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Basque food in LA?

I grew up in Northern nevada where there are lots of basque restaurants to die for. I can't believe I can't find a single one in LA. Does anyone know of any? Thanks

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  1. Basque country around here is in Bakersfield. Here's the link to all you want to know.

    Either I'm not too keen on Basque or N.Nevada will have better. I went to Wool Growers which is supposed to be one of the best. Please report back. I'm sure other L.A. hounds will be curious :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kitchen Queen

      Yeah, it's pretty bleak for Basque restaurants in L.A. proper...

    2. There is always bar pintxo in Santa Monica. Although it's really more global Spanish than strictly Basque like the name would suggest.

      It's (slightly) better than nothing.

      3 Replies
      1. re: AAQjr


        Bar Pintxo
        109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1. re: AAQjr

          Second Bar Pinxto - have a good friend who is from Spain and knows his Basque - it's as serious as a heart attack.

        2. re: AAQjr

          FWIW, Pintxo has been seriously stepping up their game lately. A recent visit had wonderful whole fried anchovies that were so delicious my 'chovy-phobic SO ate almost a whole plate herself, necessitating a second order. I watched a special of tender grilled octopus sell out in an hour as well. Always reliable are the spanish classics as well: tortilla espanola and jamon serrano or iberico.

        3. I don't think there has been a Basque restaurant in L.A. since the Pioneer Boulangerie on Main St. in Santa Monica (or maybe Venice?) closed down many years ago. Bakersfield is your answer.

          6 Replies
          1. re: ozhead

            Was Pioneer Boulangerie Basque? I didn't know that! used to go there all the time as a kid. It used to be on Montana IIRC

            1. re: AAQjr

              Pioneer has a store on Montana at 7th, but it is not a restaurant; they sell breads, cookies, cakes, etc. The restaurant, long closed, was on Main, and was most definitely Basque -- long tables, service family style, pickled tongue and all.

              1. re: AAQjr

                The Garacochea family were the primary owners/founders of Pioneer Bakery. They were very proud of their Basque heritage. I made the mistake of once commenting to one of the Garacocheas, "The Basque were from Spain, right?" So I was a dopy teenager when I made the comment, but at least give me credit for knowing of the Basque, right? :)

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  So, did they spit in your sourdough???!

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    I was lucky - I'm good friends with the Italian-side of Pioneer Bakery, who happens to be married to one of the Garacocheas. :)

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      Oy! Thank your lucky estrellas!! Don't want to confuse the Basque with ANYONE else, or they'll bomb your house!!! JK LOL !!!!

              1. There is a place in Vernon, at 2801 Leonis Blvd (323)583-1696, called La Villa Basque. Years ago (40) it was pretty good but I haven't been since and can't opine. Perhaps others can. IIRC there's also a place in the Inland Empire but I forget the name. It is mentioned in a thread on Basque places in SoCal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TomSwift

                  I work in Vernon and have gone here a few times for lunch. It's decent, but would I make a special trip there for dinner? No... But, if you still want to go to La Villa Basque, I'd suggest making it a lunch trip. If for nothing else, Vernon isn't a great neighborhood at night...

                  The food itself is ok, but not more than that, and I'd say they don't offer anything that you couldn't find at any self respecting French place. Interestingly, I don't think LVB has changed much since you went last. The decor, staff and menu offerings all seem to have been around for at least that long. Which, I guess, is part of its charm.

                  1. re: sgrrush1

                    It's not really Basque, more French with a Basque name.

                2. Centro Basco in Chino. We've been there a few times and enjoyed it.

                  1. Centro Basco in Chino?? Where exactly is the Basque food?


                    Not exactly a mecca for Basque dining, but if that's the only option in the L.A. area...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Joe Blowe

                      It's a Sunday night thing where they don't serve the usual menu.

                    2. Centro Basco is probably the best near LA. Go wine tasting at Galleano in Mira Loma first and you can get a coupon for a free glass of wine with your dinner. Food is good, the pickled tongue among the best I've had. They do family style for lunch everyday except Monday when they are closed. They do a family style dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also have a traditional, if dark, dining room.

                      Le Chalet Basque in La Puente is also good. I don't think they do family style. And the last one I can think of is the Continental in Glendora, also no family style and glacially slow service, but the food is good.

                      In Bakersfield, I really like Benji's.

                      1. What are some of the best Basque dishes (and where served in SoCal)? Just trying to get a better handle on what the cuisine is. Wonder how Basques ended up in Northern Nevada. There must be a Jai Alai location in SoCal with some Basque-influenced little restaurant nearby.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Cinnamon

                          They went to raise sheep and settled all over northern Nevada and southern Idaho.

                          Marmitako is fish soup with potatoes and onions and peppers.
                          Piperade is onions, peppers and tomato stew.
                          Lots and LOTS of bacalla (salt cod).
                          Elvers with garlic.

                          It's not exactly a subtle cuisine. Tons of garlic, tons of olive oil, tons of onions and peppers and strong flavours. Jambon de Bayonne is actually a Basque thing, and they're amazing cheesemakers.

                          The Basques are masters of (alcoholic) cider and a txotx (a party in a cider mill) is an experience worth having -- they scream "TXOTX!!" and smack the bung out of a barrel of cider, and you line up and they show where to put your mug and the stream of cider lands in it. You drink it and as you head up the line there's a buffet of meats and salt cod omelettes and piperades and steaks and whatnot and you eat as you move down the line.

                          For dessert, cherry soup and Basque tart... YUM.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            Tons of great stuff, as in AWESOME!!! Have you been to Bar Pinxto, Das 'geek??

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              No... but as soon as I can comfortably be sitting for longer than an hour and I can find a babysitter we'll go... looks good and CHEAP.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                Well, I wouldn't call it CHEAP, but it is good. And don't worry, we could stay for more than an hour, I will keep ordering, and keep the staff busy!!!! Maybe your tots can come over and be with my tots and we can share the cost of the b.s together and enjoy it, it is like nothing else, at least on the Westside!!!! Awesome wine list, but it is TINY, so we would need to go early!!!!

                            2. re: Das Ubergeek

                              Ha - thanks.

                              >they scream "TXOTX!!"

                              That alone is a formidable feat. (Or feet, if it's really pronounced "SOCKS!")

                              I just know in Florida tons of them were jai alai players, and, well, there's Biscayne Bay but I don't know if it drew the name directly from the Basque aspect of that.

                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                "tx" in Basque (and Catalan) is pronounced like "ch" as in "chair", so it's approximately "tchotch!". Or, more correctly, "TCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTCH! *thwack*"

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  By giving the correct pronunciation of this word, DU has provided the tchotch-key.