La Barra is a new restaurant at Star Vista, offering arepas, the ubiquitous street food of Venezuela and Colombia. They're situated right next to Senor Taco, and given the similarity of their offering, you may mistake them for being one and the same joint.
As you know, I'm not a big fan of Latin American cuisine, but I'd seen arepas featured in a number of food shows so I was keen to try them. In all the shows we've seen, the arepa is hollowed out and stuffed with filling, somewhat like a pita pocket.
In contrast, the ones at La Barra are flat discs, either used to sandwich a filling like a burger patty, or just served alongside a main course. We tried the Arepa Burger, and a main course of Carne Asada (literally, roasted meat).
The burger patty was quite good, but it was really messy to eat because the arepa is quite firm, so if you apply enough pressure to either cut or bite through it, you're pretty much squeezing all the filling right out the sides. It came with what seemed to be plaintain fries, but the waitress claimed they were regular potato.
The Carne Asada started out quite well, but once the meat grew colder it got really tough and hard to chew. The chimichurri sauce it came with was a godsend - the bright parsley sauce lifted what would've been quite a heavy dish.
The tiny new potatoes that accompanied the carne asada had a very interesting texture. They were really soft and fluffy inside, almost like pommes noisette.
Oddly enough, the arepas were the main thing that I didn't like in both dishes. I'm not sure how they ought to be, but I found them too dense and heavy, and the texture a bit too mealy. Maybe that's how they ought to be, though, in which case I don't think they're quite my cup of tea.
Not bad. But the arepas aren't really my thing. It's not really expensive so give it a try and see how you like it. I will say the dense arepas really fill you up so it is good value in that regard.
#02-21, The Star Vista