Monday, December 24, 2012

Rain Begins To Fill The Lake

December 24th, 2012 - A little rain and the lake has water!
Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Echo Park Lake Progress 11/28/12

 As of this week, the Sidewalks are starting to be created. These will be porous to keep them drier than the old cement.
 The view including the dry lake from a little further back.
The only part of the Lake that now has water.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Water and Plants in the Lake

While construction on Echo Park Lake is still going on,
one small portion now has been planted with some of the
wetlands that will be in different areas of the lake.
Finally after more than a year and a half, it's starting to look
more like we remember it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taix Square

Meet Me at Taix Square
The City Council today approved a motion to honor Taix French Restaurant by naming the intersection in front of the Echo Park restaurant “Taix Square.”  The ceremonial signs will be installed at Sunset Boulevard and Park Avenue as the family-owned Taix restaurant celebrates its 85th anniversary, 50 of them in Echo Park (the original restaurant opened in downtown).   No word yet if the city will also be honoring other long-time Echo Park restaurants by naming intersections Brite Spot Plaza, Pizza Buona Place and Barragans Crossroads.

From TheEastsiderLa Meet Me at Taix Square
October 16, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hungry in Echo Park

Los Angeles's Echo Park district hides such treasured cuisines as Haitian chicken, Italian California Cuisine and of course, authentic Mexican!
Subscribe to Hungry for more Hungry In!

Friday, September 21, 2012

City Sip - The place to see and be seen

City Sip, our favorite local Wine Bar just went through a major remodel and has reinvented itself into a real class act.
If you have been in there previously, you really need to make a return trip to see what Nicole has transformed the original wine bar into. You immediately notice the suede and leather furniture and brown and red decor. It's a very inviting decor, perfect for a date or just a glass of wine and a bite.
She has lowered the pricing, and the new menu by Chef Gloria Felix (of Reservoir Restaurant in Silver Lake) is just nothing less than terrific.
The new environment lends itself to friendly conversation amongst all patrons.
We were fortunate enough to get an invite to the private soiree Thursday evening, and tonight, Friday September 21 is the grand opening.
Make a point to get there soon and experience the new and improved City Sip.
Previous articles on City Sip:
City Sip Getting Makeover
Il Vino Per La Gente

City Sip
2150 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Tel: (213) 483-WINE (9463)
FaceBook Facebook City Sip 
Twitter Twitter City Sip

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Update on Echo Park Lake

New update on the lake reconstruction by Judy Raskin, an Echo Park resident involved in bird and wildlife issues.
Judy delves into how the lake will imitate nature so that birds, fish and other wildlife will survive when the lake is finished next spring.
The article is at TheEastsiderLA, just click on this link: The new underwater landscape taking shape at Echo Park Lake

Friday, September 14, 2012

City Sip getting Makeover

City Sip will be closing tonight for a one week remodel and revamp of their Menu and Happy Hour.
Can't wait to see what's coming as for now it's all hush-hush.
City Sip was one of the first cool places to show up in Echo Park and after 5 years a little touch up will spruce up the place and make it even more interesting.
This was the post on it that I did back in October 2010 Il Vino Per La Gente
CitySip is at:
2150 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Tel: (213) 483-WINE (9463)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Allston Yacht Club Closes

Sad and shocking news, after 4 years in business, Allston Yacht Club, a restaurant famous for their small plates and yummy drinks closed it's doors this past weekend.
This was surprising to us as we had just been there last week, and they informed us they were going through a remodel. They had just added an additional front window and would be closing for one month to remodel. Well, from an article on theEastsiderLA we learned that it was last call for the restaurant, which was a shock for the neighborhood.
Bill and Charles do have plans to open a new and different type restaurant in the same location, and it will be a wait and see as this was one of our favorite haunts in the neighborhood.
Back in June of 2011 I posted a review Allston Yacht Club - No Boats, Great Food
We are anxiously awaiting to see what AYC will morph into. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Elysian Park inspires name of new Pet Shop Boys album

When it came to naming their new album, the British pop and electronic music duo known as the Pet Shop Boys toyed with the idea of  calling it “Happy Sad.”  But, after a visit to Los Angeles and a stroll through Elysian Park earlier this year, Neil Tenant and Chris Lowe settled upon a different album title: Elysium,  which is rooted in a classical Greek word referring to paradise. Tenant, the more talkative of the two, explains how this came about in a video interview with the Huffington Post:
There is a park in Los Angeles called Elysian Park, and we went for a walk there with some friends and we decided to do a photo session there  … We still didn’t have the album title then.  As I mentioned, we thought of going “Happy Sad” at one point. And then Elysium just floated out because of Elysian Park.  It seemed to fit … the mood of the album.
In his British accent, Tenant, who can be seen here with Elysian Park’s Avenue of the Palms in the background,  pronounces the name of the city’s second largest park  as “Eh-LIZ-ee-an.”
From TheEastsiderLA  Sunday, Sept 2, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Should an Echo Park intersection be named “Vin Scully Square”?

Last night, Dodger Stadium honored 84-year-old Dodger Stadium announcer Vin Scully with his very own bobblehead. Current GEPENC president and CD13 candidate Jose Sigala also wants to honor the legend – he is petitioning for the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Elysian Park Avenue be officially named “Vin Scully Square.”

The corner is just a stone’s throw from the Elysian Park gate into the Stadium, and where you’ll find some of the heaviest traffic after a big game.
Click here to sign Sigala’s online petition.
Scully also ust recently announced he will return next year for his 64th season in 2013!
Posted by Kelly at EchoParkNow  August 31, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nightfall in L.A.

Nightfall, Video on Vimeo
Cinematography, Direction, and Editing by: Colin Rich:
Produced by Pacific Star Productions

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Diablo, The New Kid On The Block

Last night we went to Diablo, Urban Taco Fabricator, the newest restaurant in Silver Lake. This is one very cool restaurant with some unique Tacos on the menu.
The location used to be a Parilla Family Mexican Restaurant,(which still has their original location in East Los Angeles), and was just recently sold and transformed from it's former self into a unique and hip restaurant.
When you see it from the outside, you can't imagine what is behind the heavy wood doors. Entering brings you into a large room where you place your order and take a number to a table in the next room. The decor, with cement flooring, brown paint and red brick walls, wood tables and metal chairs is a very modern look.
We tried 4 different tacos, each as good as the last, and they have an extensive beer and wine menu.
Along with the very friendly staff, we got to talk with one of the owners, Summer, who told us since opening the place has been doing very good business, and we could see why.
The menu is available online at Diablo Menu PDF
and their official website is
Not to drop names, but while we were there none other than Tabitha, from Tabitha's Salon Takeover on Bravo was also dining there!
This is a great little hangout spot in Silver Lake.
We were also told 2 more restaurants are coming, so Sunset Boulevard from Silver Lake to Echo Park is becoming quite the restaurant row!
While Diablo means devil in spanish, you may also note their phone number has 2 666's in it!!

Diablo Urban Taco Fabricator is located at:
3129 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Excellent Article Update on the Lake Construction

Kelly at EchoParkNow has posted an update with great photos on what's going on with the Echo Park Lake Construction.
Lots of great things coming.
You can read the full article here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Echo Park Lake Update

Some good news from the Echo Park Lake
Rehabilitation site, seems they are on track
to finish the lake on schedule.
May of 2013.
Though the way it looks now, I hope they're right.

A new look and name for an Echo Park coffee house

The new owners of the Downbeat Cafe have given the Echo Park coffee house a new look and name: Echo Lake Coffee Co. Six months after brothers Cesar and Sergio Diaz purchased the business, the new Echo Lake Coffee name appeared over the weekend on a bright blue awning that replaced the Downbeat’s faded purple canopy over the Alvarado Storefront. The new name, which was inspired by nearby Echo Park Lake, and awning on the outside signals changes inside one of Echo Park’s first coffee house, where a new paint job has brightened up the inside and new banquette seating has been installed on along one wall. “As part of our transformation, it was time to change the name,” said Cesar Diaz. “Everybody knew the [Downbeat] name but many had not been around in years.”

The interior changes are designed to make the space for customers to have meeting and bring their laptops, Diaz said
While the Downbeat Cafe name is gone, Diaz said the coffeehouse’s Wednesday evening jazz performances will now be called Downbeat Jazz Night.
From TheEastsiderLA

Filmed in Echo Park

On occasion I like to post about cool things filmed in Echo Park, but this one is particularly special because it’s the debut music video of our very, very good friends of Nude Data. Transplant Productions is the video production team extraordinaire, and we think they did a great job of highlighting some key Echo Park locations like Laveta Terrace, the bus stop at Sunset and Portia, Little Joy (briefly), and a local recording studio by the name of Out of Hand. The rest is Chinatown and Spring Street – all pretty cool locations.
Posted by Kelly on EchoParkNow

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

If Echo Park gets a Taix Square, will Brite Spot Plaza be far behind?

This year marks the 85th anniversary of Taix French Restaurant, and Councilman Eric Garcetti wants to honor the Echo Park dining institution  by naming the intersection  in front of the restaurant Taix Square. The signs that would be installed at Sunset Boulevard and Park Avenue are  ceremonial in nature ad are similar to the Fletcher Square signs that recently appeared in Glassell Park.  Garcetti’s council motion reads:
Since 1962, TAIX has operated at its current Location in Echo Park and been a beacon for delicious cuisine, the finest staff, all the while developing into a citywide Landmark. I THEREFORE MOVE that the intersection of West Sunset Boulevard and Park Avenue in Echo Park be named “TAIX Square” and direct the Department of Transportation to erect permanent ceremonial signage to this effect.
But what about Echo Park’s many other long-time restaurants? Won’t they want their own square, too? Brite Spot, the diner located across the street from Taix at the same intersection, has been in business since 1949. Three blocks east on Sunset, Barragan’s Mexican Restaurant opened in 1961 and remains operated by the same family.  Looks like the city might have to find more ceremonial signs and Echo Park intersections.
From TheEastiderLA 8/2/2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sunday at the Getty

Pictures from a visit to the Getty
The Getty Center in Los Angeles presents the Getty's collection of European and American art from the Middle Ages to the present against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views.
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finally Some Good News for Echo Park

Fresh & Easy keeps quiet about Echo Park store

It’s been more than a year now since the Save A Lot discount grocery store in Echo Park shut down, leaving behind a large empty space next to a Walgreens drug store. Now, it looks like the Fresh & Easy grocery store chain has scooped up the space at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street.  A real estate executive with Walgreens, which handles leasing for the building, informed city officials earlier this month that  Fresh & Easy had signed a  lease and was preparing to file for permits with the city in  anticipation of opening a store in as soon as six months, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The Eastsider contacted the Walgreens executive as well as Fresh & Easy officials for more details.  But several phone calls and emails have not been returned. Last July, a Fresh & Easy spokesman said the chain was “looking at the site but can’t confirm anything past that at this point.”
If  Fresh & Easy does open a store in Echo Park, it will join Vons as the second chain supermarket to operate in Echo Park.  Fresh & Easy would operate out of the same building  that was once home to Pioneer Market, which closed in 2004 after more than 60 years in business.
El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy operates about 200 stores that feature prepared food and self-service check out aisles.  Despite growing rapidly, the chain  has failed to turn a profit  for its British owner, Tesco, which has invested about $2 billion since it established Fresh & Easy about five years ago.  In addition to failing to meet financial targets,  Fresh & Easy has also been criticized  by unions that have been trying to organize the company’s workers.
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from TheEastsiderLA

Monday, July 23, 2012

$90 for dinner? Welcome to Echo Park’s new dining hot spot

It was only a short time ago that you would have had a hard time to get foodie friends to dine out in Echo Park. That’s changed with the arrival of some new and upscale restaurants, the most recent being a temporary restaurant called The Vagrancy Projectwhich has taken up a summer “residency” on Monday and Tuesday nights at Allston Yacht Club.  Foodies and bloggers have been buzzing and snapping photos of such dishes as rabbit liver ravioli and a raw oyster served with kimchi gelée  In addition to expanding the culinary horizons of Echo Park’s dining scene,  24-year-old chef Miles Thompson is also pushing the limit of neighborhood restaurant prices.
The prix fixe, five-course meal at The Vagrancy Project will set you back about $90 when tax and a 18% mandatory tip are figured in. (The base price is $70.)  Add another $50 if you want to pair your courses with specially selected beverages. Then, there is also a separate bar menu, that one night included a $175 Stemple Creek Ranch bone-in ribeye steak, according to the L.A. Times.   Reviewer Jessica Gelt described the steak as “buttery” and hailed Thompson’s skills:
The juxtaposition of Thompson’s serious food — including a clever dish of John Dory on a black-bubble bed of miso tapioca “risotto” in aromatic candied shiitake butter — with the unpretentious familiarity of his staff and the laid-back atmosphere of AYC makes for a playful dining experience tailored for lazy summer nights.
Of course, this being Echo Park, those who can’t or don’t want to spend a $175 on a steak on a lazy summer night still have plenty of options. Directly across Echo Park Avenue from The Vagrancy Project, Little Caesars is hawking a large pepperoni pizza for $5 while the menu down the block at Los Burritos tops out at $8.25 for an Asada Burrito Plate.
From TheEastsiderLA 7/23/2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Echo Park Lake goose and feathered friends are doing fine after flocking to MacArthur Park

 Ross, in the foreground, with buddies at MacArthur Park. Photo by Judy Raskin

Maria, the famed Echo Park Lake goose, has been living the L.A. Zoo for more than a year now after officials grew worried about the bird’s safety and as the city prepared to drain the lake for a two-year-long clean up. But there were plenty of other not-so-famous birds and geese that called Echo Park Lake home, one of them being a relatively small, three- pound goose named Ross. While Ross lived in quietly in Maria’s shadow, the small goose  with black wing tips was well known to local birders, including Judy Raskin, who first noticed Ross in 2006. Where is Ross today now that Echo Park Lake has been drained for one year? Raskin reports that Ross – who, not coincidentally, is known as a Ross’s Goose – and a flock of other Echo Park Lake avian refugees are doing fine in nearby MacArthur Park.

Ross is certainly not living a protected and “luxe life” as is Maria at the zoo, said Raskin, who been observing the birds at Echo Park Lake for more than a dozen years and helped organize numerous annual bird counts.  Ross and the other birds hang out in the open at MacArthur Park Lake, where he frequents the lawn facing West Seventh Street near Park View Street area and a little island on the Alvarado Street side of the park south of the boathouse.
Like other Ross’s geese, the Echo Park Lake Ross now living in MacArthur Park has a small head, tiny yellow bill. It’s mostly white but adults have black wing tips that you can see when the bird is in flight. When on land,  and the bird just resting  with its wings folded,  Ross would appear to have black tail feathers but they are actually the wing tip feathers that have been folded back, Raskin said.
Weighing in at about 3 pounds, Ross is about half the size of domesticated white geese like Maria, said Raskin. Maria also seems more comfortable around humans, probably because of her close and much publicized relationship with Dominic Ehrler.
The domesticated geese “will also snap at you if they feel threatened,” said Raskin of the territorial birds. “As for Ross, my experience is only with our one lone Echo Park Lake resident. But I do not see it as aggressive in the way the domesticated white geese are. Whenever I’ve tried to get real close up for a photo, Ross moves away and gives a little squeaky call.”
Raskin said that Southern California is at tail end of the migratory route that Ross’ and some other goose species follow in winter and summer between here and the Canadian Arctic.  Why did Ross decide to make Echo Park Lake his year-around home? No one knows for sure. Raskin speculates that Ross got separates from its original flock as a young bird and was too inexperienced about making its way up north. “Inasmuch as it was inexperienced and didn’t know the route home, it remained at Echo Park Lake.”
At first,  Ross seemed to be a loner among the geese at Echo Park Lake, Raskin said. Or perhaps the other birds were keeping their distance from the newcomer.
“With a passage of time, however, Ross became part of the flock of the white domesticated geese that populate the lake.  In particular, it has 3 close buddies and I frequently saw the four of them waddling around. ”
When it came to relocate the birds from Echo Park Lake birds, Raskin, who advocated for the safety of the birds as officials prepared to drain and close lake for a $65 million clean up, recommended that Ross and its buddies be sent to MacArthur Park, which is close enough so Raskin can keep a close eye on him.
So, do Ross and other Echo Park Lake birds seem to be enjoying their new surroundings?
“As far as I can tell, they are doing fine,” Raskin, who was interviewed about the bird relocation by Hear In The City. ” Go down there and see for your self.”
July 13, 2012 from theEastsiderLA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Echo Park corner can be yours for $1 million

The two-story brick building at  Temple Street and Edgeware Road is one of those classic Eastside commercial structures that anchor countless street corners with a combination  of ground floor shops and apartments above.  Here, in the southern edge of Echo Park, the corner of the 1924 building is notched at the intersection to create a prominent entrance for George’s liquor store and market (In the 1930s, the Edgeware Pharmacy occupied the same space).  White glazed brick frames the windows and dresses up  a simple design. One of the two storefronts below is vacant  while there are four apartments above, according to the Redfin listing. How much will it cost to own this classic commercial building? The asking price is $1.095 million.
From theeastsiderla

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Good News, Elf Cafe is Expanding

Five years ago, Elf Café opened its doors to Echo Park vegetarians and vegans seeking gourmet Mediterranean themed cuisine. Until a couple of years ago the small, 700 square foot restaurant on Sunset Boulevard barely had a kitchen; they were using hot plates and convection ovens to churn out plates just a few nights a week, but still managing to convince even the heartiest of meat-eaters that vegetarian food can be good – like, really good.

Owner and chef Scott Zwiezen has been planning for over two years now to expand and “evolve” the restaurant into the adjacent space, plans which are now finally in motion. In the summer of 2012, the hot plates were replaced by a real kitchen that currently serves 20 seats. The expansion will add 448 square feet to the restaurant, including an additional bathroom, office and storage space, and eight more seats for the restaurant.

On top of taking over the empty “Branche Boutique” space next door, Elf Café has applied for a beer and wine license. Aware of the concentration of alcohol licenses in the area, Zwiezen has been doing outreach in the immediate radius since January. They told the Neighborhood Issues Committee of the Echo Park Improvement Association last night that the majority of the input has been favorable.

They’ve also got some neighborhood interest in new free cooking classes starting July 17, which will focus on introducing vegetarian cooking to Spanish-language speakers on Tuesday nights when the restaurant is closed.

And it’s a good time for the restaurant to start expanding its services – food critic Jonathan Gold lists Elf Café as one of his favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, recently recommending the restaurant for vegans and vegetarians in an online chat for the LA Times.

Currently, Elf is open just Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to about 1:00 am, but they will expand those hours under the beer and wine license. They are currently asking for 7:00 am – 2:00 am so that they have some flexibility should they want to start offering brunch and lunch service (which neighbor Mohawk Bend also offers). It’s unclear whether or not the expansion will now require them to provide a certain number of parking spaces.

A public hearing on the beer and wine license is expected to be in August this year, construction will start that same month but the restaurant should only be closed for a few days.

Elf Café is located at 2135 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Elf Cafe Website
Article from by Kelly

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Echo Park Lake Rehab - Almost a year in

So, we are rapidly approaching a year of reconstruction, with another one yet to go. While they have been working daily, it still doesn't look like much.