Magazine article Sunset

The Real Echo Park: To See the Coolest Parts of L.A.'S Most Creative Hood, We Followed a Filmmaker and a Writer to Their Favorite Spots

Magazine article Sunset

The Real Echo Park: To See the Coolest Parts of L.A.'S Most Creative Hood, We Followed a Filmmaker and a Writer to Their Favorite Spots

Article excerpt

Where do you go to feel Echo Park's creative vibe?

THE ECHO AND ECHOPLEX

AF: It's a small venue, upstairs and downstairs, but--HR: The booker is amazing. You'll catch bands on their first or second national tour before they become humongous. AF: And the Rolling Stones played a surprise concert a few years ago! They also do a Monday night residency, where a local band plays Mondays for a month and it's free. And they've had a Saturday night soul dancing thing forever. Many nights, I'm on my way home and think, I'll just stop in and dance to three songs, why not? From $5; 1822 Sunset Blvd.; theecho.com.

Who's the neighborhood artist to know?

PETER SHIRE, ECHO X PARK ARTIST STUDIO

HR: He's an artist who's associated with the 1980s Memphis Group. But I know him for his ceramic work, the Echo Park Pottery line. He lives in the neighborhood, and his studio has always been in Echo Park--I grew up here, and I've known his work since I was a child. He makes these amazing splatter-painted mugs that my parents have had since the early '80s. They were stylish then, and I think they're stylish now. As a rule, every December, I go to his holiday studio sale and buy mugs for people as gifts. They're just classic. echoparkpottery.com.

Go-to place for great tacos?

TACO ZONE

AF: A food truck in the Vons parking lot. Crucial! HR: It's where I end up taking the most visitors for a pre- or post-bar meal. The mulitas are the best. Essentially a meat quesadilla made with two tiny tortillas. Steaming and hot and maybe a bit greasy in a very good way. You can get any typical taco meat--alpastor with juicy, dripping pork is my fave. AF: This place can please both vegetarians and meat eaters. How many taco trucks really do that? It's not like, here's our tofu blah-diblah; the veggie mulita does no wrong. And their condiment bar is unparalleled: pico de gallo, radishes, a shredded cabbage-cilantro mix ... HR: And a salsa verde that has avocado blended in. N. Alvarado St. at Montana St.; tacozone.net.

Your favorite local watering hole?

EL PRADO

HR: It's a classic hipster spot that gets busy on the weekends, so I like to go during the week when it's quiet. They have a good selection of beer and wine, nothing too pricey. AF: I used to go on Sunday nights because it was a popular OkCupid date spot. I'd sit at the end of the bar and eavesdrop, listen to the awkward small talk. I can see why you'd pick it! Very low-key, good music, HR: There's a record player, and the bartenders play lots of classic vinyl: Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac. …

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