was Phil Rosenthal’s (host and star of “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”) favorite dish, and he orders it every time he stops by.

Regardless, I couldn’t wait to see what Chef Garcia would do with Duck. You get Half of a Roasted Duck (which is nice), and while there are parts where the skin was slightly crisped, it’s covered in a Housemade Mole Sauce that works: It’s not overpowering like some heavier Mole Sauces.

You get supple, tender Roasted Duck meat, matched with a nuttiness from the Peanuts and White Sesame Seeds and the slight sweet, nutty, savoriness of Chef Garcia’s Mole Sauce. Fantastic! :blush:

@CiaoBob @PorkyBelly and other fans of Roast Duck, this might be worth a try. :slight_smile:

Heirloom Corn Tortillas:

Don’t forget to order some Handmade Organic Heirloom Corn Tortillas for the Duck (and the next dish)! Duck Tacos = :heart:

Rabbit (Nopales, Bacon, Cherry Tomato):

And then we get the Rabbit main course. This preparation reminded me of a Mixiote you get when enjoying Barbacoa de Borrego - that awesome Roasted Lamb in Maguey Leaves. Like the Mixiote we got at a few Barbacoa restaurants, this arrives in a small package, but instead of wrapped in leaves and opened up, it was sealed in a more showy transparent wrapper.

But back to the Rabbit: It’s this slow-cooked, almost Rabbit Stew-like concoction. Extremely tender, juicy morsels of Rabbit, with a 4 Chili Sauce (not overly spicy) driven by Chipotle Chilies at the forefront that was so addictive and crave-worthy! :blush: The Nopales were fantastic having been slow-cooked with the Rabbit as well. My favorite of the evening! :heart:

Flan (Goat’s Milk Flan, Whipped Honey, Azelia-Avocado Ganache, Wine Poached Pear):

I love Flan usually, and this Flan was really silky and supple, but the Goat’s Milk really dominated. It made for an interesting Dessert, but might’ve been slightly too pungent when eating it as Flan (and I love Goat’s Milk Cheeses). Not bad at all, but perhaps I was just expecting a more classic, subtle Flan.

Service has been just fine over the last 3rd and 4th visits. No issues to speak of, with a casual L.A. type of service.

Broken Spanish seems to have really elevated its game since our previous visit over a year ago. Chef Ray Garcia’s Modern Mexican dishes continue to be enjoyable and surprise us at times as well. Dishes like their Stuffed Squid with Green Chorizo, their fresh farmers market-driven produce in their Salads, and that Roasted Duck and Slow-Cooked Rabbit make us anxious to return to Broken Spanish soon, to see what Chef Garcia has planned next.

Broken Spanish
1050 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tel: (213) 749-1460


Great report.

Love the duck and the ensalada, but the rabbit too me was mushy and a bit too sweet, in a weird way.

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Thanks @ipsedixit. :slight_smile:

Yah the Duck and Ensalada are so good! :slight_smile: Bummer about the Rabbit… so weird. Our Rabbit wasn’t sweet (perhaps Sergio wasn’t in the house? ;)). But in all seriousness, I hope the Rabbit you had was the aberration or if ours was, I’d be sad.

Great timing @Chowseeker1999, i have reservations tomorrow night, I’ll be sure to try that duck and squid. Has anybody tried the chicharron? And great report as always.

Hi @PorkyBelly,

My friend did, and said it was really good. I was definitely eyeing that dish, but we opted for the Duck and Rabbit first. :slight_smile: Looking forward to your report!

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Good, not sure I would order again though, not a type of dish that I crave.

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Fantastic reports as usual. I agree about the cocktails. They are good but not utterly captivating like Rivera had.

Can’t wait to return.


Skip the coracoles, sauce obliterates the snails. Chile relleno is quite good.

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Hi @Sgee,

Thanks for the info on the coracoles; I was curious about those, as well as the chili relleno (which sounds like a winner). :slight_smile:

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stuffed squid - green chorizo, heirloom brown rice, fava leaves, ravigote
Wow, this was fantastic. Tender squid, stuffed with a slightly spicy chorizo and the ravigote sauce just gave everything a fresh brightness to the dish. Loved the fried fava leaves for texture too. Thanks for the rec @Chowseeker1999.

camote - sweet potato, pig tail, trompa, chile de arbol, verjus
Another winner, they used what looked like a Okinawan purple sweet potato, that was sweet enough to balance the fatty piggy parts and the heat from the chile de arbol. This dish would be perfect if they crisped up the tail and snout a little for some texture.

duck - grape, peanut, mole, chile tepin
And the hits keep coming, the duck was the bee’s knees. Up there with Charcoal’s 21 day aged duck and so much better than the lame duck at republique.
The nutty slighty sweet mole sauce was great with the perfectly cooked tender half duck. Thanks again @Chowseeker1999.
Fyi, they open at 530 so i think @linus can order this and be back in bed by 8.

baked oaxaca - lemon curd, chocolate sponge, meringue, vanilla-gusano powder, mole ice cream
And this dessert made dinner a perfect 4 for 4. Sweet, tart, and slightly spicy, all balanced perfectly.

I will definitely be back to try the lamb neck, quesadilla, carne asada, chile relleno, chicharron, rabbit, snapper, tres leches…


Hi @PorkyBelly,

So glad you liked it! :slight_smile:

I was so tempted to order the Baked Oaxaca (a cute take on a Baked Alaska). It sounds like a real winner! :slight_smile:

And yes, I also thought that Broken Spanish’s Duck was right up there for enjoyability with Charcoal’s Liberty Farms Duck. Thanks for the report!