When Chey first told me – and raved about – about Bar Flores, I was curious. It was on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park, down the street from Masa of Echo Park and some other chill AF spots that I loved. But, I also knew that parking could be a shit show. Would the struggle of finding parking on Sunset Blvd be worth what seemed like a great night out? I asked Rosemary to join me on a Friday night to see.
First of all – screw the parking planning committee in that particular stretch of Sunset Blvd. Fully, deeply and powerfully. Due to a Farmer’s Market next to one of the lots, half the spaces in one city parking lot were roped off and blocked from parking.
At 8pm. On a Friday. Outstanding planning, clearly.
This left a shit ton of people like me, circling for 20 – 30 minutes to aggressively hunt for parking. When I finally found a spot, I guarded it for dear life until I could awkwardly position my car to fully park correctly. When it comes to parking, I do not care about other people feelings. I see it – and if I fit it, I take it. Luckily, Rosemary found a place to park some time before I did, and grabbed us a table in the back of restaurant.
Running high on capturing a parking spot, I quickly walked down the street to Bar Flores. After walking up the stairs and looking around, I immediately felt my rush of adrenaline calm down. The space was exactly how Chey conveyed: beautiful modern Mexican influenced aesthetic with a great looking drinks menu and fun atmosphere for the evening.
When I found Rosemary and saw the table she snagged, I was in awe of how Nestled in a back corner of the outdoor seating area, it was perfect for being able to hear each other as we talked and surveyed the crowd. I had a quick sip of Rosemary’s GUAVA SPRITZER (El Tesoro Blanco Tequila, Guava, Cardamom, Strawberry, Soda Water Cava, Bon Bon Candy) and immediately could taste the layered goodness of a quality well made drink.
Soon after our hellos and pleasantries, I sauntered up to the bar and ordered the TIKI JUNGLE BIRD (Uruapan Mexican Rum, Campari, Pineapple, Palm Sugar, Coconut, Tamarind, All Spice). It was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Fruity but not to sweet – and well layered flavor.
Next up, food.
Bar Flores uses Toast to take their food orders. So, ordering is as simple as scan the QR code, select and pay. I ordered the PESCADO TACO (Beer-Battered Fried Pacific Rockfish, Cabbage Slaw, Chile Jam Crema, Cilantro & Lime On A Kernel Of Truth Blue Corn Tortilla) and LOADED NACHOS with ASADA (fresh tortilla chips, grilled carne asada, avocado salsa, chile crema and pico de Gallo).
Rosemary ordered the Pescado Taco as well – and the CHIPS & SALSA (Fresh Heirloom Corn Tortilla Chips. Served with house made Salsa Guajillo.)
As I walked to pick up my order, an ambitious group of friends walked by with a cake in hand for a birthday party. I glanced at the cake and applauded their devout optimism for trying to find a large enough table with available chairs for their guests. Planning your birthday party at a bar – with a cake – takes determination and dumb luck. It made me smile.
The fish taco was outstanding – crispy, fresh and well appointed. The loaded nachos were wildly delicious. Same with the salsa guajillo from Rosemary’s chips and salsa. I would highly, highly recommend getting a side of the salsa with the loaded nachos. Bomb AF together.
Later in the evening, a young couple sat at the table next to us. After a few minutes, the lost themselves in making out, coming up for air and getting right back at it. Noticing this, I turned to Rosemary and questioned – “people still do that in public?” But then, I realized the truth.
“Rosemary, are we ‘the old people in the club?”‘ I asked, in horror.
Always practical, Rosemary quipped – “Well, we might be the oldest ones in here – but we have the financial means to come back regularly, and more.” She then referenced this fantastic quote from one of my favorite movies growing up, Fried Green Tomatoes (1991):
In that moment, I remembered what it felt like to be that young and carefree. I, too, remembered being young and also enjoyed making out in bars, fearlessly meeting strangers and getting up to night adventures. But, I also realized how much I wanted the life that I have now. It was a powerful moment of self actualization: I am actually, fully, living the life I dreamed about then, now.
As we finished up our tabs at Bar Flores and began to walk to our cars, I felt so happy for Chey’s recommendation. There are so many hidden pockets of delights that evolve change and grow over time, just like people.
As Rosemary and I walked down Sunset Blvd, we suddenly heard a loud horn blowing and the sound of a crash. We both immediately turned around. Two cars had slammed into each other – in a manner that made no sense whatsoever. After a split second action, both cars looked totaled.
Immediately, it reminded me what a true gift being alive is. Because in a moment, that can all change.
Now, I want to say that to say Bar Flores is a great bar with fantastic food and lively atmosphere. It’s perfect for a great night out in Echo Park. However, brace yourself for The Great Parking Hunt and do so with care.
I would also recommend to be considerate to other drivers and don’t excessively drink and then drive.
It could mean your car or your life.
1542 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90026