Bar Amá

4.5
55 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 55 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CK
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
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 6 days ago
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 14, 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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M
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on January 13, 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
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 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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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bar Alma is a wonderful restaurant. The food service and on ambiance are top notch and an awesome experience. I’ve been going for years and I absolutely love this place I highly recommend! Make sure you make a reservation tho as they fill up very quickly :-)

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M
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Enjoyed my enchiladas. I am happy I made a reservation. Made my new year eve night start just lovely.

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Had dinner before a play at The Ahmanson Theater.

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J
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Food was a salty. The fact that we couldn’t get an order of nachos at our table even though we were willing to pay full price was ridiculous. The Lucha drink was gross, and I was never asked if I liked it or not.

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GA
London
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We have been to Bar Ama before and loved it but we booked a table for 20.30 on Xmas eve. When we arrived we were told that the kitchen was closed and the place only open for drinks. It was empty. We wasted €15 each way on a taxi and were left with no reservations on Xmas Eve.... Thanks Bar Ama :-P

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2
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unpretentious sublime elegance. Cheeky praise deserved without hesitation. An evening out for a meal seemingly prepared with love. How else do you describe restaurant food that tastes like your Nana was in the kitchen teaching the young ones how it's done. Seven dishes, all great, six to die for. Small eclectic wine list (looked worth a try), but tequilas to die for too. Warm room, warm service, cool vibe, fair prices. Destination restaurant. Not sure why they only had one server, but it was a Sunday eve and she was the best. Made our evening.

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SS
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small hole in the wall place but when you walk in it is not as small as it looks. Good food, specially their salsa verde with the taquitos. The service is also good. Went for a lunch with coworkers, will definitely come back.

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p
London
85 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

At this point, its a classic downtown spot. Great food, great drinks. Delicious.

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a
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Food was good, not amazing. The main course portions were on the smaller side, the desserts were on the larger side. The margarita was solid -- again, good, not amazing. Service was excellent -- our server was friendly, helpful, and attentive. The place is a little on the loud side, making for some mis-heard conversation during dinner, but not so loud that conversation is impossible.

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AD
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for our anniversary and let me say that we were immpressed. From the friendliness of the hostess when you walk in to our server. They graciously came out with glasses of champagne to start the evening. The food was amazing. The cheese enchilladas with green salsa were some of the tastiest. The pork belly with tortillas were perfectly made. The great ending was that they brought out their bread pudding dessert with Happy Anniversary on the plate. The food and service here is top notch. This is truly how eating a meal should be experienced.

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FL
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Epic cool DTLA hang. Great food. Great drinks.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing job bringing out dessert for a bday surprise!

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WM
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am not sure exactly what we expected from Bar Ama, but it is fair to say it exceeded any of them. We had already dined at their sister restaurant, Baco Mercat, and liked it well enough. Bar Ama is a little more bare bones in design, just a small bar and a bunch of tables, and the noise level is fairly high(but normal for this type of place.)

However, the food was really exceptional: I think we either liked or loved everything we got. Even though it looked like a place where the service would be kind of slow, that was not the case: everything came out quickly, including the drinks. The waiter was knowledgeable and the overall impression I got is of a well-run operation: even the bathrooms were clean at 10PM on a Saturday! No especial standouts, maybe the chalupas or the enchiladas: and we really enjoyed the homemade flour tortillas.

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JP
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

This is extremely overpriced, mediocre nouvelle Mexican, that originally was very good, but has definitely
deteriorated in quality. Would not ever return.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Lots of food, loved the queso. Only gripe was I felt I got short poured on my margarita. Our waitress seemed very busy, but was very helpful when time permitted.

Mole Enchiladas were delicious
Different queso options (vegan as well)

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L
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We have dined at Bar Ama in the past, about three years ago, and based upon that experience decided to come back. We are so sorry that we did. The service was quite poor, even though it was early and the restaurant had very few diners. The food quality was also not up to the previous experience. We will not go back and do not recommend this restaurant.

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EB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Decent dinner experience UNTIL it came to dessert. We got fried ice cream, and the fried part was completely cold and inedible. NBD, but when told our server, he acted completely snooty and condescending. We explained that we were still totally happy (and still planned to tip generously). His reply? "Don't bother." Ok buddy. Way to ruin a perfectly good customer experience and ensure we never return.

Overall, the food was just ok. We had queso (a bit like a bland bowl of Velveta - with just ok chorizo and chips that were cold and too hard); shishito peppers - fine; a tamale and enchiladas - both not good enough to order again. But we would have left happy if it weren't for the server with the bad attitude.

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S
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 2

Food is great, but it is loud, loud, loud! Like so loud that it is uncomfortable. I get they want to curate a certain "vibe," but this isn't a club, it is a restaurant.

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BB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We first came here 3 years ago, and liked it a lot, but this time we were disappointed. The dishes are over-spiced, with chili overwhelming all the other flavors. There's no reason for fruit salad to burn your mouth.

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service. Some of the best food I’ve had in DTLA.

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a
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A group of friends and I went had my birthday dinner here. My tequila drinks were out of this world, as was the food. I highly recommend.

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AH
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time to Bar Ama and we will DEFINITELY be back. We’ve dined at the group’s other restaurants, Baco and O&W. As much as we love their other spots, I think we’ve found our favorite with Bar Ama.
We were there to celebrate our anniversary and the staff was so nice in recognizing our milestone.
The cocktails were fantastic and the dishes were even better!!!

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RR
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Used to LOVE this place but they messed up 80% of our food orders and the service was non-existent. Such a bummer because I really hyped it up to my friends as the best place.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

I was really hoping to like the place but found that, unfortunately, there was nothing special about the food or the restaurant

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JH
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great take on Tex-Mex food. Great service. The bar needs some help. Besides the margaritas, every other drink we tried was not so good.

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C
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING!!! Non GMO cleanly cooked mexican food with such delicious margheritas. The salsa is fantastic along with the guac. The nachos are their greatest dishes but the fajitas are also really good.

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DB
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything we tasted was delicious and creative. Will definitely be back.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Service was great & margaritas were good but all of our food was overly salted. The flavor was there but the salt made it hard to finish.

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P
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Super slow, overpriced for what you get. Would probably not go back.

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EM
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good food tastes and environment love it specifically been my first time there and to spend good time with my date was awesome!!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Cool spot, great food. Not quiet at all but not super noisy either. Great for date night or an after dinner drink with co workers.

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LC
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Mezcal margarita and beer were good! Food was ok, but the eggplant mole was unique and tasty. Fun vibe, would go back for drinks.

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E
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The chalupa was very tasty, and probably one of the most innovative Mexican dish I've ever had. However, they messed up my order for the enchilada (forgot to include the meat) and it took a while to receive the right order. During that time, they took the wrong dish back and my date watched me gobble up the chalupa while waiting for the replacement. I felt they could've done a better job providing some chips and salsa or letting us have the wrong dish to tide us over or at least compensating a part of that meal. But they didn't. In that sense, the value of the meal wasn't as worthwhile. The hostess was incredibly nice though.

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