Mooi in Echo Park slashes hours, seeks new investors (and serves a mean weekly prix fixe menu)
Mooi, the raw/vegan restaurant that opened this summer in the coveted corner space of Echo Park's Jensen's Rec Center, has severely cut back its hours in the past few weeks. If the neighborhood vegans were susceptible to high blood pressure, Mooi's darkened picture windows would have caused a few heart attacks. Especially because chef-owner Stephen Hauptfuhr is saying that if he can't find the support of new investors, Mooi could close for good.
For now the restaurant is operating on what Hauptfuhr calls "holiday hours," which means that while the kitchen is operating (Hauptfuhr uses it for catering purposes), the restaurant is open only once a week to serve prix-fixe meals. Hauptfuhr says his current investors will not extend beyond November.
For reservations for the once-a-week six-course dinner, e-mail Hauptfuhr directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wednesday night's is Asian-themed, featuring curried coconut soup; a nori dragon roll; shredded carrot, purple cabbage and mung bean salad; Sichuan vegetable stir fry; pad thai; and papaya green tea ice cream. The cost is $25 for those who make reservations and $30 for those without (walk-ins are welcome but will be turned away if space is tight). There are two seatings, at 7 and 9 p.m.
On Nov. 19, Hauptfuhr will be whipping up an Italian-themed dinner and after that a special Thanksgiving meal.
Mooi, 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 413-1100.
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: Jalapeno peppers with smoked paprika nut cheese and eggplant bacon, served at Mooi. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin /Los Angeles Times