Broken Spanish

4.6
804 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
Broken Spanish follows the evolution of its chef, Ray Garcia. An amalgamation of the classically trained chef, born and raised in Los Angels, with the powerful influence of a Latin upbringing. Drawing inspiration and flavors from a diverse community, Broken Spanish offers an experience that is unique, characteristic, and beautiful. Broken Spanish displays Chef Ray Garcia’s distinct culinary perspective with an elevated contribution to a bountiful culinary history. The cuisine is expressed in bold yet refined flavors. Preparations demonstrate elements of long-established tradition, while finished dishes are showcased with modern appeal.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican, Latin American
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
Sunday - Thursday, 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday - Saturday, 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Happy Hour:
Monday - Friday, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
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Phone number
(213) 749-1460
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ray Garcia
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
11th ST
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Special events & promotions

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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Broken Spanish offers an experience that is Unique, Characteristic, and Beautiful in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

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What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.8

You might think Mexican food is best served sloppy and cheap. Downtown's Broken Spanish will prove you wrong.

Ratings 8.5-9.0:Now we’re in the range of absolutely excellent restaurants that you might go to more than once a year/lifetime. These restaurants tend to define a city, and make up the places that you absolutely cannot miss if you want to have any credibility as a restaurant-informed person in a major metropolis.
What 804 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
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 4 days ago

Pricey for Mexican food. And not quite

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

This was a second visit to Broken Spanish, the first visit was so good, we have been talking about coming back ever since. The second visit was just as good as the first, if not better. They even brought out a bite of Tres Leches cake with a candle for my fiancé’s birthday.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Vibrant dishes with authentic ingredients we always hope to find in other Mexican places but seldom can. Surprizing octopus preparation, magical lamb carnitas, refried lentils instead of beans, a variety of exciting mezcal cocktails were all a delight. Their Pavlova was not as spectacular as everything else (the meringue fell a little short), but still interesting with avocado ice cream and lovely presentation. We had a great time!

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Delicious food. The tamales especially are a must-try!

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4.0Dined 7 days ago

Service was slow and inattentive but food was great.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

I did go to my reservation, I’m not sure why it says I didn’t?

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

All the food we had were fantastic. They were little on the salty side but very flavorful. The dishes were very creative and original. We enjoyed the mushroom salad special, heirloom pinto beans, queso fundido with bacalao, heirloom corn tortilla, short ribs, and the chicken dish. The cocktail was amazing. The dessert ended the incredible meal with the WOW!
I heard about this restaurant from the KCET show called The Migrant Kitchen and I loved the passions of the chefs for local authenticity, ingredients and their heritage.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

I put myself on an Anthony Bourdain tour of LA in his honor and so glad he featured here and I went!! Staff is amazing and attentive. Best margarita I’ve ever had, food was just simply amazing! Great LA vibe! I’ll be back!

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Had dinner with two friends at Broken Spanish last night. We were seated in the back room, which will be a factor in this review, but after the summary of the food. The food was outstanding. We like to eat family-style, so we started with tortillas and lentils (do not miss!), duck albondigas (flavorful but a touch spicy for my taste) and the lamb neck tamale (which is phenomenal). Two of us had drinks, both of which were a little too strong, and neither of us minds a strong drink. But the wine list compensated: I had an interesting Syrah from Morocco that was a perfect accompaniment to the food.

The food was served in two courses by our pleasant, helpful waiter, whose name we never got. Second course was octopus with black beans (probably the least interesting dish of the evening), the potatoes with cheese (so simple, and so tasty!), asparagus in an avocado/serrano crema and roast chicken with carrot mole (half a chicken, we shared and had a portion left.) It made a lovely, family-style dinner for the three of us, and we finished everything but a little of the chicken. Portions were well-sized and we were comfortably full.

We ordered three desserts and shared: the choco-taco (yum!), the corn biscuits and ice cream (which is heavy on whipped cream and light on biscuits), and the flan with boozy tangerine supremes. All were great, but the taco was the stand-out.

Now comes the environment, and this is where we have a problem. We were seated in their lovely, glass windowed back room. However... the room was unspeakably noisy. Even half full, we had trouble hearing each other across the table; two of us had sore throats (no kidding!) when we left, from shouting. One of the important parts of eating out with friends is the conversation, but it was a real struggle last night. It's not at the noise level of Bottega Louie, but it's darned close. The restaurant needs to do something about adding sound deadening so we can hear our dinner companions.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Everything was great! From the hostess accommodating my seating request to the service ... and, oh the food! Mmmmmm!! Desserts were beautiful and heavenly tasting!!! Hubby and I would definitely visit again. A tad noisy but we are used to that.

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4.0Dined on June 10, 2018

The food and service were outstanding. But it was VERY noisy!

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Had been wanting to go to Broken Spanish for quite some time. We live on the Westside of LA and because there are a lot of great restaurants right in our vicinity, it’s hard to justify going downtown; Especially in Friday night traffic. But when we heard Anthony Bourdain died, we knew we had to go somewhere appropriate. We were confused when we sat down and looked at the menu, because the establishment is beguilingly casual. The prices are not. We don’t mind dropping $200 on a meal, but the experience has to warrant the price. Our first server didn’t know what to do with us. Our waiter didn’t exactly know what to do with us either. They are Millennials. We are not. But when the manager saw our discomfort a few minutes in, he came over. He asked if was our first time, explained the food, that dishes are meant to be shared. and made some recommendations. The food IS excellent. The service was uneven, ranging from awkward to excellent. In a landscape of hurried minimalism, Broken Spanish could easily remedy the initial questions with a simple explanation on the menu. However, in a land rife with tortillas, their Heirloom Corn Tortillas are the best we have found so far.

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2.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Very disappointing. Fish was dry and when brought to waiters’s attention, she simply turned it over and exclaimed it was better on the other side without acknowledging that half of an entire fish was inedible.

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4.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Didn’t know they changed the menu, I went there for wanted the soup I had last time, so I had asked about if that’s any similar soup, but they didn’t know so much. The food still tasty, but the service is a no.

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2.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Food was just ok and was overpriced.

Our server was pushy about what we should order and how much to order. He was also not very attentive.

Did not enjoy the overall dining experience. I won’t be coming back.

BS Taqueria is definitely better overall.

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Everything was great, specifically the service however the entrees seem a bit overpriced.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Every dish was amazing! We were glad we were a grip of 6, as we ate family style, getting to try a very large variety of the menu... Lamb Carnitas was my favorite, followed by the Chochoyotes and the Whole Red Snapper!

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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

Graduation Dinner for my

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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

Amazing food and service. Limited menu but authentic, up leveled food.

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5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Service was great! Food was excellent -- unusual dishes and very tasty. Tamale is a MUST.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Went there while visiting LA and i must say, it was the best choice i could have done!
Beautiful place, great ambiance, great experience, and you simply cannot go wrong with anything you choose from the menu.
Great place!

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Fantastic meal. Great flavors. Anthony, our server, created a mixture of flavors that made the meal perfect

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Pretty good birthday experience

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Came here with a small group of friends for a birthday and it was amazing! The food was to die for and we shared everything tapas style. So good!!

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3.0Dined on May 22, 2018

We were super excited to tryBroken Spanish while visiting LA with plans to try the chicharron. It did not disappoint. If were to review solely on this dish is give 5 stars thru however our server was quite short with us and did not provide us with any details of any dishes not available. We actually had to overhear the service from the table next to us fir the information. Our server seemed irritated we were not ready to order after the 2nd time coming by. Ended up with the chili rellenA which was not my favorite as well as the chicharron which we loved.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Went out with my wife for a date night. We chose Broken Spanish. It was absolutely incredible. We started with the Queso Fundido and it was amazing. We then had the carnitas and that was also incredible. We went with one more dish: the barbacoa. This was so tender and moist. I want to thank Broken Spanish for a great meal and great service.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Great food

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3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Wait staff left much to be desired. Very spotty service. Took forever to get water refills and had to keep asking for the waiter. Was very disappointed to have spent a decent amount of money only to see kitchen staff handling money in the kitchen prep area with gloves on and then failed to change gloves and continue prepping food with dirty gloves. Do they not have a kitchen manager who is on top of these basic safety and sanitation practices? Is anyone on site actually servsafe certified? As a kitchen manager myself I am appalled at the mediocrity of these individuals that are being hired at a restaurant of this caliber. I did enjoy the food until I realized what stupidity is going on in the kitchen. Food is good but the service and kitchen staff need to be properly trained on customer service and proper food safety and sanitation procedures.

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2.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Nothing amazing. Overpriced Mexican food for the price. Lacked ambience.

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5.0Dined on May 17, 2018

outstanding food, unique flavors. the tamales are wonderful - the masa is light and fluffy - the lambs neck delicious. The chile relleno is also unique - again a great treatment (see photo). The octopus is delicious. be aware that a large part of the menu (particularly appetizers) is composed of fairly spicy foods (clearly indicated by chile components). reservations are really advised. the main entrees are large - the whole fish looked like it needed at least a table of 4 to do justice to the dish.
freshly made (blue) corn tortillas. intended to ask for butter - not sure what they would have thought :) The goat's milk flan was good, the caffe de olla was ok - but perhaps not worth the calories.
just in passing - a single guest did not seem to phase them at all. I went back a second night in part because I was distressed to think I might not pass by again. (pictures below - chile relleno, tamale, octopus, flan)

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5.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Amazing food and amazing service! Better than expected and we had a great time. Highly recommend and we will be back soon.

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3.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Our server seemed very over it. I understand that he must get asked the same questions over and over again, but he made us feel like we were bothering him, and was very curt with us. I am also a server at a busy restaurant and I would never talk to people the way he spoke to my date and me. The food was delicious but the portions are way to small for what we were charged.

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Friendly chefs, front of house, and overall good experience

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Outstanding

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4.0Dined on May 9, 2018

As always, wonderful, creative food. I just wish it wasn't so noisy. It is impossible to hear people sitting across from you.

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2.0Dined on May 7, 2018

This was not a good experience. The food was average for the price. We typically like to splurge once a week and try new places and Broken Spanish has been on our list for a while. TO sum it up food was good but not memorable. But the place has issues:
- A fork with a prong bent up served to my 12 year old daughter
- water pitcher with chips on the pouring spout
- the bus boy wiped our table with the napkin in our empty tortilla basket
- what was the beet pibil - it was flavorless
- the hostess couldn't even look up from her iPhone as we left to acknowledge us
thumbs down. Very disappointing.

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4.0Dined on May 7, 2018

Broken Spanish - Great food and interestingwine and cockktail list. The chef is to be applauded.

While I wouod recommend it for the food, the front of the house needs someone to manage it - server lacked any energy and enthusiasm and was absent too often - timing was off too! The host was not engaging on our arrival or departure. No front of the house management present - even though we dropped over $500 on dinner.

Lastly - the back room where we were seated was deafening - we could not even talk to the person right across the table. Fix the sound acoustics - panels on the ceiling or something esle to absorb the sound.

I hope that they correct these things as the food is great - but these other issues wouod keep us from coming back

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Bottom line up front: Delicious items for those seeking creative twists. Expensive Mexican food, but maybe not by LA dining standards. I was happy we experienced the restaurant as it was a very flavorful evening. The lentils were my favorite during the meal with the goat cheese creme brûlée finishing as a wonderfully balanced dessert. I’m still adjusting from alternate area pricing so that would be my only complaint— food that is relatively inexpensive to make doesn’t need to be so expensive. Also, if you’re reading, if you charge guests a blanket 3% to pay for health benefits, I think that should be available to all employees who want health/HSA funds—not just full time. Our server was delightful and I’d hate to think I’m paying $100-200 including surcharges and tip and that my money goes to someone I never met while my server may not have ability to seek care. Include it for all employees or adjust food prices to stop padding a bottom line for only some workers that all guests don’t encounter.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Food was delicious

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3.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Can't believe they charge $8 for torillas, n no rice n beans options. Better off eating at mom's house if ur Hispanic.

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