Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Silver Lake & Echo Park

Heirloom LA brings Hudson Ranch to Silverlake Wine tasting

Heirloom LA will be serving a four-course menu with a flight of five wines at Silverlake Wine
Heirloom LA, the catering company and food truck, will be serving a four-course menu with a flight of five wines for $20 at Silverlake Wine on Sunday afternoon.

Chefs Matthew Poley and Tara Maxey have just returned from Hudson Ranch vineyard and farm in Napa, where they picked up a 40-pound Berk-Hampshire pig for the occasion, as well as plenty of vegetables, olive oil and wine to be paired with their dishes.

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Opening Saturday: Sunset Beer Company in Echo Park

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On Thursday night Sunset Beer Company, the new all-bottle retail beer shop co-owned by Jennifer Morgan and John Nugent of Eagle Rock's Colorado Wine Co., held a pre-opening party. The official opening will take place at noon on Saturday, when thirsty Angelenos can descend upon the modest storefront to scoop up an eclectic mix of fine craft beers.

Beer2 Located in a bleak Echo Park strip mall within stumbling distance of Little Joy Cocktail Lounge and the Short Stop, Sunset Beer Company, which also counts local beer aficionados Drew Von Ah and Jenna Miller-Von Ah among its owners, currently stocks about 200 beers, but manager Alex Macy hopes to raise that number to 1,000 over the coming months, a number that would make the store among the largest of its kind in the city.

It's a goal very much in lock step with L.A.'s current craft beer obsession. With Mohawk Bend's fine selection of beers just down the street, the neighborhood stands poised to become a destination for beer lovers.

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With Sunset Junction off, Echo Park is rising

AYC A wave of backyard parties, barbecues and street corner shows have cropped up since Sunset Junction was officially canceled earlier this week. Silver Lake, it seems, was not ready to give up the party.

Echo Park, however, was eager to get in on the action. And so business owners in the neighborhood quickly rallied to create an impromptu two-day event called Echo Park Rising. Not only will the Echo and Echoplex host a slew of displaced Junction bands including the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and 400 Blows, but a variety of neighborhood restaurants and bars are offering deals all weekend long.

The epically busy Mohawk Bend is giving away a free "secret" dessert to anyone who mentions Echo Park Rising; City Sip wine bar is offering discounts; Allston Yacht Club will feature happy hour specials all night on Saturday, as well as a $5 cocktail called the AYC cooler, made from ginger, lemonade, watermelon and vodka; Delilah Bakery will comp diners drinks at lunch; and Lot 1 Cafe, Stories Books & Cafe and Two Boots will host live music.

On the non-food side, Stories Book is offering 20% off all used books; Origami Vinyl is holding a 10%-off-everything sale; and iam8bit gallery is giving a 5% donation from all sales of original artwork to 826LA. A website for the event has already gone up, and more deals and parties are being added heading into the weekend.

It will be interesting to see if Echo Park Rising spurs the neighborhood to stage a street festival of its own next year. The area's residents could use something upbeat to distract them from the terrible spectacle of the closed-off lake.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: The bacon-and-egg martini at Allston Yacht Club. Credit: Tara Godvin

5 Questions for Hugues Quintard

Hughes Q Hugues Quintard made his way around L.A.'s food scene with stints at L'Orangerie, La Cachette in Century City and Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, among others, before coming full circle to Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake, where he is executive chef. From a small town near Burgundy, France, Quintard incorporates his French background into his adopted California cooking, with a little of the Mediterranean thrown in as well.

For the record, July 19: An earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled the name of Hugues as Hughes. 

Latest ingredient obsession? Right now, I tend to use fennel quite a lot. Bulbs, seeds or even with the use of Pastis.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? There's a sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo that I love -- Sushi Gen -- and Maison Akira, in Pasadena. Chef Akira's Chilean sea bass with miso is unbelievable!

What’s your favorite breakfast? Café au lait and croissants!

What’s the last non-food-related book you read? I am finishing "The Sookie Stackhouse" series [by Charlaine Harris] and just finished "Millénium 2" [a.k.a "The Girl Who Played With Fire" by Stieg Larsson].

What chef has most influenced you? Jean Breton [from Le Morvan in France]. He was my apprenticeship teacher and a disciple of the great Fernand Point.

Cliff's Edge, 3626 Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 666-6116, cliffsedgecafe.com.

ALSO:

Tofu or not tofu

No-bake dessert: Chocolate mousse

Skip Carmaggedon and eat

--Caitlin Keller

Photo: Hughes Quintard. Credit: Cliffsedgecafe.com

A sneak peek at Echo Park's Mohawk Bend

RamonaRoom 
Watching the transformation of the nearly 100-year-old Ramona theater at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado, into a large restaurant and bar called Mohawk Bend, has become a bit of a neighborhood pastime in Echo Park.

Owner Tony Yanow, who also owns the popular sausage-and-beer bar Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, is no longer speculating about an opening date. But hopes are high for an early-to-mid summer debut. However, as Yanow works out the permitting details with the city, the restaurant is coming together in a pretty stunning way.

TapBeers I recently took a tour of the place with Yanow and his general manager Paige Reilly, and was impressed by the soaring wood-beamed ceilings, original exposed brick and extensive ironwork. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant is segmented into four main areas, with the hopes of creating a greater sense of intimacy than you'd expect from a space that size.

The first is a covered front patio that faces Sunset, the next is a secondary dining area called "the quad," which will be filled with attractive wooden booths. Then there's the bar area, which is flanked by an open kitchen and the bar itself. The main dining area is called the Ramona Room and features a giant glass mosaic wall, crawling vines, skylights and a huge fireplace.

WoodStoneThe kitchen will crank out equal amounts of vegan and non-vegan fare, with each type of cooking kept strictly separate -- different prep tables and coolers are even employed for the vegan food.

For the pizzas? A massive Wood Stone pizza deck, which Yanow and his chefs Randal St. Clair and Sera Pelle call "the Cadillac of pizza ovens." It's an impressively heavy piece of equipment that Yanow says cost more to transport from the curb to the kitchen than it did to ship to L.A. from the factory in Washington state.

The pizza menu is long with pies including Holy Trinity (tomato sauce, basil, fresh mozzarella or vegan mozzarella); Salad Daze (avocado, lemon-dressed lettuces, zucchini, caramelized onion, aoili); and Bitter & Twisted (rapini, lemon zest, garlic, chili flakes and anchovies--or not) leading a list packed with farm-fresh veggies and housemade meats.

MohawkSign2 Also on the menu? Herbed flatbreads; Linder Ranch bison meatball cazuelas; Carlsbad mussels; Pacific clams; vegan and non-vegan burgers (one non-vegan burger is called the Dork burger because it is made with a mixture of duck and pork); fish and chips; squash and chips; and much more.

Sample these offerings with one of the more than 65 California craft beers on tap (five beers will be made by out-of-state brewers each month); or a cocktail mixed using one of 100 bottles of craft spirits made exclusively in-state. Curating this last list was no small feat for bar manager Keith Taylor, who combed California to come up with what he needed to create a quality cocktail list while hewing to the restaurant's locally sourced philosophy.

Stay tuned to the Daily Dish for more updates as Mohawk Bend develops.

--Jessica Gelt

Photos: From top, Tony Yanow walks through the Ramona Room toward the bar in Mohawk Bend; the taps that will serve over 65 California craft beers; the Wood Stone pizza oven in the kitchen; the exterior sign on Sunset Blvd. Credit: Kat Nguyen

 

 

Warm weather drink: A classic Gin & Tonic

Gin & tonic edit (1 of 1) Yesterday was the first warm evening in a while. (It’s going to be even warmer tonight.) To celebrate, and take in the splendiferous hot pink sunset, I had a gin and tonic. My new favorite combination is Hendrick’s gin  and Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water. The latter is very important. Once you’ve made your drink with this or one of the other serious brands on the market, you won’t be able to tolerate regular tonic water. Take away that sticky sweetness and you can actually taste the gin.

The perfect tall drink glasses are from Bar Keeper in Silverlake, which incidentally, not only stocks an array of bitters and such for your cocktail needs, but now that the shop has scored a liquor license, small batch spirits as well.

A few years ago, writer and blogger Emily Green (Chance of Rain) wrote a wonderful ode to the gin and tonic (with recipe) in our pages: Memorize it.

Bar Keeper, 3910 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 669-1675; www.barkeepersilverlake.com.

—S. Irene Virbila

Photo: Gin and tonic. Credit: S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times

 

3 Wine (and Beer) Events You Should Know About: Wine Riot hits L.A.; City Sip home brew classes; Bogart wine dinner at the Bazaar

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Make your own beer: City Sip wine bar in Echo Park announces a series of craft beer home brew classes, starting with one on Saturday. Beer expert Alex Macy will lead the class through each step of creating an India pale ale -- that is, up to fermentation (in accordance with local laws). Students also will taste several varieties of beer and take home a guide to sources and brewing methods. $50 per person, includes the class, all materials, beer tasting and lunch. For more information or to sign up, call City Sip at (213) 483-9463.

Wine with your app: Wine Riot, a wine event aimed at the young and tech-savvy, throws its first tasting on the weekend of March 25-26 on the dining deck of Santa Monica Place. Expect 250 wines, food vendors including Coolhaus and I ♥ Pies, seminars such as "What Wines Go Best With Takeout Thai?" and music from DJ Andie Cassette. Wine Riot also has its own wine-tasting mobile phone app. The L.A. event kicks off a five-city tour that heads to Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington. Tickets are $50 to $60 a person, available online. Part of the proceeds go to 826LA, a nonprofit that encourages creative and expository writing skills for youth. 

'Cinco de Vino': The 9th Annual Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program Wine Aficionado Dinner takes place May 5 at José Andrés' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. This year's dinner has been dubbed  "Cinco de Vino," featuring a Champagne reception and a four-course dinner served with flights of Champagne, Burgundy, Rhone and American as well as Spanish wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat. Lots for the live auction include dinner with Burgundy expert Allen Meadows, a seat on the Robb Report magazine annual "Car of the Year" panel, and a collection of rare wines rated 99 points by wine critic Robert Parker. To date, the annual event has raised nearly $2 million for pediatric cancer research at the Bogart labs at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Tickets are $1,250 per person or $10,000 per table of 10. Call (323) 330-0509 or e-mail info@bogartfoundation.org.

 -- Betty Hallock

Photo: Enjoy an IPA (especially if you've made it yourself). Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times.

Burger of the week at the Standard; Cafe Entourage opens; K2 begins dinner service

Burger Micah Fields -- the new chef at the Restaurant at the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles -- recently introduced a "Burger of the Week" to the menu. So what distinguishes Fields' burgers from the downtown burger pack? Exotic meats including wild boar, lamb and (gasp!) bear.

Here’s what you can expect for the rest of the month: March 7 to 11, Colorado lamb burger; March 14 to 18, Smokey the Bear;  March 21 to 25 , shrimp burger.

The Restaurant at the Standard, 550 S. Flower St., L.A. (213) 439-3030; www.standardhotels.com.

Cafe Entourage, the new 7,000-square-foot restaurant at Hollywood and Vine that we wrote about last month, officially opens on Friday. Now the neighborhood will have a 24-hour dining destination from Thursday through Saturday. The comfort-food menu includes lobster spaghetti, baked chicken, steak-and-eggs, pepperoni pizza and tuna salad. There is also a full bar.

Cafe Entourage, 1600 Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 467-4200.

K2, the Cajun-leaning restaurant that opened late last year in the old Eat Well space on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, has brought in a new chef and will begin dinner service on Tuesday, with late-night service to start soon after that. The new chef, Chris Barnett (208 Rodeo, Hotel Bel-Air, Stateside, Provecho), brings with him a sustainable sensibility and is introducing a host of new Southern-tinged menu items including barbecued mussels with chili-garlic french bread; fried green tomato salad with goat cheese and arugula; spicy buttermilk-marinated Jidori fried chicken with edamame succotash and herbed cream gravy; and cake doughnut bread pudding with rum caramel sauce.

K2, 3916 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 662-7698; www.kokomo.com.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: The wild boar burger with sweet cherry tomato jam, a bacon-speckled bun and jalapeno aioli is served at the Restaurant at the Standard. Credit: The Standard.

Openings: Ray's and Stark Bar at LACMA; Berlin Currywurst in Silver Lake; Son of a Gun on 3rd Street [Updated]

Rays1

Ray's and Stark Bar are now open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Designed by Renzo Piano and named in honor of the late movie producer Ray Stark, the restaurant and bar are located across the courtyard from the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion. Chef Kris Morningstar, who most recently cooked at District, has created a Mediterranean-inspired menu. And the dining room has floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the better to view the scene at next-door Stark Bar. (See more photos after the jump.)

Ray's and Stark Bar, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 857-6180; www.patinagroup.com.

[Updated: An earlier version of this post misspelled the chef's first name as Chris.]

Son of a Gun, the seafood-centric restaurant from the chefs behind Animal, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, has made its long-awaited debut on 3rd Street. Peel-and-eat shrimp, lobster roll, oysters on the half shell, Idaho trout, squid salad, king crab legs, alligator schnitzel ... are all served in a nautical-themed dining room featuring a center communal table and tufted banquettes. Plus, cocktails.  

Son of a Gun, 8370 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 782-9033; www.sonofagunrestaurant.com.

There's a new sausage place in town. It's called Berlin Currywurst and it's in Silver Lake, next door to Pazzo Gelato. It opened quietly about a week ago with a menu of moderately priced currywurst featuring antibiotic and hormone-free pork, beef, veal and chicken. For vegetarians, there is tofu bratwurst and kielbasa. Sausages come on German farmer's bread, much like you would find on the streets of Berlin (currywurst is a popular street food in Germany -- Berlin even has a museum dedicated to the stuff). Round your meal off with organic, homemade fries and chocolate milk. For now, there is no alcohol.

Berlin Currywurst, 3827 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 663-1989; www.berlincurrywurst.com.

-- Betty Hallock and Jessica Gelt

Photos by Betty Hallock / Los Angeles Times

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Local in Silver Lake gets beer and wine license, will begin serving next week

Local On Wednesday, Jason Michaud's Silver Lake restaurant Local got its long-awaited beer-and-wine license. The restaurant will begin serving on Monday. In keeping with the strict local-only mandate for his restaurant, Michaud will carry beer from Eagle Rock Brewing Company, as well as from Pasadena's Craftsman Brewing Company.

Right now he plans to carry about half a dozen California red wines, all small-batch biodynamic and organic.

Can you still bring your own wine? Sure. But if it happens to be from France, the corkage fee will be $20. "If you wanna do it, I'm going to punish you," says Michaud playfully.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.