Playa del Rey has always been a sleepy, casual beachside spot and the food has followed suit. Burgers, hot dogs, spaghetti and meatballs - you could always find comfort food in the neighborhood. As I recently mentioned, Chef Brooke Williamson shook things up when she and her husband moved into town with Tripel and most recently Playa Provisions. She spiced up the culinary landscape while still keeping with the cool vibe of Playa. Then the Kronfli brothers took the USC adjacent restaurant Bacari, and opened Bacari PDR at the cross section of Culver and Vista del Mar.
A small update to the former Bistro du Soleil shows chalkboard menus on walls that feature an often rotating list of approachable wines, mostly $30 - $40 a bottle. Once you finish your bottle, you can take markers and write a message on it before it becomes a piece of their wine ceiling of fame. Get there soon if you want to be a part of it since it's filling up fast. And no, it's not all because of me.
Food options include Italian small plates, both cold and hot. There's a plethora of good deals to be had. Plates can be 3 for $21 or you can get the chef's menu with 4 plates each, a shared dessert and an open bar from select beer, wine and sangria for $35 per person. There's also a 90 minute $25 per person open bar special. You want a deal, Bacari has a deal.
Glazed pork belly skewers are as fatty and sweet as you want them. Cauliflower is one of the lone vegetables on the hot menu, but it comes out swinging with a spicy smoked chipotle sauce on mixed greens.
On the seasonal menu, you can find seared scallops in a soupy sweet bed of fresh corn and smashed tomatoes.
The osso bucco was a bit dry and the cracked wheat it was served on didn't help matters, but it was a nice presentation.
Then there was Tal's Tower, impressive in its towerability of large grilled baguette slices stacked high with stuffed, spiced mushrooms, but not so easy to eat.
A fun trio of dishes is served with the brown butter cookie dessert. Candied walnuts sat in the middle, buttressed by homemade whipped cream and a cardamom chocolate ganache, banana brulee. Nice flavor with a crisp crust on top, but the chocolate was oddly cold underneath.
This isn't a place though to nit pick over serving style. It's a neighborhood spot. It's casual, and it's a perfect addition to Playa del Rey.
6805 Vista Del Mar Lane
Playa del Rey, CA