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Take a Peek Inside Downtown LA’s New High-End Indian Hangout

New York transplant Baar Baar brings fresh flavors to the area near L.A. Live, making it an ideal dinner destination or cocktail hangout

A close up photo of a yellow-orange sweet potato with crispy bits on top.
Baar Baar in Los Angeles.
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.

The gauzy curtains are pouring in light and the glassware is gleaming at Baar Baar, Downtown LA’s genre-bending new Indian bar and restaurant. The tall, colorful newcomer is set to open May 2 in the former Faith & Flower space at 705 W. 9th Street, just a few blocks north of Arena and the wider L.A. Live entertainment complex. Baar Baar is well positioned not only geographically but also ideologically, as Los Angeles has often lacked the kind of cocktail-friendly modern Indian dining experience found in other cities like New York, where the original Baar Baar still resides. With any luck, the Los Angeles expansion will be around for years to come.

That’s the hope, at least, for managing partner Payal Sharma and chef Sujan Sarkar, who previously told Eater that they wanted to create, with the original Baar Baar opening in 2017, an Indian restaurant that was “as appealing as it could be to a younger clientele... a place that was more fun, more vibrant.” They definitely have the bones to create that kind of place in LA thanks to a prime corner location, lots of tufted banquette seats and wide booths, an ample bar section that comes alive with its own lounge-like feel, and a menu that pulls from Bollywood films. A Jessica Kollar mural watches over the lively scene in front of the 50-foot bar, where customers can down drinks like the RRR with Old Monk rum, creme de cacao, chocolate, and coffee bitters.

On the food front, chef Sarkar plans to pull from the bounty of Los Angeles as well as his other restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and New Delhi. Sarkar, one of India’s most respected chefs, will offer up small plates like dahi puri with avocado, tamarind, and mint; cauliflower with carrot pachadi, peanut thecha, and pickled kumquat; and a stewed Kashmiri duck taco. Larger portions include a lamb shank that’s roasted with Nihari gravy and ginger, staples like butter chicken and chicken malai tikka, and a monkfish osso bucco.

Baar Baar could well be the next big deal in LA Indian food, and it comes at an interesting moment for the region’s greater South Asian food scene. Newcomers like Tulsi are highlighting a variety of regional Indian flavors in the fast-casual scene, while longtime players like Badmaash — which is celebrating a decade in Downtown this year — continue to impress with big flavors and lots of dinnertime fun. With luck, Baar Baar should slot right in as a talented new option for LA diners.

The new Baar Baar opens Tuesday, May 2 at 705 W. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017, with valet available in front of the restaurant. The restaurant’s hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays).

A blue and white restaurant interior with a mural of two women, and a wooden floor.
Banquettes and booths.
A long golden banquette with two-top tables at a daytime restaurant with wooden floors.
Windows for days.
Teal blue booths and banquettes under pendant lights at a daytime restaurant with tall windows.
Corner seating.
A run of tables set for service at a daytime restaurant, including wine glasses and grey napkins.
A light green banquette with multiple tables at a bar area inside of a closed daytime restaurant with chandeliers.
The bar and lounge area.
A side look at a mural of two women inside of a tan restaurant at daytime with slate-colored tables and chairs.
A hand pours an orange sauce into a white bowl with chopped vegetables at a fine dining restaurant.
Tuna bhel with passion fruit rassam.
A close up photo of a roasted sweet potato with crispy bits on top at a daytime restaurant.
Sweet potato chaat.
A roasted fish in a light yellow sauce on a long plate with a bowl of millet and crispy rice paper at a marble table at a new restaurant Baar Baar.
Monkfish osso bucco with millet kichidi and black rice papad.
A tall bowl of roasted on-bone meat with side bread at a restaurant’s marble table.
Lamb shank Nihari with naan.
A side angle of a full restaurant table at Baar Baar with meats and fish and mains.
A busy table at Baar Baar.
A purple-pink cocktail with a single cube and edible yellow flower inside a snifter glass.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge with tequila, tamarind, balsamic, blackberry syrup, soda.
A light green cocktail with creamy foam and long stem at a daytime restaurant’s marble table.
Lagaan with gin, honeydew melon, kale, midori, egg white.
A bright orange cocktail in a collins glass with lemon garnish and long straw at a daytime restaurant.
A bald Indian chef with beard crosses arms and smiles inside of a bright restaurant, wearing whites and an apron.
Chef Sujan Sarkar.

Baar Baar LA

705 W 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017 Visit Website
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