Masa's vegan deep dish pizza. Photo by QuarryGirl

Saturday, January 29, was the first annual Vegan Pizza Day (sponsored by Teese Vegan Cheese and our friend Quarry Girl), meant to educate everyone that vegans can eat delicious food too!

Though we missed it, and that means you probably did too, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some vegan pizza delights locally in Echo Park at any time. The two places you should check out are actually not that far away from each other: Masa and Two Boots!

Quarry Girl swears by the vegan Chicago deep dish pizza, claiming it would be her last meal if she had to choose!

Two Boots:
Check out a by-the-slice vegan option called “Earth Mother” and let us know what you think!

Sometime soon, there will be some more vegan options in Echo Park when Tony Yanow’s new restaurant, Mohawk Bend, opens up in the old Ramon Theater. The former Mooi vegan restaurant is also opening up under a new name and new ownership, and will likely be offering some vegan pizza options if not plenty of vegan meals!

Today (Friday, January 28) is the last day to submit your comments for public record on the Sunset Flats project planned for Sunset and Rosemont in Echo Park. I have written extensively about this project both on Echo Park Now and in an opinions piece on Echo Park Patch, but there’s a new concern by at least one resident that there might be an historical element to one of the soon-to-be destroyed homes.

Resident Rory Mitchell found out that one of the homes on Sunset Blvd. does indeed have some historical value, regardless of whether or not it’s an official historic monument (which it’s not – yet!). Rory, a writer and historical consultant, wrote on his website that 2231 Sunset Blvd. is a 1910s home built for Stefan Zacsek, a Hungarian immigrant.

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Happy 2nd Birthday, AYC!

Celebrate with the amazing bar/restaurant on Thursday, January 27 and take advantage of their two-for-one menu special. Enjoy some wine or a cocktail, some birthday cake, and the super awesome AYC staff and owners (seriously, everyone there is really nice!).

This ridiculously cute pup was saved from the animal shelter that was planning to euthanize her a couple of weeks ago. She made it to a foster home, but needs to find another foster or (preferably) a permanent home. Here are the details about this cutie pie:

She’s smart and very energetic. She has learned how to sit, stay, lay down, and release (which is great at feeding time.) She also knows how to fetch and ‘drop.’ She’s around a year old and needs to go out for lots of potties so having a big yard and another dog to play with is a plus. She loves long walks, runs and hiking at Runyan Canyon. We’d love to meet you to see if you’re a good fit for this sweet, affectionate puppy. Please contact Gina at 323-514-7282 or

Please help find him a home!

The Lunaria Music Academy just opened up last week at 1803 W Sunset Blvd. (right above Xoia), offering private lessons in a variety of instruments for students of all ages and levels.

Owners Rebecca Carr and Carol Warren also offer group classes, including guitar for beginners and “piano for fun!”

One Echo Park resident has already had a chance to check it out, and wrote a small review on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council Forum recently: “I just took a piano class there, they just opened in the same building above Xoia and it is run by Tony Wang, the dentist’s wife. You should check it out. I liked my teacher Rebecca Carr. They will be doing all sorts of classes private and group.”

Give them a call at 213-989-1889. Click here to download the full schedule and pricing.

Construction is wrapping up at CRES#14 - the site previously occupied by 50 homes

We received a submission from Echo Park resident, business owner, and Echo Park Mom’s Group for Education member Micki Curtis. Very concerned about the upcoming vote on Central Region Elementary School (CRES) #14, Micki is calling for the community to get involved immediately so that the community gets what it deserves with this school. Here’s what she has to say:

Dear Fellow Parents and Community Members, I am writing to you as a concerned parent and community member. A couple of years ago, the LAUSD won the battle to destroy over 50 homes and close an access street [Marathon] to build a new school facility currently called CRES #14. Click here to read some of the back story on Curbed LA.

Now that the building is almost completed, the LAUSD is using the CHOICES process to decide who will inhabit this publicly funded project. I have been attending meetings and following the decision process as to which type of school (there are two different proposals) will inhabit the new elementary and middle school facility at Sunset and Alvarado. The two proposals are: a mostly Spanish-language school called Camino Nuevo (not language emergence, but bilingual), and the second school, yet to be named but with a working title of “Echo Park Community Partners Design Team.” The second proposal has continually grasped my deep interest – it is an amazing school for the entire community.

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Our neighbor just down the street lost their doggy over the weekend the moment they brought him home after adoption:

We lost one of our dogs to old age a couple weeks ago.

Adopted a new one from the pound, brought him home, before we even got into the house he slipped out of his harness, got under the fence and ran away. I live at Scott and Portia.

Dog has no collar is about 20lbs, brownish red short hair, cross between beagle and labador. Has white and blue bandages on his back feet.

We are worried sick, has microchip.

You can call the number on the flyers (pictured about) or send us an email at and we’ll get you connected if you find the pup.

We woke up early Friday morning, January 21, to the sounds of a very low-lying helicopter nearby. Turns out, there were news helicopters capturing a house fire at nearby 1324 Sutherland St, and we read about the fire later on The Eastsider LA. The narrow street and limited access to the house made it difficult for firefighters (access to the house were a set of wooden stairs), but other than a poor house cat that perished, no one was injured. It took a total of 32 Los Angeles Firefighters and just 17 minutes to bring the flames under control.

The fire department posted some additional information on their blog along with the video of the fire captured by a neighbor:

Navigating through a slim curbside gate and trio of narrow outside staircases to gain access, firefighters muscled hoselines and later ground ladders to battle intense flames that had taken hold of the front portion of a 106-year-old wood frame structure.

As the aggressive fire attack ensued, firefighters were pleased to learn that the home’s five occupants had exited the building with minimal injury, prior to the Fire Department’s arrival.

One of the residents however, had foolishly reentered the building in an attempt to reclaim possessions, sustaining smoke inhalation as well as first-degree burns to his neck and arms. In good condition following treatment by LAFD Paramedics, the man declined ambulance transport before being released at the scene.

Despite the diligent efforts of 32 Los Angeles Firefighters, one pet cat perished in the blaze. The well-coordinated assault on the flames held direct fire damage to a large front patio, adjacent bedroom, attic and dormer, with firefighters bringing flames under full control in just 17 minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

The three men and two women who lived separately within the home escaped only with their night clothes. They were assisted with temporary housing and human needs by volunteers from the American Red Cross.

There was no immediate evidence of functional smoke alarms within the home, as required by law. Firefighters later determined that the home’s occupants owed their survival solely to the happenstance that one resident was awakened by the sound of fire, and was able to alert others.

Loss to the non-fire sprinklered home is estimated at $95,000 ($75,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze is categorized as accidental, and attributed to the careless discarding of smoking materials on the patio that ignited combustible furnishings.

Check those batteries in your smoke alarms and be safe!

My, how a lot has changed! There aren’t a lot of bikini-clad women hanging around the lake these days, but this is a great video of Echo Park Lake in the 1960s with Jody Miller for her song “Things”:

The video is actually a scopitone – basically a music video that played on a jukebox (it pre-dates what we now know as a music video, but is the same general idea).

Check out the size of those lotus leaves, and some of the plant life looks way different (those palm trees are much bigger now!). You can see canoes in the background at the boathouse – yes you used to be able to canoe! If only you could take a little Lazer sail boat like the one she’s got on the lake…!

h/t @smitty4657 for the link!

Brian W. posted this on the world wide web a couple of days ago, and it’s really a nice video of Echo Park Lake. If you’re looking to sell your parents or a friend on visiting you in your new pad in Echo Park, this is the video for you.

Echo Park Dusk from Brian W. on Vimeo.

Echo Park resident David found this adorable dog last week on Sargent Place north of Scott. He’s hoping to find the owner soon!

I’m calling him Buddy.
I found him on Monday, January 17 on Sargent Place near the roundabout. I assume he was wandering in Elysian Park. He fell in with my three other dogs. No collar. He backed away when I tried to touch him, but followed us home. He had some scars and is still quite skinny. I took him to the vet and he had no chip, so I had him brought up to date on his shots and also had him fixed. He weighs 46 pounds and is about 16-18 inches tall at the shoulder. The vet says he looks to be about 2 or 3 years old. He is recuperating well from the surgery but if you know him or who he belongs to, I would like to return him to his owner–if, in fact, he pulled a Houdini and was lost, rather than dumped in Elysian Park.
If you know where this little guy belongs, send us an email at and we’ll get you in touch with David.

An email forwarded to the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council Yahoo! Forum the other day announced some good news about the city’s graffiti abatement programs.

Pat Gomez, the city’s murals manager, writes, “This is to update you that the graffiti abatement cut was removed from the budget reduction recommendations approved by Council and forwarded to the Mayor.”


The city addressed a recommendation by the mayor’s office to cut graffiti abatement program funding just a couple of weeks ago on Wednesday, January 12. They had recommended a drastic 50% cut to meet the city’s current budget constraints, worrying many here in Echo Park about keeping our streets clean and safe.

We were especially worried about the future of the Central City Action Committee (CCAC) located here in Echo Park. An important organization to many communities in Los Angeles, the CCAC removed 3.5 million square feet of graffiti in CD1 and one million from CD13.

We are happy the city did the responsible thing even if we don’t know where the next budget cut will be. In the meantime, keep telling the city about graffiti as soon as you see it by calling 311, reporting it on the anti-graffiti website at, or using a 311 ap if you have an iPhone or Android phone.

We got the heads up about this new restaurant back in November when we spoke to Echo Park resident Jason Michaud (owner of Local in Silver Lake) about newly opened vintage store Tosen in Echo Park. But the details hadn’t been quite set in stone yet as he had been negotiating with property owner Walgreens for quite some time on opening up in that space. Now, they are still working on the details for the menu and specific ideas, but construction is moving forward on the old Phoenix Bakery at Echo Park Avenue and Montana (across from AYC) for the much-anticipated new restaurant they are calling Red Hill.

For those who aren’t familiar with Echo Park/Elysian Height history, the older parts of Echo Park like Elysian Heights was where artists, radicals, socialists and free-thinkers of all sorts found safety and seclusion. Communists joined them in the 1920s during the first Red Scare (a lot came from Boyle Heights), earning Echo Park the nickname of Red Hill (also “Red Gulch”). This is where the new restaurant’s name comes from.

Mario Orellana, formerly Lazy Ox Canteen sous chef, has teamed up with Jason to open up Red Hill. They are keeping very, very busy with another restaurant opening in downtown near Grand Central Market call Chimu – slated to open mid-February, it’s a Peruvian takeout restaurant. Red Hill my open as soon as this summer, and will focus on American cuisine.

Red Hill will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with a primary focus on dinner. They are also “looking forward to making a great lunch spot for the locals,” said Mario, and hope to serve beer and wine.

The Phoenix Bakery building has been collecting dust for quite some time (probably because Walgreens has always wanted to have a drive-through put in), so it’s a welcoming sight to see it getting fixed up. One thing that also needs to be worked out: Neighboring restaurant Allston Yacht Club uses valet and parks patron cars in that parking lot.

We are looking forward to trying out Red Hill when it opens this summer!

While we don’t usually post events that are outside Echo Park’s boundaries, reader Katya is a fan of the blog and lives nearby – so why not?

This is the second weekend for Silver Lake resident Katya Lidsky’s one-woman show called “I’m Sorry.” She told us it’s a “funny dramedy about how I went from being a people-pleasing apologist to becoming an animal-loving activist.” She plays 16 characters during the 50-minute long show.

“For anyone who’s ever cared more about being liked than having opinions or integrity, this is the show for you. Because sometimes you have to find something to believe in before you can stop saying I’m sorry.”

There are some great reviews of the show, most calling it funny and inspiring. The weekend show starts tonight at 8:00 pm, with shows Saturday and Sunday as well. Go to Katya’s show and support a local actress!

Friday amd Saturday, January 21 and 22 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, January 23 at 7:00 pm

$10 online (+ $2.50 processing fee)
$15 at the door

Industry comps available, please call 323-559-5942

The Lounge Theatre at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd

Flickr photo via Citilista

There are a lot of shops opening and closing these days in Echo Park, and especially a lot of vintage stores coming in to take advantage of the hipster spotlight. This time, however, one is closing its doors for good.

2Bad Vintage is located at 1651 W. Temple St. on the border of Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown. While the reasons for the closure aren’t verified, the owners posted a Craigslist ad a couple of days ago looking for investors, a buy-out, or someone to take over the lease. “Want to invest? Buy out? Take over lease? or looking for Wholesale deals? Or looking for cool fixtures? Please contact us. Comes with parking and back patio rooftop views.”

h/t Echo Park Online