All childhood buddies make the same sweetly innocent promise to each other -- "dude, we should totally open a bar!" -- but those plans are inevitably waylaid by office jobs, and childhood buddies turning out to be a-holes. Realizing the dream in restaurant form, La Barra
Evocative of a cozy, beachside crudo shack, Barra's cheffed by a Veritas vet who partnered with three childhood buds from Mexico City, constant companions ever since he started feeding them for free. Food's mostly ceviches (red snapper, scallops or octopus, jicama a.k.a. the lucha libre-sounding "Mexican turnip"), plus soups (shrimp or chicken pozole, corn ezquites) and empanadas (beef, cheese, pastry-wrapped fish); service is at tiny tables and a floor-length bar planked with wood from a 19th Century Central Park barn police once used for target practice. As for drinks, Barra's pouring five Mexican beers (Corona, Sol, Pacifico, Tecate, and Negra Modelo) and South American vino -- look closely, and you'll notice it swirling in your glass backwards.
Barra's opening for dinner tomorrow, and Wednesday'll start lunch service -- so you can meet your childhood buds for a bite, and they can make you grateful you never opened "McAwesome's" as they hit the bathroom when the bill comes.