Photo: Joshua Lurie

Downtown LA’s love letter to Buenos Aires is now open early

By Joshua Lurie

Downtown Los Angeles is a long way from Buenos Aires, but young restaurateur Andrea Borgen has managed to bridge the gap with barcito. Her mother grew up in Argentina, she frequently visits grandparents in Buenos Aires, and Borgen now honors her heritage at the corner of a mixed-use development in South Park.

Black umbrellas shade the bench seating on the patio, while inside the space is decked out with wood banquettes, a curved counter, and riveted steel panels. Vying for your attention as you enter are the pastry case lining the bar top, a leg of prosciutto, and photos depicting Borgen’s beloved Buenos Aires.

When they first opened, barcito was a dinner-only and full-service operation, but recently they’ve expanded their vision, adding counter service for breakfast and lunch to further cement their standing as a community hub.

The breakfast salad is atypical in the best of ways, with a mountain of roasted Brussels sprouts, chunks of chorizo, a creamy fan of avocado, runny fried egg, and umami-rich bagna cauda vinaigrette. Housemade empanadas are kept warm in a tempting case by the register. Depending on your preference, choose juicy braised pork in tomato-based sauce; a flaky half-moon filled with oozing quince jam and sharp Manchego, or a breakfast empanada loaded with egg, shredded potato, and Cheddar.
barcito’s chori-burger is a play on Argentina’s iconic sausage sandwich, the chori-pan. A house-made pork patty is seasoned with fennel seed, chile flake, and oregano, then griddled and served on a soft brioche bun with crunchy slaw, fried egg, and rich chorizo aïoli. For those looking to keep things light, the chia seed pudding is a great option: Soft, nutrient-rich chia seeds are folded with house-made cashew milk and topped with sweet-tart dried cherries and shaved almonds.

Before leaving, swing by the pastry case for a bite-sized treat—maybe alfajores, cookie sandwiches filled with rich dulce de leche and coated with coconut. They may be small, but they pack big flavor, kind of like barcito.


Mon–Fri 7 AM–11 PM; Sat 5 PM–11 PM; Sun 5 PM–10 PM

price range

$5 (tortilla Española) to $13 (asado sandwich)