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It was only a short time ago that you would have had a hard time to get foodie friends to dine out in Echo Park. That’s changed with the arrival of some new and upscale restaurants, the most recent being a temporary restaurant called The Vagrancy Project, which has taken up a summer “residency” on Monday and Tuesday nights at Allston Yacht Club. Foodies and bloggers have been buzzing and snapping photos of such dishes as rabbit liver ravioli and a raw oyster served with kimchi gelée In addition to expanding the culinary horizons of Echo Park’s dining scene, 24-year-old chef Miles Thompson is also pushing the limit of neighborhood restaurant prices.
The prix fixe, five-course meal at The Vagrancy Project will set you back about $90 when tax and a 18% mandatory tip are figured in. (The base price is $70.) Add another $50 if you want to pair your courses with specially selected beverages. Then, there is also a separate bar menu, that one night included a $175 Stemple Creek Ranch bone-in ribeye steak, according to the L.A. Times. Reviewer Jessica Gelt described the steak as “buttery” and hailed Thompson’s skills:
The juxtaposition of Thompson’s serious food — including a clever dish of John Dory on a black-bubble bed of miso tapioca “risotto” in aromatic candied shiitake butter — with the unpretentious familiarity of his staff and the laid-back atmosphere of AYC makes for a playful dining experience tailored for lazy summer nights.
Of course, this being Echo Park, those who can’t or don’t want to spend a $175 on a steak on a lazy summer night still have plenty of options. Directly across Echo Park Avenue from The Vagrancy Project, Little Caesars is hawking a large pepperoni pizza for $5 while the menu down the block at Los Burritos tops out at $8.25 for an Asada Burrito Plate.