This week, Besha Rodell reviews Ray Garcia's contribution to Modern Mexican cuisine, Broken Spanish, located in the old Rivera space. The LA Weekly critic finds the upscale restaurant to be much more successful than its casual counterpart, B.S. Taqueria:
I have to admit that my one visit to B.S. Taqueria, which opened a few weeks ahead of Broken Spanish, left me feeling a little skeptical of Garcia's brand of elevated Mexican cooking. I'm not opposed to a $40 taco lunch if that lunch is considerably more rewarding than the $8 taco lunch I can get anywhere else, but I can't say that was the case. Those clam and lardo tacos that everyone raves about were slightly discordant and also insanely salty, and nothing else really made much of an impression. But I'm glad to say that I had no such issue with Broken Spanish, which revealed its best attributes immediately.
It was a whole fish that won me over completely on an early visit: a red snapper served over "green clamato" (a jaunty green sauce with citrus tang and a whisper of the ocean) and accompanied by clams, avocado and soft leeks left in chunks large enough to showcase their sweet, vegetal flavor. Garcia is playing with the kind of inventiveness that feels natural, and he puts deliciousness first. [LAW]
B. Rod calls Broken Spanish "a heartening step forward for a chef who was obviously meant to be at the forefront of the modern Mexican-food revolution," and awards it three stars.
The Elsewhere: The Offalo checks out Charles Olalia's Filipino fare at Ricebar, Gourmet Pigs heads to Grand Central Market's La Tostaderia, kevinEats enjoys sausages galore at BierBeisl Imbiss, and Bill Esparza digs into lobster nachos at El Coralense.