Storefront Report: Vegan cuisine – raw and cooked – on tap for new Echo Park cafe

The owners of Millie’s diner in Silver Lake and a Studio City-based maker of vegan ice cream are teaming up to open an Echo Park vegan bistro and desert shop  in the former Mooi space on Sunset Boulevard.  The Eastsider reported in early January that Mooi, a short-lived raw vegan restaurant owned by Stephen Hauptfuhr, was no more. Instead, one of Hauptfuhr’s partners, Robert Babish of Millie’s, was taking control of the space with plans to open up a vegan cafe with cooked food.  But vegans who like it raw will be pleased to hear that Babish’s new restaurant, called Sage Organic Vegan Bistro, will operate side-by-side with KindKreme, which sells raw, vegan ice cream, smooties and other deserts from stores in Studio City and Pasadena.

Patrons will be able to buy take-out vegan ice cream at a KindKreme counter near the restaurant entrance or order KindKreme deserts off the Sage, sit-down menu, said KindKreme owner Mollie Engelhart

“It will be a store-within-a-store,” Engelhart said of her Echo Park outlet. In addition to deserts, KindKreme will also pour cold-pressed coffee drinks.

Sage and KindKreme are expected to open later this month.


  1. I hope that the decor of the new restaurant is a little more appetizing than that of the closed place.

  2. sick of hipster vegan restaurants

  3. echo_park_resident

    Mooi was one of the least appetizing meals i’ve every had. It didn’t help that when the “chef” came out of the kitchen he looked like a homeless guy who hadn’t showered in five days and wearing a dirty torn t-shirt.

    Let’s hope these folks have better sense. Just because it’s Echo Park doesn’t mean we need vegan food restaurants all over the place. Don’t we have enough of them in the area? Somebody put in a decent sushi place, please!

  4. i’ll definitely give this place a try… but someone… PLEASE open a mediterranean place in the neighborhood! i think i would probably visit at least once a week. seriously.

  5. echo_park_resident,

    Name one other vegan restaurant in Echo Park.

  6. There is a Mediterranean place on Sunset, called Elf. I also can’t think of any vegan restaurants in Echo Park!

  7. should’ve specified… someone please open up a non-vegetarian take-out type mediterranean place in echo park! = )

    (nothing against elf, by the way.)

  8. I thought Elf is mostly a vegan restaurant. And isn’t the upcoming Mohawk Bend going to be mostly vegan also?

    I just want there to be more good, cheap, unpretentious food options in EP. If Lee’s Sandwiches opened in EP I would go there all the time.

  9. Palmero,

    Elf is about 50% vegan from what I recall. Maybe a little less.

    Is vegan food in and of itself pretentious?

  10. I consider Mooi to be very pretentious, and I’m just hoping this new place will have broader appeal, and not just to a very small percentage of the community.

  11. Mohawk Bend will be wood-fire pizza.
    I love the space but man, Mooi was so ugly I couldn’t step inside.
    I’m so sick of vegan / vegetarian on the east side.

  12. can’t say there are enough. aren’t there too many pretentious meat eating restaurants in LA? or greasy food trucks selling charred pieces of meat? may as well put the dog on the barbie, people will eat anything.

  13. Julie, there’s only 4 veg places in Silver Lake and currently zero in Echo Park so I can’t imagine how you can be so sick of vegan/vegetarian cuisine. There’s more than enough choices for carcass lovers like yourself all over LA.

  14. Takeout Med, raw vegan ice cream, I’ll take it all. Mmm, falafel … what I would do for a Sultan’s (Chicago) in LA! Besides Elf I can’t think of any really good restaurants (not incl. taco trucks) in Echo Park.

  15. why the hatred towards vegans? how can you judge someone negatively when they are just trying to do something healthy? the cynicism and negative attitudes on this blog are weirdly anti-social. maybe we should start talking trash about joggers next.

  16. Variety is key to living in a great neighborhood. I welcome any eateries that have good fresh food no matter if it is vegan, meat or sushi…

  17. Yes, we need more vegan restaurants in EP. So glad Sage has opened up, it looks good. Elf is too expensive and hardly ever open. Was sorry to see Mooi close. More vegan restaurants, ones with parking lots, please.

    And yes, we don’t need any more restaurants serving animal carcasses, there are far too many of them. Long live Sage!!

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