Hidden away in the railway arches of Elephant & Castle, La Barra is a Latin American restaurant which focuses on the food of Colombia. Run by chef and owner Maria-Luisa Riascos Solis, the restaurant may be a little tricky to find at first, but make the effort and you will be rewarded with some of the most authentic Columbian food in London, which is freshly made every single day. The complete unpretentiousness of the restaurant makes it a fantastic place to go for an informal lunch, or for a reasonably priced meal with friends, but regardless of the occasion, you'll be guaranteed to be treated to some food bursting with flavour.
From the outside you would barely know that La Barra was a restaurant with a discreet sign on the back of the door the only clue to what goes on inside. The small restaurant has an incredibly relaxed feel to it with café seating and the odd framed picture decorating the walls.
The food offering begins at breakfast time with dishes such as calentao with red beans, rice, pork belly, chorizo, plantain and a fried egg providing a hearty start to the day. Throughout the rest of the day a lengthy menu is available which includes dishes such as arroz paisa (corncake and red beans), a vegetarian platter with rice, beans, lentils, cassava and an avocado salad, and also a variety of homemade soups. However, perhaps the most popular dish at the restaurant is the pica pollo which includes five pieces of deep fried battered chicken served alongside crispy plantains and a chilli dipping sauce.
Regardless of what you order at La Barra, one thing is for sure and that is that you will be guaranteed flavour-packed South American food at incredibly reasonable prices and that’s no mean feat in a city like London.