Tag Archive for: restaurants

We’re hoping to catch a moment with one of our favorite Masa servers tonight as we take the family out for a pre-Thanksgiving meal. We’re  saying goodbye to awesome Masa server Manny Ramirez because he’s leaving the Echo Park restaurant after seven years – for good! But also for good reasons.

Manny has been working at Masa since the beginning, so he became a friendly face and great conversation while we did the laundromat-Masa night every couple of weeks. In the latest Masa newsletter, he explains his reasons for leaving: “I’m ready to do some of that traveling so many of you have told to do while I’m still young.” After Thanksgiving, he’ll be hitting up the Southern States, including Alabama, and crossing the border to Mexico for a holiday with the family. Then he’ll be shipped off – literally – since he joined the U.S. Navy.

It’s kind of sad saying goodbye to Manny, an end of an era. But we know owners Rhonda and Rob will especially miss him. As they wrote in the newsletter: “In 2004 when we opened the doors to Masa, our ‘second’ home in Echo Park, Manny came with us and charmed you with his vast trivia knowledge, endearing smile and incomprehensible politeness! We realize there comes a time in every family when the kids will leave the nest. As ‘parents’ we couldn’t be prouder of our Manny now, and all that he has yet to accomplish in the future.”

Good luck, Manny! You will be missed. Thanks for making this little pocket of Los Angeles feel like an intimate and great neighborhood!

Last week we noticed a splurge of articles circulating the Internets about food – but not just any food, Echo Park food! Makes me hungry just reading about it. Here are some excerpts from the LA Weekly and the LA Times blog articles that caught our eye:

30 Scoops in 30 Days: Kind Kreme (Day 10)

By Elina Shatkin, June 14, 2011 – LA Weekly

The local mini-chain has three locations: Studio City, Pasadena and Echo Park, where it shares space with Sage Vegan Bistro, in the former home of ill-fated Mooi, a raw vegan restaurant known mostly for its tiny portions, expensive prices and piss-poor service. The Dr. Seuss decor and bad attitudes are gone. In its place is a friendly café that seems to be bustling with life. Like most newfangled Echo Park eateries, it’s filled with skulking hipster cliches: skinny genes in skinny jeans, un/ironic 1980s fashions and asymmetrical haircuts. But the staff at Kind Kreme wants to make sure you to enjoy their ice cream, whether or not you’re a vegan.

Click here for the full article.


Billie Stone of Sothrifticated.com

An Echo Park resident, Billie Strong’s blog has some pretty incredible recipes and cooking tips and tricks. This is one of quite a few Echo Parkian blogs we subscribe to, and are looking forward to trying out her latest recipe – panko crusted fish. Yumm!

Recently, the LA Times also ranked her California Turkey Burger recipe in the top 20 burgers in “Battle of the Burgers.” You can try it at the LA Times Test Kitchen, and winners will be featured in the 4th of July Food Section.


Jambon beurre sandwich

June 14, 2011 – LA Times Blog

Lately, I’ve been making a pit stop at Cookbook in Echo Park for baguettes (some of the best in town). One Sunday I got there early (it opens at 8 a.m.), and the woman behind the counter was making up what looked very like a jambon beurre. “Yes, it is,” she said. But made on the most slender ficelle (super-skinny baguette).

Cookbook's Jambon beurre sandwich / LA Times

On Monday, I picked up a sandwich for lunch. The ficelle is wonderful, slathered with sweet butter and enclosing a single slice of prosciutto. Perfect if you’re headed for a hike in Elysian Park.

Click here for the full article.

And speaking of Cookbook, the food boutique/grocer just started summer programs (from food to painting and floral design) this month at the store. Check out the schedule below:

Read more

For the first ever “Taste of the Eastside,” we’ve got quite a few awesome treats from local restaurants this weekend. Lots of places coming from all over this side of town, including Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, Los Feliz, Downtown, and Highland Park, and more importantly, Echo Park!

However, before we get started, I know what you’re thinking. Let’s not get into the whole “eastside” debate this time around. There’s the actual “East LA” which is east of the LA river, and then there’s this sort of north of downtown area that we’re in. Some people call it the “eastside” to make it easier on everyone.

Now then, on to businesses.

Some my favorite Echo Park restaurants have taken up booths at the Taste of the Eastside event, and just to make your taste buds tingle, we’ve got the info on what you can expect to snack on while you’re there.

Delilah Bakery: Whiskey Bread Pudding (and probably the best you’ll ever have)

Cookbook: Farro salad with grilled asparagus, pistachios, mint and sheep’s milk feta

Xoia: Pho Beef Tacos

The Park: Serving up an appetizer from the current spring menu – a savory rhubarb galette (a rustic French pastry) topped with a little salad of watercress, strawberries, burrata cheese and balsamic vinegar.

Also from our neck of the woods, Elf Cafe (vegetarian cuisine) and The Brite Spot (your late-night hangout no doubt) will also be there!

There will also be DJs, cocktails, family activities, book signings, and, as we mentioned, lots of food.

Taste of the Eastside
Barnsdall Art Park, located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd
Sunday, May 15 from 1-5:00 pm.
Click here for the website

Tickets start at $25 for adults, click here to purchase!

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!

Lots of new businesses opening and reopening in Echo Park the past couple of months. Here’s what you’ve missed:

New restaurants and businesses:

  • Tony Yanow’s new restaurant at the old Ramona Theater has changed names a couple of times (from El Camino to Mohawk Brasserie), but it seems they have settled on Mohawk Bend. Click here for the new Facebook page.
  • Haitian cuisine restaurant Ti George’s on Glendale Blvd. opened its doors again on December 9 after February 2010 fire.
  • Chinese food is back in Echo Park: Chinatown Express, also closed after a fire broke out in the mini-mall, held a grand reopening December 4.
  • Pop-up shop Blood is the New Black will remain open down at 1825 Sunset Blvd. through December 30 for your holiday shopping needs.
  • Vintage store TИSEN opened up in the former Millenium Thrift Shop at 2118 Berkeley Avenue in late November. The owners have a great eye for vintage picks from clothes, antiques, jewelry, vinyl, and furniture.

Other news:

  • The Echo Curio will close its doors for the last time on Sunday, December 19 after its final Echo Obscura Movie Night.
  • AOL’s hyper-local news website Echo Park Patch launched December 16.

Ongoing/Weekly Specials

I recently met a couple of the Echo Park residents behind the new blog/community organizers called Echo Park Life at the Echo Park Improvement Association pot luck last week. What started as a few neighbors concerned with the direction of development on the western side of Echo Park, it turned into a website revolved around getting residents organized and educated.

Residents in what is called the “Washington Heights Tract” around Sunset, Alvarado, Elsinore, Mohawk, and Waterloo are currently concentrating their concerns on two major developments taking place in their part of Echo Park: the El Camino restaurant taking over the old Ramona Theater, and the Sunset Flats residential complex at Sunset and Reservoir.

Sunset Flats is a 64-unit residential complex that, in its original proposed state, will be a five-story complex with no parking provided to its residents. Echo Park Life organizers are concerned with the parking problem, the potential eyesore, and the demolition of six turn-of-the-century homes, among other potential problems.

The El Camino restaurant in the old Ramona Theater (which we’ve written about before) will also be off-street parking for its 200-person seated establishment (with the exception of a rumored limited car valet option). Echo Park Life worry about the parking, the bar open until 2:00 am, and the wood-fired pizza oven burning below their bedroom windows.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, August 7), the GEPENC Planning and Land Use Committee will meet to discuss, among other things, the Sunset Flats project (if any new information is available, it might be the developer submitting some new design plans that will reflect past concerns). Echo Park Life is calling for residents to join them at the meeting to “get involved and come to a meeting to learn about the community issues going on in Echo Park.”

Go to www.echoparklife.org if you are interested in joining the discussion, and follow them on Twitter.

Elf Cafe is re-opoening tomorrow, July 28 (according to the sign on the front door), after a week-long closure for renovations. While we haven’t gotten the final word from the restaurant about what exactly is going on with renovations, they told the Huffington Post last February of plans to expand the restaurant into the space next door (perhaps Branche Boutique, pictured above), which they had just acquired.

We’ll have to see what happens when Elf Cafe re-opens tomorrow!

Elf Cafe is located at 2135 W Sunset Blvd. Click here for the menu.

Flickr photo by RexSteed

The Park Restaurant has released its Summer 2010 dinner menu, and it sounds pretty delicious!

The Park Restaurant
1400 Sunset Blvd
(213) 482.9209

Brunch hours:
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Lunch hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

Dinner hours:
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 5:30 – 10:00 pm
Tuesday and Friday: 6:00 – 10:00 pm
(reservations recommended)

The Park Prix Fixe Deals
Speakeasy Tuesdays: $15.00 for a three course meal

Friday Supper Club: $20.00 for a three course selection from the regular menu

Wednesday is $5 Burger Night
Munch a 6 oz. sirloin burger or homemade veggie burger with your choice of side for only $5.00

Click here to view breakfast, brunch and lunch menus for The Park.

We just had dinner at Masa tonight and realized that whenever the Cubs play at Dodger Stadium, Masa has some incredible specials on Chicago deep dish pizzas.

During the game only, Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas are half off (dine in or take out). This series is a four-game series starting tonight, July 8, and goes through Sunday, July 11.

You can usually watch the Dodger games at the restaurant – but only when the games are on KCAL9, a broadcast channel available at Masa (tonight was an exception as the game was on Prime Ticket). We were assured by our always awesome server that Saturday and Sunday, the games will be on at Masa.

Click here for the Dodger schedule and times on our Dodger Calendar page.

New restaurants and businesses:

  • Darling’s Flower Shop and Matsu, a Japanese restaurant, are now sharing the building on Temple. Read more at The Eastsider LA
  • Marta Teegen of Homegrown is opening up a green grocery store called “Cookbook” on Echo Park Avenue along gallery row (Chicken Corner area). Read more from the Chicken Corner
  • True Blue Tattoo popped up at 1359 1/2 Sunset Blvd. a month or two ago.

Other new news

Ongoing/Weekly Restaurant Specials

Closed 🙁

  • The Clinic of Echo Park has closed its doors following a dispute with the landlord. The owner plans to open online stores at matsonialane.com and on etsy at matsonialane.etsy.com. Read more

It’s unavoidable now – today is officially tax day. Whether or not you paid the government or got a refund, you might find good company enjoying some cheap eats and drinks in Echo Park tonight.

Happy hour specials and fun to-dos:

  • Allston Yacht Club: from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, house wine, imported beers and selected cocktails are $4, and four rotating snack selections for $4 each.
  • The Short Stop: every day from 5 – 8:00 pm, $2.00 PBR, free pool and jukebox, drink specials, and more.
  • City Sip: starting at 5:30, $4.00 beer and wine.
  • Stories Books: four-play! reading at 7:30 pm on the patio.
  • 2HeadedHorse: Campfire songs with Micha and Leighton at 7:00 pm

And so you don’t forget, there are many ongoing specials throughout the week in Echo Park:

Have you eaten at Nuvia’s Pupuseria lately? Have you EVER eaten there? You should. They offer some very tasty homemade Mexican and Salvadorean food on the cheap. I went there the other day and got two delicious bean and cheese pupusas and some fried plantains. We were served by Maria who was a gas: “If you need anything, you just yell at me. Say, ‘Mariaaaa!'” They must have JUST re-decorated the interior because you could still smell the drying paint. There wasn’t anything wrong with their decor before, but the new color scheme makes the restaurant feel… cooler. Literally, cooler. It will be a welcome, dark, air-conditioned oasis in the coming summer months. I’ve also heard that they offer really stellar breakfast at a good price, so I’ll have to check that out.

Nuvia’s Restaurant and Pupuseria is located at 1525 W. Sunset Blvd. They’re open seven days a week from 7:30 am to 12:00 am!