This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We know you should never judge a book by its cover, but in this case, we’re going to risk it.  We’re going to recommend A Basq Kitchen, a new restaurant that’s just opened on the port in LA, under the management of Basque chef Beñat Ibarra.

Its look, its menu (though we were sorry to see “tapas”, which is more of a Spanish thing), its website, the idea behind it, its explanations about Basque gastronomy and the Basques themselves, its location right on the port, all combine to make us believe it will be as good as it looks.

There are the details like the decorative whale, Basque-language phrases the customers can use, making a “Basque omelette”, which reminds us of the potato omelette’s origin, all of which we loved.  Also, you have to keep in mind that the chef, Beñat Ibarra, already has a long history at the Mar’sel restaurant.  This is definitely a place that, if you should be nearby, living or sightseeing, you need to check out.

There’s only one “but” that we can add to all this, and it’s not to the restaurant, but to the review of it in the Los Angeles Eater, in a review penned by Farley Elliott.  We’re referring to this seeming need to make everything Basque Spanish.  If the chef is from the Northern Basque Country, and his website defines his food as belonging to a well-defined people, the Basques, who live straddling the Pyrenees, why does he define the cuisine as Spanish.  Similarly, we don’t understand why if the restaurant calls the omelette Basque, he labels it Spanish.

To understand what the cuisine at A Basq Kitchen is based on, all you have to read is this, in the menu itself:

The Basque people have inhabited the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains around the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain and southern France for thousands of years. They are the oldest surviving ethnic group in Europe with their own distinct language and culture.

LA Eater – 15/6/2015 – USA

A Basq Kitchen Brings Spanish Specialties and Lots of Wine to Redondo Beach Boardwalk

Redondo Beach is going just a little bit Basque this week, thanks to Bernard Ibarra. The Terranea Resort chef will bring a full slate of pintxos and tapas to the boardwalk with a new concept called A Basq Kitchen, in what was previously the Russian-tilted beer spot Gambrinus. The formerly dingy digs have been lightened up with a strong nautical theme and airy, open feel, which is a perfect fit for the waterside restaurant. The plan inside is to be a sort of Spanish wine bar by the beach, offering simple seasonal bites of things like patatas bravas, Spanish tortillas, and oysters, while larger plates will include a burger and seared lamb chops. Whites and reds come from vineyards across the European continent as well as coastal California.

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A Basq Kitchen web

 

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