Bar Amá

4.6
263 Reviews
$30 and under
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

Support Bar Amá during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 263 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Good food, but the 18% service this ridiculous.

S
Slip
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a much needed date night here on a Sunday evening and the queso started things perfectly. A must-try. The cocktails, shrimp aguachile and mole enchiladas were superb. Will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were seated in the outdoor portion of the restaurant with very low noise level. The outdoor seating is an alley way decorated nicely with plenty of room between tables. Our waiter was super patient with us and nice. Try their sour beer, it has a flowery aroma, very special!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Drinks were inventive, food was delicious. Reserved a few hours before but couldn’t get a patio seat so book further out if you want that. It was a good vibe inside though so I don’t know if it’s required.

E
Elvis
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food is hard to come by. At bar ama you are guaranteed good food, drinks, and service.

NS
NatalieS
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and drinks were excellent. Vibe was very chill and nice.

BB
BobB
Orlando
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We probably didn’t NEED the reservation, but being from out of town, we erred on the side of caution. Zoe happily changed our table to one where we could converse more easily.
Very good Margarita (house), two excellent dishes. Kind of sad this will be a one-hit wonder.

LM
LM1991
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

staff was friendly and kind; food was tasty and well explained; cocktails were perfectly balanced. will definitely recommend to friends. perfect place for snacks and drinks. thanks for everything! x

MK
MaryK
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Atmosphere was miserable. Felt like the kind of place you go to get in a tense argument with your husband. Music was a Pitchfork simulation of taste, lighting was depressing and our table was minuscule. We had to fight to get everything we ordered on it. Food was fine, vegan queso runny but the rest was decent. If it had cost half as much I would have been satisfied but as it stands it’s just a cut above fast casual.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Josef and his team go above and beyond to make the experience the best possible. Hard to pick a favorite dish because everything was incredibly delicious!

JA
JazminA
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

The host was great! Our server could have been a bit more pleasant. Asked for some drink recommendations - wasn't the most helpful. Food was delicious.

SA
SecretAsianMan
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Any Josef Centeno restaurant is always going to be a class act. Bar Ama is a down-home, high-taste exploration of Tex-Mex filtered through the lens of a culinary genius.

Dishes are fresh, unique, and absolutely delicious!

Service is warm, hospitable, and intelligent. The staff are all such cool people, you want to be friends with them.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have found our favorite noshing space in DTLA! Expertly crafted cocktails (try the Nacho Vidal) to the squash fritters (a multi layer flavor extravaganza) along with the carne guisada taco made this such a great experience. Super friendly and welcoming staff made our brief time there enjoyable! We can’t wait for our next visit! Thank you BarAma!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The squash blossoms were incredible!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall3food3service1ambience4

We were sat and had a server come to us and ask if we’d like to order drinks. Two people in the party had decided quickly but the other two in the party where still deciding. The server said he would come back, two drinks came out but the sever didn’t return for quite sometime. We went to the bar to order now that we were 20 minutes into dining and only two people in our party had drinks.

When we were finally able to order food the server took 3/4 orders and completely skipped our 4th person. I don’t mean, asked them first and they weren’t ready, but literally skipped them. We had to flag them down as they were leaving. The server then didn’t return until the food came out, no drink refills, nada.

The night ended with us trying to order dessert after our meal but we were met with the check. We politely asked if we could order the churros but the server told us the kitchen was closed. No one bothered to tell us the kitchen was closing, no one stopped by to even ask if we’d like anything else before the kitchen closes. It was a bummer on the end of an already mediocre meal experience.

The icing on the cake we never got a chance to order was the 18% gratuity, that was auto-added. Personally I wanted to take it off because it was really poor service, and I don’t mean “we didn’t like the food so we’ll tip the waiter less” I mean just generally poor service from the staff.

Maybe come for the food here, definitely don’t stay for the hospitality.

S
Spooks
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Love Bar Ama! Really happy we were able to sit outside in their patio just off the entrance. Service was great as always, food came out quickly and lovely evening all around. If there was anything I had to complain about, it was the noise from the HVAC situated right in the alley where the patio is set up. I used to live in the building above Bar Ama so I appreciate how necessary it is to have great ventilation and AC in the summer:) My dining partner and I had to shout a little over across the table while we dined, but we were just grateful to be enjoying Bar Ama’s amazing food, safely and outdoors.

B
Bnco
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Man this place went downhill. Our waiter was like stoned and the food quality just wasn't what it used to be...
drinks were the best part of the entire dinner

F
Flores33
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Gem! Food, service and the drinks were amazing. Thank you for making our date night a fun one.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Fried chicken was not crispy, it was soggy. Service was not great, waitress could not give recommendations and didn’t seem to know the food. $40 meal became almost $70 because of service charge and expected tip on top of that.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, drinks and service!

DM
vipDennisM
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Wow, this place has really gone downhill. It used to be so innovative and the food was excellent. No, not so much. It’s disappointing.

A
Azania
Los Angeles
34 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bar Ama is one of our favorite downtown LA restaurants. It never disappoints. We sat on this occasion in the outdoor patio in the alley--very pleasant. The service was impeccable. Our server was knowledgeable about the dishes and when they were not able to answer our questions got the information promptly from the kitchen. In addition, our server's recommendations about how many dishes to order was spot-on. The cocktails and food were amazing. Excellent vegetarian options, although perhaps the very talented chef could come up with some creative ways to include protein in the vegetarian dishes? We loved everything we ate--the grilled okra, the cauliflower, the vegan mushroom birria (wow!), the sweet potato mole enchiladas that the kitchen was able to make gluten-free for us, the caramelized peaches, the light rice pudding.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this place! The food was excellent! The service was great. We enjoyed the enchiladas, which were amazing! They were flavorful and delicious. We enjoyed a pitcher of margaritas. Yummy!

b
vipbill
Los Angeles
238 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our first time at the restaurant and Zoe, our server made it happen. She made the Manhattan, recommended the fried chicken, heirloom tomatoes with Santa Rosa plum and rice pudding. All excellent. She was attentive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The drinks and the food were very good! Will definitely come back

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Made reservations and were not seated until 30 minutes later. Ordered and appetizer that never came. Food was great!

RA
RAYMONDL
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, convenient parking around the corner, very attentive wait staff, all-in-all totally worth the downtown hustle.

PR
PaulR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food, great cocktails, the type of NYC small bar/restaurant vibe that is hard to come by in LA. Flexible enough for a date night, night out with friends, or a quick drink at the bar. Not overly fancy or pretentious, just right!

PW
PersonWhoEats
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

The food was not great - appetizers were ok but all the mains were sub par

y
yvette
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Visiting from dallas texas, the food was really good the queso was the best drinks were good and strong felt like we waited to long for a waiter to come to us and my card got charged twice

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joseph’s food is truly wonderful, the atmosphere and customer service is excellent. Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Really mediocre food. Not worth coming back

s
vipstvoo
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So happy to be back! Thank you for excellent service!

MW
vipMarlaW
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The queso is silky smooth and delicious.
The off the menu puffy taco is the best! We love Bar Ama

JG
JoshG
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great tex-me food. A little pricey but worth it. The mezcal margaritas are amazing.

We chose to sit in the patio because It was too bright inside. They need to get a dimmer for inside or maybe get someone to be in charge of that dimmer.

m
vipmegand
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such great service.
Wonderful bartender
Amazing food.

RV
RyanV
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So good - squash blossoms were transcendent. Best margarita in la

C
Colin
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food all around for Super Nacho Hour. Can't wait to be back for more.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience1

Boring menu, food was bland

CH
CHathaway
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing! I’m not a fan of spicy food, but I was told their food is more TexMex style… and that’s very true! Drinks and food had a smokey taste opposed to hot spicy. I had the green enchiladas and mezcal margaritas. Yum! Everything had great flavor! Drinks were a little expensive, but I think that’s normal for DTLA. Overall loved it! Will definitely go back soon!

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Bar Amá using the Order Online button. Bar Amá also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (213) 687-8002.

Bar Amá is rated 4.6 stars by 263 OpenTable diners.

Bar Amá does offer gift cards which you can purchase here http://www.bar-ama.com/merch/gift-cards.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.