Thursday, June 19, 2014

La Brasa

Its amazing to me how much Boston and the surrounding areas are changing. When I first moved into Beacon Hill in 2006 and didn't know much about food I stuck mainly to my neighborhood, Back Bay, and the North End when craving some delicious Italian. Slowly, the food scene started to change, first with the South End and then more so in Cambridge. In the last couple of years, though, there has been an explosion in and around Boston, and chefs are scoping out newer neighborhoods to make a name for themselves. Almost every nook and cranny of the Boston area has great dining options.

La Paloma and the Eight Line Poem - tequila and mezcal based drinks, respectively

Most recently, famed chef Frank McClelland of L'Espalier and Daniel Bojorquez, who also spent many years working with McClelland at L'Espalier, opened up La Brasa, a completely different style restaurant off the beaten path in East Somerville. Luckily, this part of Somerville is only about a 20 minute walk from where we live, so when we saw La Brasa making all sorts of national and international lists of "most anticipated restaurant openings," Nick and I were sure to make reservations as soon as possible.

Open Wood Fire Grill!

What's super cool about La Brasa is its use of an open wood fire grill that the chef uses to cook most everything on the menu. There is a huge wood pile near the bar and the wood theme is spread throughout the restaurants, from the paneled walls to the natural wood tables and chairs. The moment you open the doors you smell the delicious smokey wood fire that makes you feel like you are hanging around a camp fire with friends!

Table Side Prime Rib Service
After asking our server for some guidance on the amount of food to get, we placed our order. Immediately afterwards a push cart came around with some amazing looking prime rib, cut and served table side. We were afraid the cart would not make it back around to us, so we decided to dive right it. Thank goodness we did because this was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. Not only was the table-side service fun, but the cilantro sauce served with the meat was out of this world. We actually attempted our own cilantro sauce a few days later (not bad, but not as good as this)! Be sure to jump on the passed food if you spot it!

Prime Rib with a cilantro sauce
The bar seats are made from vintage bike seats - I totally tested one out and was shocked at how comfortable!
The plates then started to arrive as they were ready. First were the tacos de carnitas - slow roasted pork shoulder with salsa verde and chile de arbol. The filling was yummy, and once I took off the second corn tortilla, each bit had a great balance of flavor. The second tortilla did not go to waste as I was sure to soak up any salsa verde they fell out.

Next up was the Swiss Chard Pie with Colorado Chile, Coddled Farm Fresh Eggs, Spanish Ham and Piperade. I have to say this dish surprised me - it was so complex and so wonderful. Somehow all the different flavors and textures worked so well together. The egg was perfectly cooked and the lovely yolk topped each bite off.

Swiss Chard Pie
Inside the Swiss Chard Pie
Next up was the roasted half lobster with an herbed butter. Having only really steamed lobsters we had to order this just to see how it differed from the traditional. The roasting gave the lobster such a different, fiery and smokey flavor. We found the this dish a bit hard to share, and the grilling of the meat caused it to sticky to the shell more than we're used to. A fun dish, though, for New Englanders looking to test new waters.

Roasted Lobster
Finally, for savory food we ordered the Barbecued Beef Brisket with charred green tomatillo barbecue sauce. Again, the meat was cooked perfectly and the sauce was flavorful.

Beef Brisket
While we got a good sampling of the menu, we still wanted to check out desserts and decided to split the butterscotch pudding and the affogato. Both were delicious and the perfect size, just enough to end on a bit of sweetness.

Butterscotch Pudding
It is worth taking a trip to East Somerville to check out La Brasa and indulge in some wood-fire goodness. The chefs, who are obviously trained in the best possible ways, really stretch their cooking techniques. The menu is packed with so many creative menu items that keep you coming back for more.

Welcome to the neighborhood, La Brasa!

La Brasa on Urbanspoon


  1. I JUST heard about this place today, which is sad considering I live in Somerville. I need to check this place out!

  2. Your pictures are great!! And now I know what to order when I go. Wish you were coming too! (Oh and I didn't know Frank McClelland was behind it. Even more excited now!)

  3. so glad you enjoyed! we will miss you next thursday!


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