A couple of weeks ago we met the new director of the Echo Park Recreation Center. We are very excited that he is on board, and he seems very eager to reach out to the community about everything going on at the Rec Center.
First up, the FREE Echo Park Spring Egg Hunt. Families will be delighted with this event, taking place on Saturday, March 30 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the play area.
Egg hunt start times/schedule is as follows:
5 years & under: 10:30 am
6 years & 8 years: 11:00 am
9 years & older: 11:30 am
Activities include: Arts n’ Crafts , Face Painting, Music, Egg Hunts, and a visit from The Spring Bunny.
Public screening of: Song for Echo Park
Featuring Performances by: Judson, The Digs, nav/attack, Human Mind Automobile
Taix Lounge, 1911 W Sunset Blvd.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm
From the event organizers:
Directed by Dick Thompson of Wilcox Session, and written/performed by song-poet Judson McKinney, Song for Echo Park is s an epic snapshot into the heart of a mysterious and influential urban district of ECHO PARK. The film follows the verse of a vagrant musician in the fight for his career, docked and stranded in the place where “no one ever cries.” In his quest for individual artistic vision, the narrator paradoxically becomes an “everyman” who unwittingly becomes an invisible fixture of his environment. The spirit of Homer and Woody Guthrie converge with modern film to create art which transcends the mere immortalization of place, but rather reveals itself as a signpost for clues to times and seasons present.
Click here for more information and to RSVP.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since we walked along the shores of Echo Park Lake, and it won’t be long until we can all enjoy it again. Last Wednesday was the final Echo Park Lake Oversight Committee meeting before the grand opening, where representatives from the Bureau of Engineering and Council District 13 joined community members in providing the final details on the project wrap-up.
The good news? The lake will reopen mid-May! Plans are to have a grand opening open to the public. A few notes on the rest of the items, including festivals, the Lotus blossoms, and more after the jump.
French for “matchstick,” Allumette is certainly going to “light up” the Echo Park dining scene with a destination for foodies and even budding foodies (like myself). Even after the months of renovations, any AYC fan would recognize the space. But new lighting dark wood, and partitions separating the dining areas give it a new more “serious” vibe to accompany the epicurial menu, composed of small tasting plates with a seasonal focus.
Led by chef Miles Thompson (formerly of the pop-up Vagrancy Project at AYC, among others), the food is both adventurous and accessible. The Fried Oyster comes decorated with Kimchi ranch dressing and a deliciously crunchy Asian Pear mignonette that bursts of flavor with each bite. The Bitter Lettuce dish is simple and un-fussy, the smoked soy cream a unique dressing and a tasty starter. The Grilled Octopus with a sour apple syrup drizzled on top is so not the rubbery stuff of failed Octopus dishes of my past experience at other restaurants. And the Boneless Whole Sea Bream with bouillabaisse sauce – a $40 dish but a meal for two – is any seafood lovers dream.
If the fancy food isn’t enough, there’s a fancy (also accessible) drink menu to boot. Designed by bartender extraordinaire Serena Herrick from Harvard & Stone, the cocktail list is eccentric (but not in a bad way!). If you like bitters, try the Last Ango with Angostura Bitters, rum, Orgeat, pineapple gomme, and lime – it is heavenly. For a hot day, Red Letter Day is light and refreshing with rum, vermouth, Orgeat, lemon, soda water and Yuzu bitters. To warm up your insides, try the Smoking Gun with Mexcal, Cynar and Calisaya, and a brandy-soaked cherry at the bottom. Another favorite is the You Live Only Twice, which has both Sake and Gin, tangerine, peppercorns, and lime.
And for dessert, the Cheesecake Mousse will thrill any palette, but there’s also Red Velvet Cake and Citrus Curd.
In terms of what to expect, vegetarians and the un-adventurous beware – if you’re not willing to break any rules (or in my case, secretly looking up some definitions on my smart phone under the table), this might not be the place for you. There are only 15 dishes, and limited seating at only 30 guests per evening, and substitutions are “politely declined.” If you’re expecting to be wined and dined, you won’t be disappointed.
Time will tell if Echo Park is ready for a such an epicurean dining adventure, and we hope Allumette is here to stay. As Zagat put it so nicely earlier today, “If Jonathan Gold thinks the local hipsters are taking to Cortez in droves, that restaurant has met its match.”
More photos after the jump!
On Sunday, December 30, 2012, bird-lovers took a walk around Echo Park Lake with notepads in hand for the annual Christmas Bird Count. According to organizer Judy Raskin, Echo Park Lake saw three new species – acorn woodpecker, common raven and bufflehead - despite the total number of species declining (the lake is still under construction).
Over 70 bird species have been counted at Echo Park Lake over the years – the 2012 Christmas Bird Count saw 41 species with winter usually being a popular month for the migrating birds at the lake. This year, Echo Park Lake bird watchers counted a total of 29 total species, which are broken down below:
2 Canada geese
3 Ruddy duck
1 Double-crested cormorant
1 Cooper’s hawk
3 Red-tailed hawk
15 American coot
8 Western gull
69 Rock pigeon
2 Yellow-chevroned parakeet
9 Vaux’s swift
6 Allen’s hummingbird
4 Acorn woodpecker
4 Black phoebe
1 Cassin’s kingbird
2 Western scrub jay
12 American crow
2 Common raven
1 Ruby-crowned kinglet
2 Northern mockingbird
11 European starling
9 Yellow-Rumped Warbler
2 California towhee
12 Brewer’s blackbird
7 House finch
18 House sparrow
Little Joy on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Portia has undergone many exterior paint jobs over the years. From green to black, and covered in colorful murals, the dive bar now dons a purple-ish blue shade.
The exterior facelift is just one of the new changes that new owners Joaquin Reyna-Donaldson and Donald Andes have been working on since closing the doors in November. We’ve reached out for some more info, but for now it’s not clear whether or not the dive-bar vibe will be a thing of the past.