In less than a month, Echo Park has been inundated by an array of booming food business openings. A gourmet French-style eatery, an upscale grocery mart, and a soon-to-open farm-to-table eatery, all within less than a mile from each other, have popped up on Sunset Blvd.
Lassens is a California chain market that targets the foodie, affluent residents in the area it happens to set foot in. A sort of Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Gelsons mashup, Lassens is surely welcome in Echo Park, where the neighborhood residents grudgingly drive to Trader Joes and Whole Foods to get their organic, gluten-free, vegan etc. fix.
In addition to the widely available food options, the large parking lot and much bigger space than the almost neighboring Los Feliz store makes it very welcoming. Aisles and aisles of hard to get products adorn the shelves. Lo and behold, they also happen to have a salad bar a-la Whole Foods.
I visited the store the day after the opening to find it very busy. The new employees were scrambling to fill up the empty shelves while curious shoppers perused the products. There was a line forming at the deli with hungry lunch-goers surrounding the colorful, diverse offerings accompanied by the build-your-own items on the menu.
On the opposite side of the street, young patrons flocked to the newly opened Dinette, a walk-up window stand offering decadent French pastries, rich potato omelettes, fluffy waffles, and avocado toast (of course). The delicious pastries are what draw you in, as they’re placed right behind the shiny glass. The pastries and tarts are buttery and rich, just the way they should be. The carbolicious potato omelette fails to disappoint, while the fluffy waffles are some of the best you’ll find in the area. Let’s not forget the avocado toast, which is generously topped with at least a whole avocado, sprinkled with red pepper, and the toasty, filling bread holding it all together. The other options include a creamy egg scrambled and ham-topped toast, and the newly introduced pizzas.
The last opening (soft opening this week) is called Ostrich Farm. While the menu is not yet available, there’s no doubt that the eatery will serve local, sustainable fare. Drinking options will include beer and wine, while also giving you the option to order some espresso drinks after dessert.
These are great new additions to Echo Park, yet I wonder how they’ll change the neighborhood and community in the long run.