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Barcito Is Downtown's Adorable New Argentine Cocktail Spot

Opening tonight with Fernet and coke, naturally.

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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Is Downtown ready for a South American small plates bar offering on-tap cocktails? Let’s hope so, because here comes Barcito, tucked right onto 12th Street just blocks from the Staples Center.

It’s been a pleasure seeing the former ChocoChicken space, all lifeless after the fall of the chocolate-y fried bird concept, get completely retooled at the hands of Barcito owner Andrea Borgen. The former GM at New York’s Blue Smoke and L.A.’s gin-heavy hideaway Flintridge Proper, Borgen is instead now trading on her roots with a full Argentinian overhaul.

Lined with old photos and stuffed with well-worn wood, the new Barcito space evokes a quieter cafe tucked into a side street in Buenos Aires. The black and white checkered tiles certainly fit the motif, while a few elegant light fixtures add charm to the room.

For seating, there’s a mix of high-top bar options and an attached sit-down dining area for anyone looking to squirrel away for a quieter date. Of course, there’s also the bar, which curves around the entire room and overlooks a run of tap lines (five, to be exact) meant for rotating batch cocktails. In all, the place seats 130.

As for food, look for fresh takes on Argentinian specialties from chef Chuck Abair, who previously spent time at Cafe del Rey. The menu, seen below, features everything from empanadas to asado to veal sweetbreads.

Barcito opens tonight, keeping evening hours only. Tuesday through Thursday, the eatery opens at 5 p.m. and runs until midnight, and on Friday and Saturday nights the bar keeps going until 2 a.m. (though the kitchen closes at midnight).

Barcito Menu

Barcito403 W. 12th StreetLos Angeles, CA 90015