Baroo (East Hollywood)

Went last night. Very small storefront located in a random plaza in East Hollywood, near Thai Town - a communal table for eight, a small counter against the wall for four, and a bar counter for another four. You place your order at the bar, and they bring the food to you. There are only two of them cooking/serving, but it wasn’t busy at all, and they said that it has been manageable despite a brief recent writeup by the Times recent.

People have asked me how I would describe the food there, and it’s really hard to pinpoint. The names of the dishes and the ingredients used are mostly Korean, but the food isn’t so easily categorized. I was telling people it’s more…Korean/Nordic, while my dining companion called it “Asian SQIRL” (the minimalist homey decor/furnishings kind of adds to this comparison). Really, it’s Korean-influenced, and has those flavor profiles, but the finished product is rather subtle, even with many flavors and textures playing off each other. Also, they do a lot of pickling/fermenting, with a wall of pickled goods on display, as well as make their own kombucha.

Overall, dinner was enjoyable, and it was very interesting - don’t think there’s anything like it in LA. Might be a little too…restrained for me, but I’m intrigued to see how this will progress.

5706 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 819-4344

The Baroo insta looks pretty damn good, and pretty darn weird. Does it serve meat? (Asking for a friend.)

I saw Pat’s blog review last week: Eating L.A.: Baroo: Did This "Free-Style Experimental Kitchen" Just Usher in the Latest Hot Neighborhood?

sounds interesting.

The article LAgirl posted said that only one dish (ox-tail pasta) has meat. Agree that the place looks weird and interesting. Thanks for the info, Chris!

No meat.


That dish is faux oxtail.

At least when I visited about 2 weeks ago.

How was it (the faux ox-tail)? A convincing enough rendition?

Never had the ragu.

This was my report on Facebook.

Let’s see how this works …

Tried Baroo for lunch today.

There is much to commend about this place - interesting organic local ingredients, prepared and presented with much care - but there’s something not exactly right.

What, you say? I think it’s how the food tastes.

For example, the kimchi fried rice is interesting, but it lacked pop, which is surprising because there’s so much in it - from seaweed to pineapple jalepeno salsa (yes, salsa!) to a perfectly cooked sous vide egg. But the flavors either didn’t mesh, or if they did, they didn’t match with what I expected of traditional kimchi fried rice.

Perhaps it’s more of a me problem, then a “them” problem.

It’s worth a try, and probably worth another try in a couple of months …


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Oy, now I remember the review. Sometimes I have a brain fart. Thanks for the reminder.

I liked the pasta with the celery root shit. And I liked the fermented fucking rosewater even better. But I’m not sure that I’ll be running back. It’s defintieky interesting. But most tiny dishes hovering around $11 a pop and you know two might suffice per is a little strangely priced for the hood. But then again maybe its part of the gentrification that hasn’t quite happened here just yet.

so i had this supposedly [barely had any] kimchi [not actually fried] rice, then went to a korean pub and downed 3 bowls of [horrific] budae jjigae.

just saying.

g’luck to these folks.

Close enough. The dish itself is fairly straightfoward.

We added “slab bacon” to the Asian Dream dish, but not sure if it was really so - had a similar consistency and flavor to bacon bits lol.

is this filling the void for red medicine

does this look like Red Med?


some “vegan” ragu noodle thing

I mean, I guess it sorta does, and it took just as long as RM 'cuz they’re tweezering and strewing just as hard but…

the best thing about Baroo is the leftover “tepache” (htf is it tepache when there’s ZERO alcohol content?), currently punched up with 4 shots of tequila, in my hand right now.

The tequila would help for me.

I think I’d rather have a pastrami burrito tho.

You wish lol

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I somewhat liked the homade fettuccine Alfredo without the fucking alfredo.

There was some celelery root puree on that shit.

And that fucking fermented rose water was pretty fucking dope.

I like the fucking Ballast Point Sculpin we got at Tony’s Liquor store across Santa Monica Blvd the best.


We went last night and asked about the faux ox tail because it was pretty convincingly meaty. That’s because it is meat! A mixture of oxtail shank and tendon. Not sure why they are describing it as “faux” but the dish is not labeled vegetarian and is not. We did really like it and we liked the gim grain bowl. The grains tasted toasty and were delicious with the seaweed and berries. Even better with the house-made pickles.

Ended ordering the identical items as @TonyC; celeriac pasta and Noorook. Not sure what to make of the place… My lame attempt, fancy healthy grain/veg food…? Interesting but not quite wow-worthy. Everything was very well executed and plated though.