Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 11:34
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
The people of Argentina are even more enthusiastic about eating steak than Americans are. This grill recreates the style of the Argentine steakhouse, with unusual cuts of excellent beef, grilled with excitement, served with the unique chimichurri sauces. Thursdays through Saturdays, La Boca is open until midnight--a rare, welcome resource.
The concept is simple. Beef of good, fresh quality, a very hot grill, fresh-cut fries and grilled asparagus, and the distinctive South American sauce for beef, chimichurri. (It's a slurry of chopped herbs in olive oil, a sort of Hispanic pesto.) Some of the steaks are from seldom-seen cuts, and those are the most interesting. Side dishes are unusual; this is the first place I've ever encountered grilled sweetbreads, for example.
This is the carnivorous brother of RioMar, the terrific Spanish-style seafood cafe of Chef Adolfo Garcia and Nick Bazan. Adolfo had at least one superlative steak in all his past restaurants; Nick is himself from Argentina, and knows all about the Argentine steakhouse culture. The restaurant opened in 2006, taking over the space formerly that of Taqueria Corona. The dining room is managed by Orestes Rodriguez, one of the best service guys in town. (He was the long-time maitre d' at La Riviera.)
Not many changes were made in this old Warehouse District space when Chef Adolfo took over. But they weren't needed. It already looked like a steakhouse from the Pampas, with a lot of old, unpainted wooden surfaces, a concrete floor, and a generally rustic feeling.
Empanadas criollas (meat pies) or de pollo (chicken pies)
Morcillas (blood sausage)
Grilled Argentine cheese
Bruschetta with grilled black drumfish
Grilled veal sweetbreads
Gaucho plate (chorizo, beef skewers, sweetbreads, and empanadas)
Noqui (potato pasta dumplings with pancetta and peas)
Hearts of palm salad
Bistro tenderloin (chuck filet)
New York strip
Cowboy ribeye (bone-in)
Bife de lomo (beef tenderloin)
Dulce de leche crepes
Flourless chocolate cake
Coconut-amaretto ice cream cake
FOR BEST RESULTS
Make a reservation. The restaurant is small and usually busy. Try a cut of beef you've never had before. Get the "gaucho plate" as an appetizer for the table.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Parking is a little sketchy, although they have a deal for $6 at the Embassy Suites, two blocks away.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +2
- Service +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +1
- Wine and Bar +2
- Hipness +2
- Local Color +2
- Good for business meetings
- Open Monday dinner
- Open after 10 p.m.
- Unusually large servings
- Reservations accepted
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