HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Spice Table or Baco Mercat

norton44 Jun 18, 2012 07:40 PM

There will be 5 of us for dinner. We don't get to go out often, so we would like to have a good meal. We would like to stay in downtown and so I've narrowed it down to these two restaurants. I think everyone is pretty adventurous in terms of types of food. No food restrictions. Which one would you recommend?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. p
    PD Girl RE: norton44 Jun 18, 2012 08:28 PM

    I have been to both, Spice Table for lunch and Baco Mercat for dinner. I would defintately go with Baco Mercat. They have a really diverse fun menu and with 5 of you , you could have many awesome things on the menu. If you have people in your group who really prefer Asian food, Spice Table might work better. I also like the look and feel of Baco Mercat better. Both are nice, but I am already planning my trip back to Back Mercat (and I ony ate there last Thursday).

    2 Replies
    1. re: PD Girl
      Bert RE: PD Girl Jun 19, 2012 12:29 PM

      Spice Table's lunch and dinner experiences are vastly different. The Spice Table's dinner menu is all about small plates (whereas lunch is more individual and counter service). Both restaurants have very good and unique food that you can't really get anywhere else, but for my dollar, I'd choose the Spice Table because i actually think it's a little more unique and conducive to sharing.

      1. re: Bert
        aching RE: Bert Jun 19, 2012 07:12 PM

        That's absolutely true - although I really like Spice Table for lunch too.

    2. aching RE: norton44 Jun 19, 2012 12:05 PM

      I've been to and dearly love both. Both menus are mostly small plates that are meant to be shared; Spice Table is Southeast Asian-inspired while Baco is more eclectic. I would say go to whichever one you can get a reservation for - both are pretty hot tickets.

      1. Ciao Bob RE: norton44 Jun 19, 2012 08:00 PM

        Both are really good. You can't go wrong with either.

        1. tenxtone76 RE: norton44 Jun 20, 2012 12:30 AM

          I've eaten at SpiceTable once for a party of 10. It was good, not great, food-wise.

          I haven't eaten tons of those specific Asian dishes, but I've eaten tons of Asian food and consider myself a good judge. We enjoyed the meal, it was fun to share. Perhaps we should've ordered stuff like the "laksa" if memory serves correctly? But none of us have gone back after a year and a half.

          Baco Mercat is very high on my list of spots to try. Foodie friends love it right now. Good luck an have fun!

          3 Replies
          1. re: tenxtone76
            suvro RE: tenxtone76 Jun 20, 2012 09:41 AM

            Our one time dinner experience at Spice Table was also underwhelming. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/771328

            1. re: tenxtone76
              TonyC RE: tenxtone76 Jun 20, 2012 11:17 AM

              Fascinating! Had the exact same experience/same conclusion @ ST -- big group, ordered lots, it was fun (due to the diners, surely), no one went back after a year+.

              1. re: TonyC
                Porthos RE: TonyC Jun 20, 2012 09:51 PM

                Just curious, how many times did your group go back to Baco Mercat?

            2. Porthos RE: norton44 Jun 20, 2012 10:55 AM

              My 8-10 experiences at Spice Table for dinner have all been excellent.

              Check out the below thread for photos and recommended dishes:


              1. i
                ideas1 RE: norton44 Jun 20, 2012 01:22 PM

                Curious about which everyone would prefer for lunch instead?

                3 Replies
                1. re: ideas1
                  Thor123 RE: ideas1 Jun 21, 2012 03:41 PM

                  I was at each place once for lunch. Liked Spice Table much better. Service at Baco was really bad and the Baco had cubes of fat in it which to me was disgusting. Spice table was good all around.

                  1. re: Thor123
                    jgilbert RE: Thor123 Jun 25, 2012 04:58 PM

                    I agreee. I found the cubes of fat absolutely disgusting and a deal breaker for me. I have not been back to the Baco since.

                    1. re: jgilbert
                      liu RE: jgilbert Jun 25, 2012 08:01 PM

                      I agree with both of you, Thor123 and jgilbert, for the same reasons:


                2. j
                  JTea RE: norton44 Jun 23, 2012 02:59 PM

                  We have been 5 or 6 for dinner at both; Spice Table was first, we all liked it a lot. Then came Baco Mercat, and all liked it more. In both cases we sat in the center of the room, the plate timing was good, the sharing was easy, the wait staff was helpful and attentive. I think Baco has the edge in bold 'flavor bombs', but you will get great value at either. Enjoy and report back!

                  Show Hidden Posts