Vancouver Eats – Baru Latino (Kitsilano)

Baru Latino - 2535 Alma St

“For $80 for both of us, I expected us to be full…!” – Patch

I’m not a fan of the Vancouver Dine Out event but once in awhile I will go mainly because of company.  I don’t like limiting my dinner choices and if I want to save money, I browse through my Entertainment Book.  But I actually don’t save that much by dining out, maybe just the cost of dessert.

My friends wanted to try Baru Latino for Dine Out so I decided to join them.   Baru is quietly tucked away on Alma by Broadway – across from Chevron, steps from True Confections, Le Petit Spa and La Patisserie Bakery.

For this post, I won’t describe the food too much and let the photos do the talking.  That’s probably what I’ll start doing with most upcoming food posts if there’s nothing outstanding about the food (or super horrendous).  No point in posting “This lemon tart tastes… lemony.”   But if you want this long story short, I was disappointed with tonight’s meal.

Daquiri ($9) and Virgin Caesar ($4) - Lots of ice for the Caesar, about 5-6 sips worth of drink.

LATIN EMPENADAS - 2 Corn turnovers filled with your choice of either mozzarella cheese or beef

I didn’t know empenadas are fried like this, but the wrap is thick and salted.  It tastes very much like the dim sum Salty Water Corner (Haam Sui Gock).  I tried the cheese and the beef and it is what it is.  The dip is like a sundried tomato salsa, also a bit salty.

BARU CEVICHE Shrimp and halibut, with fresh lemon juice, avocado, tomatoes, onions and cilantro

It comes with a plantain chip and the ceviche is very limey and not cilantro-ey!  The avocado is chunky with a few pieces of shrimp and halibut.  Very small serving.  I placed the lime wedge there so you have an idea of how much of the ceviche is served, it’s not even a large wedge of lime.  😦  This was defintely not worth $15 on the regular tapas menu.

COSTILLAS DE RES Slow braised beef short ribs on mash potato, finished with guava mojo

The beef was very tasty and my husband finished his in about 5 minutes. and started eyeing my paella.  He was kind enough to not start digging into my plate but I was kinder to offer him some.   When we looked back at the regular menu online, this was a tapas, worth $10 at most.

CARTAGENA CRUSTED HALIBUT Plantain crusted Halibut with grilled asparagus and roasted tomatoes, served on cilantro rice and finished with a tamarind rum soy glaze, topped with crispy yam hay

Half eaten halibut, flavourful and slightly crunchy crust!

PAELLA BARU Spanish chorizo, chicken, mussels, prawns, scallops and halibut, tossed with rice, fresh cilantro and smoky salsa served with homemade flatbread

There was nothing special about this dish.  I was highly disappointed that the mussels were slightly undercooked (but sweet) and that it barely counted as half a serving.  That was like one scoop of paella!  😦  There were chorizo and halibut pieces, 2 mussels, 2 prawns, a scallop but I don’t recall seeing or tasting chicken.

Close up of the paella after spreading the rice to see the ingredients.

Latin flan orange blossom with caramel

Dessert was toothache on a plate. All 6 of us agreed that it was very very sweet.  The flan was like a big ball of evaporated and condensed milk.  I finished it with the fruit sauce.  The sauce was tangy and tasty but it couldn’t even mask the sweetness of the flan.  This was poorly done.

Overall, I was not happy with tonight’s meal.  I read other food blog’s regarding this restaurant and their food looked a lot more better and generally a lot more.  Sure, it’s DOV and maybe this is a sample menu, but seriously, I got just a few bites from the appy and paella.  If it was $18 instead of $28, I would not be as upset leaving the restaurant still hungry.

And why is the restaurant so dark? To be honest, I wasn’t planning to take photos of my food for blogging reasons.  I brought my camera to take pics of me and Patch but I ended up taking pics of my food so I can see what’s on my plate.  The ambience is nice but it was too dark to actually see the food.

For $80 for me and Patch, we would gladly pay some more and have a nice meal at Le Croc or dine at Les Faux and get some change back.

Baru Latino on Urbanspoon

Posted on February 11, 2011, in Vancouver Eats and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I have been to baru once and I thought food was ok, decor interesting. But the reason why I haven’t been back is that it was too pricy for what it was.

    Thanks for sharing your photos. Considering how dark it is in there, your photos turned out wonderful.


    • thanks for the comment, kay. i didn’t notice the decor because it was so dark. well, i did notice the kayak and was wondering why they would have a kayak on the wall!

  2. oh dear…that is a sad looking paella……

  3. I went to Baru Latino long time ago for a non-DOV night and ended up really disappointed. Dark as you mentioned, strange ambiance, disappointing food – thought, I have to admit I had high expectations, as I lived years in Latin America. Price? Just as you mentioned, I could have easily gone to other places for the same $$$. About some of the dishes, if you want to try the more traditional version, for example, ceviche, go to El Inka Deli in Burnaby. It is a literal hole in the wall but it is worth it. And, if you go there, for god’s sake, do NOT order anything that remotely sound Mexican!

    • thanks for the suggestion, I love ceviche! I think i know which one you are talking about, the one near Burnaby hospital? Would you by any chance know of a Peruvian BBQ place? This restaurant had a take out truck set up couple years ago at a dragonboat festival and the BBQ was delish. But i forgot the name, I just rembr they said that their location is only open on weekdays or something.

      The other night, my hubs and 2 friends went to Ningtu to eat and the bill was $55 for the 4 of us and we were stuffed, so much more food that what we spent at baru… gahhh

      • Yes, El Inka Deli is near Burnaby General Hospital. The owner (don’t recall the name right now) is quite open to us food bloggers, or at least me since I was communicating in Spanish, and was more than gracious when he saw us taking pictures (been time in several occasions, twice with other food bloggers).

        As for another Peruvian place, the only other one that comes to my mind right now would be Mochika’s Peruvian Cafe. Not sure if it is the same one you are referring, though. I tried to go there this last past weekend but they were closed for some odd reason.

  1. Pingback: Baru vancouver | Mountbattenwin

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