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Food Los Angeles

{oh joy eats} bäco mercat in downtown la…



I'm a big fan of Lazy Ox Canteen and was excited to try Josef Centeno's newest endeavor, Bäco Mercat in the Old Bank district of Downtown LA. The dishes were inspired by off-menu late night snacks he'd create for family and friends.


Because I love grown-up sodas so much {especially because I craved them so much during pregnancy}, I was delighted to see that they make their very own version. Bäco Pop is an orange ginger juniper soda, and it's so good! Paired with their house made corn nuts, it was a perfect snack to start off with while waiting for our meal to arrive.


The signature dish at Bäco Mercat is the "Bäco"—a signature flatbread sandwich that was developed by the chef. Here, the bäco bread takes center stage and works as a vessel to hold pork, beef, poultry, seafood and vegetables. We had the Oxtail Hash with pickles, cheddar, and a crispy perfect tator tot smashed in the middle along with some super pretty roasted green tomatoes.


For a light interlude, I loved the Hamachi Crudo with bits of bacon and topped on a pile of avocado. We finished off our lunch with the Coco Flatbread pizza. This one, The Salty Jowel, included guanciale, tomato, ricotta, and a fried egg right on top. There's something about the addition of a slightly runny egg on things that always makes it even better to me.


Afterwards, the light rain had finally passed, and it was nice to sit outside and people watch after a delicious and filling meal. — Joy

Bäco Mercat / 408 S. Main St. / Los Angeles, CA 90013 / 213.687.8808

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang for Oh Joy. My outfit: Heart sweater by ASOS, dress from past season of Roxy (similar), polka dot sandals c/o Loeffler Randall, bag is vintage, nail polish by Essie.}


  1. Wow, this looks amazing. Those green tomatoes.. yummy! We have a place in our downtown area (Portland, Maine) that has fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce and they’re amazing. Have you ever had fried green tomatoes? Highly recommended if you get the chance!
    Also… love that dress you’re wearing.

  2. Yum! This looks absolutely delish! I am so in love with this column! I really hope to be in the LA for an extended amount of time someday so I can try all these wonderful places!

  3. Joy, I’d love to see a post about your favorite makeup and beauty products! You always look so polished.

  4. This makes me miss LA. I had to go to their website to see if I could find out how those green tomatoes were seasoned. Looks like cumin. I’m so going to make an attempt, what a perfect summer dish!

  5. Hi Joy
    Luv your heart jumper. May I ask what lipstick is that? You might have mentioned before in one of the older posts. The color looks so nice on you.;) Thx!

  6. We went here two days in a row (once for dinner and once for lunch) after reading your rec! Oh my gosh…I dream about the fava fritter baco!!!


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