Lisbon, Portugal has been inundated with tourists in recent years, as fans from across the globe (and particularly America) head to the coastal European city in search of seafood, steep hills, and lots of sherry. Now Angelenos can book a closer-to-home trip for much the same experience, with this week’s opening of Barra Santos in Cypress Park.
While the new Barra Santos, the latest venture from the hit hospitality team Last Word (Found Oyster), isn’t quite the same thing as being on the Iberian peninsula, co-owner Mike Santos wants to at least offer a similar feeling. Santos was born in Portugal and raised in East Coast Portuguese communities, and now he’s running one of the first true restaurants for piri piri chicken, bacalao fritters, and marinated pork bifana sandwiches anywhere in Southern California. Chef and partner Melissa López (Bestia, Barbuto) is on to oversee the culinary side of things at the small, snacks-focused spot, while Last Word wine director Evelyn Goreshnik is handling the drinks. Expect a full array of sherry, port, madeira, and wine, in addition to draft beer and brews imported directly from Portugal. The opening menus are below.
As for the anticipated new Cypress Park space itself, expect a small footprint reminiscent of Last Word’s other familiar venture Found Oyster. A long, 25-foot red oak bar makes for the primary dining area, save for some additional exterior seating directly out front. Pendant lights and curtains at the front of the long building give the feel of a longtime neighborhood hangout that’s been built with brick and aged with time, while handprinted tiles feel as if they’re pulled directly from Lisbon proper.
The new Barra Santos is part of a larger transformation happening lately across Cypress Park, Glassell Park, and the eastern edges of Eagle Rock. In recent years the area has seen an uptick in daytime spots like Bub & Grandma’s and Loquat Coffee, as well as drinking destinations like Wife & the Somm, Capri Club, and the Grant bar. While some in the surrounding neighborhoods have welcomed the influx of hospitality options, others have felt that some of the businesses may be priced out of reach for longtime locals, spurring growing fears of ongoing gentrification and displacement. Next door, Last Word is also opening Shin’s Pizza, a neighborhood pizzeria for inexpensive after-school takeout slices and snacks.
The new Barra Santos opens Friday, March 24 at 1215 Cypress Avenue, keeping hours from Wednesday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.