Tag Archive for: new echo park restaurants

Flickr photo via MidtownLunch

It was just last August that we learned the former “Far East” Japanese restaurant was being taken over by Filipino BBQ spot The Park’s Finest. But the catering company turned restaurant needed some cash first – and it looks like they’ve raised the $20K (via a Kickstarter campaign) they needed to open its doors.

Midtown Lunch has a rave review about the new restaurant’s offerings – including pulled pork, tri tip, pork ribs, salmon, short ribs, hot links, and cornbread. Menu is ala carte for now, so you’ll want to share with a couple of people. And at $8-12 a plate, plus some extra for tasty side dishes, it looks affordable for BBQ lovers. Based on the review, it sounds like the Coconut Beef is the way to go.

The owners also gave that space a much-needed facelift – on the outside and one the inside, including fresh paint, new tables and chairs, a little floor rehab, and they got rid of that ugly ceiling. The outdoor rehab gives that strip next to the old Knights Inn and the now-defunct Dinner House M some much needed love.

The Park’s Finest is located at 1267 West Temple Street

Open Thursday through Sunday, lunch to dinner. Hours are:

Thursday : 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday: 6:00 pm  – 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The old Phoenix Bakery on Echo Park Avenue and Montana has few remnants of the old bakery days left – just a sticker-covered “free parking for Phoenix Express” remains. Although the magnificent mural on the Montana side is still there, a fresh coat of a burnt-orange paint is an indication that things are moving along for the upcoming opening of the much anticipated restaurant, Red Hill.

LA Weekly has the grand opening pegged as early as next week, on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, which also happens to be owner Jason Michaud’s birthday. Jason is not only an Echo Park resident, he and his wife own vintage store Tosen in Echo Park, the restaurant Local in Silver Lake, and a new restaurant in downtown called Local Express.

When we spoke to Jason last January, Red Hill was primarily going to focus on American cuisine, and would be open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with a primary focus on dinner. They also applied for a beer and wine license this year, which received the support of the neighborhood council.

The name Red Hill refers to a part of Echo Park/Elysian Heights history much older than I – the area was known to be a secluded and safe hub for artists, radicals, socialists and free-thinkers of all sorts. 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 (as well as “Red Gulch”).

Red Hill is located at 1325 Echo Park Avenue. Follow them on Twitter.

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“Pazzo” may mean crazy – but there’s nothing wrong with the culinary flavors of the new Echo Park gelato spot, Pazzo Gelato. This is the second store for the family-run business, which opened the first location in Silver Lake in 2006. The Echo Park location, which opened in July, is just a mile down Sunset, and fills an ice cream void for us locals (Kind Kreme also has great vegan ice cream options).

Though the Echo Park location offers fewer flavors than the Silver Lake location (18 here, 24 there), it still has mouth-watering flavors like Blood Orange Sorbet, Watermelon, and the unusual Butter Brown Sugar Bacon. Since the flavors are made fresh from local ingredients, they do change so make sure to check them out on Facebook to see what’s in the freezer.

For our first-ever visit, we ordered Almond Expresso Chip, and a Plum-Mango Sorbet combo (half of each). Two medium scoops cost us around $10 (plus I always tip!), which is about right for this type of treat – it sure ain’t your RiteAid ice cream!

In addition to free parking behind the Citibank building, there is also free wi-fi and plenty of seating, including a spacious patio area overlook Sunset Boulevard.

Next up, we’re looking forward to trying the food menu – gourmet coffee, bagels, bagel/breakfast sandwiches, and sweets. It’s also nice they are open at 7:30 am for the early morning commute! We are hoping to see an addition of paninis and other sandwich options to the menu as well.

Pazzo Gelato is located at 1910 West Sunset Boulevard.