Bar Amá

4.4
88 reviews
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$30 and under
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Tex-Mex
Bar Amá is a Tex-Mex restaurant located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
"Fideo and borracho beans with cilantro and pork belly simmering on the stove, the spicy warmth of menudo every Christmas and New Year’s, egg salad with a fried egg between a butter toasted bolillo, and puffy tacos stuffed with lengua carnitas and crushed avocado and doused with pequin chile vinegar salsa. These are just some of the dishes that have inspired me – the food that I was nurtured with by the women who raised me. Bar Amá is my interpretation of their Tex-Mex." – Chef Josef Centeno
What 88 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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m
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bar Ama was outstanding. The food was prepared artfully and simply, and all the dishes we had were so unique in flavor.

The space and atmosphere had a great vibe.

Can’t wait to go back!

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DR
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good drinks , service and food . And music was good too

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DD
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small eats, but worth the price. The food here is amazing. One of my favorite spots downtown.

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N
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I love this place, good food, good location and good drinks

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WM
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We really like this place as a downtown alternative. The interior is a little spartan but the food is well prepared and the service is excellent. It can still get pricey, but if you are careful you can get a filling meal for a lot less than some of the other downtown spots. Recommended- the green enchiladas. They make their own flour tortillas- mui rico! Probably best to avoid it on a Saturday night, the noise level is high and the service tends to fall off. But a weeknight? No problem!

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BM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Casual atmosphere, serious food. Got here on a Saturday at 5:15, before dinner service began—perfect time for a couple of stiff, refreshing Amá's margaritas at the bar (daily happy hour pricing). Moved quickly to the dining room, where my daughter started with a mouthwatering cochinita pibil taco (Puffy Cochinita on the bar menu; ask your server). Since becoming a pescatarian, I've missed mole; I was excited to try the dark, flavorful mole enchilada with potato (also available with chicken, cochinita pibil, chorizo or piccadillo). The fideo it tasted like a good sauvignon blanc; I was more than content with a second margarita. The rice pudding was decadently creamy, just enough to share. Evelyn, our waitress, was wonderfully hospitable and attentive. A Lyft got us to the Dorothy Chandler in plenty of time for our 7:30 curtain.

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MS
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Terrible food. It tasted like Taco Bell. The portions were small and the tables were really close. I did not like this place at all!

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SS
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Bar Ama had some of the best salsa and queso dip that I have ever had. The chips tasted like they were homemade. We had a few small problems with service, but they were immediately rectified. I would eat there again!

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ST
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably one of the best Mexican food restaurants in all of Los Angeles. A true treat!

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HN
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Not the authentic Tex-Mex I was hoping for. I'm originally from Texas, moved to LA a few years ago, and I would not recommend this place to any Texans. The queso was okay, not great. I ordered the Mom's Enchiladas and they came in a small skillet that was filled with a watery sauce making the tortillas soggy and the dish a sort of enchilada-soup. My husband enjoyed his dish, though. And the vibe is pretty cool.

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v
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

I've been to Bar Ama before and had a much better time. Service was rushed because it was close to closing time, to the point of getting attitude about bringing us more tortillas for fajitas. I think the restaurant shouldn't take reservations after a certain time if that's how it's going to be when it gets close to closing time. Food also wasn't as good as it's been before. The steak on the fajitas was overcooked and the fideo/octupus appetizer was dry, which is not how it's been served before.

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EA
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love the food and the ambience! Favorite DTLA spot!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good service and food, and the drinks were tasty.

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OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Slow service and very uncomfortable seating

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RF
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is great. So much fun , really great service and great food. Recommend for friends night out

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OT
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I somewhat enjoyed it but it was a little loud. Certain menu items weren’t available. Our server was very nice, but not very attentive. Drinks were ok. I’d go again just to give it a second try.

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JR
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We wanted to try something different - get some good Mexican food and enjoy the bar until late. Well- dinner was ok a bit overpriced - food was too hot and too condimented - we were rushed to leave after dinner as the place was packed - bar is small and drink you can order are limited - we ended up at LA Live to finish the night .not going back

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TM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Order the puffy taco that's not on the menu they're amazing!

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ET
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The service and food is pretty good but the food and drink are a bit over priced.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and the service was very friendly.

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OT
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We love Baco Mercat and Orzo & Winston. The food at Bar Ami was not as wonderful. We’ll be back and try again.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Celebration

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Food was excellent and staff was accommodating for my date’s vegan/gluten free request. Would highly recommend.

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ML
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Great ambiance and even better food. I have been twice and both times the service was slow. I came back a second time because the food made up for the service but after receiving bad service the second time I will probably not return

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GE
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The cocktails are on point, guacamole is way overpriced.

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SA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Great Unique Food! Great Service. Beautiful space! But as the place filled up the volume level approached painful. This is endemic in hip LA venues...but so easily addressed? So...why isn’t it? Does a high noise level lead to quicker table “turns” and thus, short term at least, higher profits. Hate to think this is the reason.

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S
Los Angeles
171 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was okay but not that great. I would not return.

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SG
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 5

The service was very poor. The girl who was bussing/delivering food was SO rude!!!!

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DA
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I don't understand what all the buzz is about. Perhaps I don't understand what Tex-Mex cuisine is.
We ordered guacamole and the Tex-Mex queso with chips to start. The queso reminded us of melted Velveeta which triggered happy memories of being a kid, but guacamole had no seasoning so it was just smashed avocado.
The chile relleno was a giant deep fried jalapeno popper filled with more of the Tex-Mex queso. More popper than chile.
The cheese enchiladas, although attractive we're tasteless and the tortilla shells were hard.
The most expensive item at $26 was the Cochinito Pibil Molcajete. Serious disappointment.

I feel like it's the case of the Emperor's clothes.

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J
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was very so-so

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CK
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Well, I had $20 DineLA and had enchilada which was really salty and plain tiny enchiladas and pretty tasteless churros for dessert. Come on guys, you can do better than that. Why even bother to participate DineLA.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

The most confusing happy hour policy ever. Never seen anything like it.

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NC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was awesome! Food was great, vibe was even better.

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S
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Tasty food and nice atmosphere. Good value for dtla now.

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S
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

We went for the DineLA lunch menu. Our order took over 30 min to arrive. The entrees were fine and the desserts excellent. The only thing was very slow service on a Sunday lunch time with less than half the tables occupied

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place!! It’s a tiny place, so you definitely have to make a reservation, but soooo worth it!

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M
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for DineLA with a friend and we loved it! So much food for the price and everything tasted amazing! The queso appetizer and churro funnel cake were our favorites but everything was delicious! Can't wait to come back and explore more of the menu!

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everyone was so nice. The food was great. Great for hanging out with friends after work, a weekend drink, or a casual dinner

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CC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Bar Ama is great in every way from motif to food and drinks to the amazing customer service . Only ding is paying a good portion more for what you get. Overall a great spot !

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OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My boyfriend and I went out for a dinner date and had a wonderful time. Great food, lovely company. Thanks, Bar AMA!

I actually went to the restaurant for the first time with my friends on Wednesday, liked it so much I went back two days later ! We will definitely come back :)

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