Baldoria Kitchen & Bar
 
 

Get down with bottled cocktails, shared plates, and inspired pizzas

By Joshua Lurie

Depending on who’s translating, the name is Italian for “big feast”. Or “spree.” Or “binge.” Or “over the top party.” But however you interpret it, this share-friendly spot in Little Tokyo promises something good, thanks to David King’s (Mozza) creative, bottled cocktails and executive chef Duke Gervais’ (Pizza Antica, Cube) freewheeling cooking.

At the base of the mixed-use development Sakura Crossing, a planter-lined patio with green umbrellas gives way to an interior laid out with merriment in mind. Think high-top wood tables, black cushion–backed seats, and walls composed of white brick, smooth black, and what looks like a maze.

The menu is divided into the three basic food groups of bar food: no meat, meat, and pizza. When they’re in season, heirloom tomatoes star in a salad that alternates layers of them with peaches, creamy Mimmo’s burrata, and a tangy drizzle of six-year balsamic. Baldoria also prepares a winning fritto misto di mare, made with tender calamari and market vegetables like baby zucchini and pattypan squash, all plated with a lemon aïoli.
That said, pizza is a big reason to visit Baldoria, where each pie is cooked in a Mugnaini oven that feeds on burning oak. While you can find Margherita pizzas on menus everywhere, Baldoria is probably the only place in LA that offers something like charred baby octopus pizza with caramelized cippolini onions and charred radicchio cream sauce. And, somehow, the combo works. Another unlikely yet equally delicious choice is the Mrs. Croque is a play on the French croquet madame sandwich, with Black Forest ham, Grand Cru Gruyere, browned butter Béchamel, and vivid Chino Valley eggs.

For dessert, Baldoria offers two flavors of semifreddo; the strawberries and vanilla is especially good, and comes with three tiny chocolate chip cookies. Ask nicely and they’ll provide pink Campari powder made with the dehydrated spirit, to provide a hint of bittersweet for a balanced finish to your meal. Along with the craft beer selection, and the even craftier “limited edition” cocktails—unique creations that are numbered, bottled, nitrogen-dosed for freshness, and poured to order—a shall we say “good time,” is guaranteed.

hours

Mon–Thu noon–11 PM; Fri noon–2 AM; Sat 11 AM–2 AM; Sun 11 AM–11 PM

price range

$6 (pistachio-crusted grapes) to $14 (Mrs. Croque)
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