Posts Tagged ‘Echo Park’

Allumette lights up Echo Park dining

Poached octopus at Allumette

Poached octopus at Allumette

Allumette, owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna’s new eatery in their former Allston Yatch Club space in Echo Park, is a home run. With chef Miles Thompson (Son of a Gun, Vagrancy Project) in the kitchen and mixologist Serena Herrick (Pour Vous, Harvard & Stone) behind the bar, Allumette really steps it up with inventive, intensely flavorful food and drink that’s hard to find in this neighborhood.

The restaurant recently added Tuesday night dinner service and changed its menu to a pared-down version of its à la carte and added a five-course $72 tasting menu with an optional beverage pairing for $45.

If you’re going for the tasting menu, which everyone in your party must order, you can look forward to the homey-yet-decidedly new-feeling poached octopus with beluga lentils, vadouvan butter and a fried egg (pictured above), and the goat’s milk flan with angel food cake, brown butter and cucumber-flavored tapioca for dessert.

Goat's milk flan

Goat’s milk flan

From the à la carte menu, the crudo options — pink snapper with kanzuri (Japanese chili paste with yuzu), white soy and cherimoya, and live scallop tartare with strawberry, black truffle and elderflower — are both good choices.

Pink snapper crudo

Pink snapper crudo

Live scallop tartare

Live scallop tartare

When it comes to pasta, go for the cavatelli bathed in an uni ragu and served with English pea purée, braised mushrooms and Thompson’s special fromage noir.

Cavatelli with uni ragu

Cavatelli with uni ragu

One of the more interesting dishes is the short rib cooked in pho broth served on top of a scallion pancake with a side of xiu mai. While I found the meat a tad too salty for my taste, I appreciate the innovation in the dish.

Short rib "pho"

Short rib “pho”

If you’re lucky Thompson might send out a surprise, such as fried potato mascarpone butter (unlike anything I’ve ever had!) served with house-made focaccia topped with black lava sea salt, or a tiny fairy squid with flowering cilantro and yuzu.

Potato mascarpone butter

Potato mascarpone butter

As for cocktails, I enjoyed the Gentleman’s Breakfast, a hearty concoction of Famous Grouse scotch, egg white, lemon and ginger honey syrup topped with Atomized Candy Cap bitters, Islay scotch and a piece of candied ginger. The Le Système Solaire with Oloroso sherry, Dolin Blanc vermouth and Bergamot bitters, is another satisfying choice.

Gentleman's Breakfast

Gentleman’s Breakfast

Note: This meal was hosted.


04 2013

Waking up in Echo Park with Brite Spot


I’ve passed by the 64-year-old Brite Spot diner in Echo Park numerous times, usually on the way to Dodger Stadium. I never thought much about it other than noting the sign was pretty cool. But when I heard that Dana Hollister, owner of One-Eyed Gypsy and Villains Tavern in the Arts District downtown and Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, had recently remodeled the restaurant and revamped the menu, I was intrigued.

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01 2013

Bottoms Up at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park’s new restaurant in a converted movie theater with an impressive 72 beer taps, is a great place for a drink and light meal. Appetizers and salads, as well as a nicely curated beer list, are the stars here, and the atmosphere is lively if a bit crowded. But where Mohawk Bend excels, it overreaches in other areas, especially when it comes to burgers and pizza.

Mohawk Bend

Dining room at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend

...and behind the curtains, the back room

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09 2011

Weekend eating, drinking and some shopping, too

Mike & Chris scarf. From Chocosho.

Maven Collective: On Saturday, May 1, go to the final sample sale featuring Mike & Chris, b.son, Anzevino & Florence (current season!), Gram, Sneaky Steve and more. Everything will be priced from $5 to $50 with both cash and credit accepted.

Maven Collective sample sale
324 Flower St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Saturday May 1st 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

1642: This new Echo Park/HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) bar is holding a night of romance (or whatever floats your boat) with its Slow Dance on Saturday, May 1. Gypsy Tailwind and friends will be spinning soul, rock, country and folk starting at 9:00 p.m. Expect craft beers and boutique wines.

1642 Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica: The Viceroy’s restaurant, Whist, is introducing Savor Sundays starting this Sunday, May 2, with family-style prix fixe menus through June 20. This Sunday’s menu features butter lettuce wedges; buttermilk fried chicken with bacon cheddar biscuits, collard greens, grits, mashed potatoes and market slaw; and pecan pie with whisky caramel and vanilla ice cream.

1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401
$27/per adult, $12/per child under 12
Sundays, May 2 to June 20, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


04 2010

Allston Yacht Club


Let’s get one thing straight: Allston Yacht Club is not in Allston, nor is it a yacht club. In true hipster fashion, the restaurant with the ironic name is in Echo Park, nowhere near a place where yachts can dock. The brainchild of two former entertainment types who hail from Allston, Mass., Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna took over the old 15 space on Echo Park Avenue just above Sunset Boulevard and put together a menu of foods they like to eat.

Speaking of which, Kelly and DiDonna invited some food bloggers, including e*starla and nakedsushi, to try some of the food on the menu. Unfortunately for me (and nakedsushi), I attended a media dinner that happened to be on the same night as a private event that turned out to be much larger than the restaurant had anticipated. So my media table got kind of lost amid the chaos, i.e., we waited a LONG time in between courses.

Anyway, on to the food.

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07 2009