Echo Park Confidential: The Dirty Dish

What’s the Dish in Echo Park these days?

by GloRia SwanSong

Restaurant ch-ch-ch-changes

Lots of restaurant news… what’s the old adage? No publicity is bad publicity? Well, we can ask the owners of the new Cortez Restaurant of their opinion on that! Jonathan Gold’s less than flattering article for the L.A. Times made the “skinny jeans” crowd to blame for small portions and large price tags. We’ve yet to give it a try, but, when we do, we’ll make sure to wear appropriate attire, make sure we look like we “know we belong there.”

In other restaurant news, the long awaited reopening of the former Allston Yacht Club (AYC), now “Alumette,” should be exciting. We’ve had a glimpse at the new wood grain interior, and subdued lighting. Looks like the old AYC wave is gone back to sea? Or perhaps Allston, MA, and it’s Atlantic ocean? Looking forward to more news from the hard working team at 1320 Echo Park Avenue.

Señor Fish finally got those much needed windows! Just in time for our winter cold snap and the rainy season! They are proposing some ambitious new plans to expand the existing beer and wine license into a full beverage license and some more expansion of the dining space into the old Santa Fe Tortilleria space. Sure do miss those blue corn tortillas, and totopas! We’ll see what new proposals they have in the next month when they come and present at the Neighborhood Council and the EPIA.

New to the neighborhood

Taza Cafe, newly opened at 1825 W. Sunset Blvd., is offering specialties like Churros and Chocolate, Horchata lattés and artists of the month. Welcome Taza, hope to see you soon!

Closing up shop

In the “sad to see you go” side of things, City Sip LA has closed up shop for good as of January 31, 2013. Very sad to see local gal Nicole Daddio go, but we know she will turn up again, with another great endeavor. Best of luck to you! Feeding Birds, Backside Echo Park, and Hotel De Ville have also recently shut the doors, while Mi Alma and the nursery on Echo Park Avenue will vacate soon.

Echo Park Avenue News

Speaking of Mi Alma and the nursery, in development news it looks like the shotgun/small lot developers for the former gas station at Avalon and Echo Park Avenue have found a way around the City’s denial for their permit requests back in 2010.
Building and Safety files show that the address 1901 Echo Park Ave is now slated for 7 apartments with lofts and subterranean garage????? On storm runoff Echo Park Avenue?? Wow. Looking forward to more info on this one. Sadly as a result Mi Alma, and the Echo Nursery are being evicted – there goes the neighborhood!

Magic Parking Lot, we mean Echo Fuels, no, Magic Gas? Well, looks like finally an owner has come forward and is preparing to reopen it as an actual gas station. Maybe they’ll be true entrepreneurs and have preferential parking in the evenings for the crowd that circles for spaces along the avenue?

Echo Park Lake to return soon

Down the street at Echo Park Lake things are looking on time, and on budget… it’s hard to believe that the Lake has been closed since 2011. We look forward to the grand opening but, let’s get to the important stuff:

  1. First off, the paint color. Now, we’re no expert on all things, but one thing we can tell you, is that Boathouse was NEVER Grey Poupon yellow!!! Do you want your Boathouse to be restored to its historic 1920’s classic off-white? Give a call to your local council office at 323-957-4500, or email our local field deputy, oliver.delgado@lacity.org. We’ve been told that the Council Office needs to make the request! So dial now and often!!
  2. The RFP (Request for Proposals) are to operate the Boathouse’s newly updated kitchen AND the pedal boats. Now again, not being experts on everything, we do have to question how you find someone who can cook, be a certified lifeguard AND be a master concessionaire that can turn the pedal boat operation into a revenue generating operation. We are thinking maybe, there should be two contracts, and make this reopening a recipe for success!

Well, that’s all we have for this time, looking forward to more dish later!!!

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