041 Bacaro is a new spot in Culver City taking over from Santa Maria Barbecue. As The Monster walks in the first thing he notices is the ambience. And by that he means the subtley ugly choices of the restaurant. The walls painted in an ugly brushstroke. Chandeliers that defy taste. Mismatched chair fabric that assaults the eyes. Furniture seemingly in the wrong place. Now, none of it is so egregious that you’re immediately saying “what an ugly restaurant” but it starts to seep in from the get-go and gets worse as time passes.
The next thing The Monster notices is the friendly service. From the start the waiter makes it a goal to have you enjoy your experience here. Kudos on that. Now, on to the menu…
For lunch the menu is mostly salads, pizza, pasta and a few entrees. The Monster feels like he’d be remiss in not trying a pizza so a Margherita is ordered as the starter. For the main course, the breaded and fried Jidori chicken breast with fries. Also sounding good is the fusilli alla verdure, Kamut pasta with mixed vegetables and broccoli rabe pesto or the fish of the say with pea shoots and cherry tomatoes in white wine, garlic and basil broth.
While waiting for the appetizer pizza some bread and olive oil is brought out. Both are decent but not revelatory. This gives the Monster more time to peruse the restaurant. Find a picture of one of the two types of chandeliers in the restaurant and tell The Monster they are not hideous.
When the pizza arrives it looks pretty decent and tastes okay. The sauce is nice with a sweet twang but the crust tastes too much like cardboard for this guy. Sourdough down the street would be your stop for lunch time pizza.
And then the chicken comes. And it looks boring. Served with no accompaniment besides a lemon it tastes fine. Fine. The chicken is no fried chicken from Honey’s Kettle across the street (and that is by no means a Monster fave either). The fries are nice and thick but a tad too salty.
Maybe this is a place that needs more time to find its sea legs (and a new decorator). The Monster isn’t sure he saw enough in his first visit to warrant a return trip to find out.
Why go? You’re a decorator looking for a gig.
Monster rating: 2/5 Monsters
9552 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232