Tag Archive for: restaurant reviews

A couple of weeks ago, LA Weekly published Jonathan Gold’s annual “99 Essential L.A. Restaurants” – a list of our city’s must-visit restaurants, taco trucks, and even sidewalk eateries. But we noticed a chunk of those little Google map “dots” missing from the map – Echo Park!

An “essential restaurant,” the author writes, “is one that reflects Los Angeles in a startling and unusual way, that uses fresh local ingredients in a fashion that respects the land in which they were grown, that showcases cooking echoing both foreign-trained chefs’ region of origin and the hypercharged mosaic of the L.A. dining scene.” I’m not sure we have many famous chefs to brag about, but we get it. Even if Echo Park remains that little neighborhood where the Short Stop is, we still have some culinary delights I don’t think should be left out.

Masa: Chicago deep dip pizza with a vegan option, paired with one or two (definitely two) of Masa’s own Honey Blonde Ale. I am personally obsessed with the Chicken Caesar Salad and love the service there. They also use fresh, local ingredients.

Allston Yacht Club: Fried feta and fried calamari, along with a spicy jalapeno-infused margarita. Great atmosphere, great happy hour, great service!

The Park Restaurant: Love the brunch, but the dinner specials come into my email inbox and it’s all over. They have really stepped up their game in the kitchen since opening a couple of years ago. Last weekend’s special included a toasted Bartlett pear, candied walnuts, gorgonzola custard, frisee and spinach salad, along with a pan-roasted seabass entree (with lemon and dill-cured seabass relish). Yum!

Elf Cafe: It’s a simple as this: The best vegetarian fare around!

But I guess it’s okay Jonathan – we are Twitter buddies and you included plenty of Eastside delights for us to throw you a bone – like Bigmista’s Barbecue at the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market location, which is also a favorite for Echo Parkians during our Friday Farmers’ Market. And we dig the shout-out to Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette. But since the publication gave us so many wonderful titles for the publication’s “Best of LA 2010” list, we thought we’d at least get one restaurant in there!

Click here for the Google map of Jonathan’s 99 essential restaurants, and click here for the full LA Weekly article.