There are times when we come across stories in the most unusual way. In this case, we’ve discovered a bar-restaurant-café called Café Basque, located in the heart of Los Angeles, and we did so thanks to a job ad they’d placed in search of a server assistant.
Located right in the heart of town, the restaurant is on the ground floor of the Hotel Hoxton and, as the hotel itself explains, “Café Basque is an all-day dining destination celebrating Basque inspired cooking, French pastries, strong coffee, curated cocktails, and great wine.”
This culinary project is a collaboration between the Boka Restaurant Group, one of the leading restaurant groups in the US, and renowned chef Daniel Rose, who, in 2017, along with Le Coucou, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best new restaurant in the US; he also has a Michelin star thanks to this same New York restaurant.
At his new location on the West Coast, the chef has opted to offer Basque cuisine, undoubtedly influenced by his stay in Europe, when he studied in Paris. It might also be thanks to the influence of the interest in everything Basque that exists in the western US, thanks in good part to the important Basque presence west of the Rockies.
And on the hours and services page on the hotel’s website, they even score an extra point: “Pintxos from 3:00 to 5:00, dinner from 5:00 to 10:00 (or 11:00 on Friday and Saturday)”. They call them pintxos, not tapas, so we’re off to a good start.
And if we go to the website of the Café Basque itself, it presents itself as what it is and where it draws inspiration, and these as well, score it a few more points in our eyes:
Café Basque Los Angeles is a love letter. Straddling the borders of France and Spain, wedged between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic, the Pays Basque (Basque Country) is fiercely independent and culturally and linguistically distinct from anywhere in the world. The cooking is joyful, generous and uncomplicated. Overflowing with excellent local products from the mountains and the sea, it has the particularity of being marked by the use of sweet and mildly hot peppers. Named after a town in the mountains above the port of St Jean de Luz, Espelette peppers were imported from central and south America in the 16th century and are a cornerstone of Basque cuisine in the same way that the American tomato has defined a large part of Italian cooking. Meanwhile, amid this rich culture and history, the Basque coast has been one of the world’s great surf destinations since the 1960s.
We’ll leave you with the restaurant’s website, and a promise that when we go to Los Angeles, we will stop by that restaurant and tell you all about it.
Last Updated on Feb 1, 2023 by About Basque Country