Resident has no appetite for a new Del Taco

Some Echo Park residents were let down earlier this year when the shuttered Pioneer Chicken – the first outlet of a once fast growing  restaurant chain – was transformed into a Little Caesars Pizza. Now,  just beyond the western fringe of  Silver Lake, another former Pioneer Chicken on Sunset Boulevard near Fountain Avenue is destined to become a Del Taco, according to residents and the blog Hollywood Unbound.  Del Taco is seeking city permission to make changes to the property, including the erection of a new 40-foot-high sign, and to operate 24 hours a day. One neighborhood resident, named Kat, is not about to welcome Del Taco to the neighborhood:

1. There is a McDonalds less than a block away and I don’t want more fast food smell coming into my house.
2. The obvious clientele for this place will be students from the nearby middle school. Doesn’t California have a youth obesity problem? Does someone really think putting in another fast food joint will fix that problem? Not to mention, the LAST thing some of the poorer residents of the area need is another unhealthy, cheap dining option. How about a Famima? Or a sandwich shop?
3. This is Los Angeles. There is amazing Mexican food everywhere. Del Taco is the bottom of the barrel in terms of both fast food AND Mexican food. Disgusting.

Kat said the City Planning had scheduled a Sept. 1 hearing on some of the changes Del Taco is seeking. Click on the link below to find out where to mail letters on the matter.

Los Angeles City Planning Department
Expedited Processing Section
200 N. Spring St. Room 721
Los Angeles, CA 90012
ATTN: Lucirallia Ibarra


  1. I agree with Kat, wholeheartedly. I live near this shuttered Pioneer Chicken as well, and the last thing I want is more of that poor people fast food smell coming into my house. And she’s absolutely right to complain about a new Del Taco attracting students from the nearby public school. Who knows what’s in their backpacks. This area is changing, and it’s time the city and vendors got on board with that. A sandwich shop would be an excellent idea, a boutique would be better. I’m not quite sure what a Famina is.

  2. Quite honestly, I don’t see what the problem is with one chain replacing another chain. Would you rather have a Starbucks? That’s the other business interested in that location. Nutritionally speaking, it’s just as unhealthy as Del Taco.

  3. I’m just happy SOMEBODY is interested in that location. It’s a horrible blight on the entire area, a run-down haven for junkies and taggers. Anything going in there would be an improvement.

    I’m not sure how a “sandwich shop” is better than a fast food restaurant anyhow.

    Granted, a Famima (an upscale japanese market that everyone loves) would be better, but that could be said for nearly any vacant storefront, of which there are plenty along that stretch of Sunset. I mean, hell, that entire block is nothing but vacant property. As long as we’re dreaming, maybe we can wish an Ikea into existence in the space where that shuttered Circuit City building is. /sarcasm

    You can’t *make* any business (or type of business) interested in a certain property or neighborhood, unless you’re the one buying the property, leasing the space, or opening the store.

  4. Wow, both judd and kat figured out how to single handedly solve both the youth obesity problem AND the infestation of kids with backpacks. Next thing you know it’s going to be poor fat kids with backpacks laying siege to silverlake and it’s all thanks to Del Taco!! Lets all band together to stop Del Taco and it’s unholy alliance with backpacks and fat kids!! We will not rest until it’s just skinny douchebags with messenger bags!

  5. I am happy to hear a Del Taco could occupy that space. People, get over yourselves….if you don’t like it…don’t go there. I think Del Taco is good cheap food…much better than other fast food chain places. Their grean bean and cheese burritos rock.

  6. if you want to stop child obesity, educate parents/children about healthy eating habits. why not write a letter to LA unified school district? personally, i’m not a fan of del taco. but, having a few major fast food chains isn’t a big deal.geesh. doesn’t smog effects more SL residents, than breathing MCD’s air?

    ps: tang’s donuts sells sandwiches, and they’re the BOMB, under $5 too. but since it’s not as hip as famima….i guess that doesn’t count. ugh.

  7. Agreed! The grean been and cheese burritos are a classic. Besides, there’s really no way to get away from the fast food joints. Not in Paris, certainly not in Echo Park.

  8. People like Kate and Judd are the reason I am embarrassed to say I live in Silverlake, born and raised. People like kate and Judd are the reason rents goes through roof and the reason Silverlake is getting to gentrified and way too annoying to be in.

  9. I like how two of the DT supporters (Gia and JL) can’t spell ‘green’..

  10. if you like famima and dislike del taco,


  11. Honestly, there’s some validity to this complaint. LA has enough fast food as it is. There is a huge problem with low income families relying on cheap fast food to get by. Business owners should get more creative in terms of healthy, cheap alternatives to fast food. Just because its full of nutrients doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. I think the original statement wasn’t about “kids with backpacks, ” but about school kids picking Del Taco for an after school snack after their unhealthy school meals. I have worked at LAUSD schools, and the things those kids eat for lunch are terrible; cheetos and a can of soda!

    What about a fresh and easy where the Circuit City was?

  12. Actually, you know, as long as we’re dreaming our middle-class gentrification dreams for the property we neither own nor are buying, let’s bulldoze the whole decrepit block (except, of course, Sunset Nursery, which is still in business as far as I know) and put a park there.

  13. Downtown? When was the last time you went downtown? The area just south of Washington has more fast food joints per square mile than anywhere in LA! Not a swanky hood either…

  14. I just passed by that place yesterday and told my GF that a park would be great there! I know…wishful thinking. A Fresh & Easy would be awesome there…it would be perfect! There should be someway we can request one directly to the company…gonna write to them.

  15. Re: Hah!

    Washington? Really? Um, last time I checked, the “area south of Washington” wasn’t downtown. You might want to check your geography. That said, you could have made your point by noting that downtown does have its fair share of fast food joints.

  16. Kat has obviously never had the Del Taco big fat chicken combo with a side of fries. AWE-SOME! Perhaps some of that grease would help her lighten up a bit.

  17. “Poor people fast food… Who knows what’s in their backpacks.”

    We already have enough entitled, scared, poorly informed twits in the area. Judd should do us all a favor and move back to whatever racist hole he crawled out from. I’m a Caucasian, middle-class dude who has lived in the area for 20-odd years and I like Del Taco now and again and if the neighborhood supports it, then so be it. Judd’s probably one of the thousands of recent carpet-baggers who seem to know what’s best for the entire Silver Lake/East Hollywood area.

  18. The amount of negativity and the lack of support for a resident who happens to live near this location is plain disgusting. Lets open a Del Taco next door to you and let all the smells come into your house and see what you have to say? Lets let someone build a 200 capacity beer hall and wood burning pizza joint at the old movie theater and not provide any parking and tell the neighbors there to relax that traffic, parking, and smells coming from this place is no biggie? Lets knock down the very first Los Angeles movie studio on Glendale Blvd. and destroy a piece of history, throw it all into a landfill someplace else, and then decide we can’t make enough money on it leaving a dust bowl empty lot in Echo Park? Nobody cares unless it is happening to them. And the nasty comments here just make me wonder, “Don’t you have anything else to do??” If you channeled even a minute of your time into doing something for the community or for a neighbor instead of saying nasty things on blogs we’d live in a better world. Shame. This is what you think you were put on this earth to do? Gross.

  19. Dear Kat and Jenny,
    You live in the ghetto. I know, I live a block away on Hoover, and it sucks.
    Maybe you pay a lot for rent, but its still a congested, blighted stretch of LA. Have you driven down fountain? not cute. If you want “nice smells” coming into your home and no fast food, move to Vermont (the state, not the street)

  20. One chain restaurant is replacing another. This is not some historic cultural monument being torn down. It’s an abandoned commercial space. It’s along a strip that has been looking sad and abandoned for a few years–especially if you include the Bates Motel on the other side of Sunset. I live near the proposed location, I’ve never set foot in a Del Taco (and don’t have any plans to), but I’m not going to argue against it moving in just because it doesn’t suit my tastes. Little Ceasar’s pizza sucks ass, but at least they cleaned up the property that Walgreens was allowing to turn into a trash dump.

  21. Last I checked it’s a FREE country and if poor rich white black skinny fat kids adults want to eat beans and cheese or ‘grean’ beans lol why is it any of anyone’s business. Got news for ya, I’m skinny mixed race middle class and eat Taco Bell for fun cause I like it and it’s after effects. Happy Gasing neighbors!

  22. Yeah………that Bates Motel is u-g-l-y. What’s up with that? How about an In ‘n Out Burger? Fun afternoon buying plants/herbs at Sunset Nursery, then stopping for a Double-double Animal Style!

  23. I would support a del taco in that spot. I would let my kid grab something to eat on her way home from school every once and a bit. kids being fat has way more to do with the crap (no way could you call that stuff food) LAUSD givens them for lunch, not del taco. and del taco will give more jobs to folks who live in the neighborhood then a smaller independent cafe would.

  24. i’m assuming that judd was taking the piss…..”that poor people fast food smell”…..

    pioneer chicken was a total dump, del taco is (at worst) a lateral move. seems pretty ridiculous to get bummed over this. also, suggesting that they replace it with a famima?!? that’s onion article yuppie cliche hilarious.

  25. Am I the only one who has noticed that the negativity in the comments on this blog has grown worse. Some of you are so bitchy its hilarious.

    Del taco would not be my first choice, but I suppose it is better than that space being abandoned.

    I do like the fresh & easy idea at the old circuit city…

  26. Go here to request a Fresh and Easy at the Circuit City location.


  27. Okay, enough commenting on what the neighborhood *should* have and open your own businesses here. It’s easy to sit there and tell Del Taco they shouldn’t move in but guess what, they saw an empty spot and jumped on it. Because you did not. Can’t blame them for that. And believe me, I’m about as anti-fast food chain as you can get. But be realistic. If you see a market demand, find a way to fill that demand and reap the benefits yourself. Turn your idealism into real change. We don’t need anymore armchair complainers.

  28. 1. This location falls inside of East Hollywood Neighborhood Council boundaries.
    2. Why this matters: All variances of this type go before neighborhood councils prior to going council man and planning commission consideration. Theoretically, they will consider the NC’s opinion carefully when making their determination. If anyone wants to object to or support this Del Taco / Starbucks / other idea then go to the next EHNC meeting at LA City College on 8/16/10 and say so publicly. If you make any sense you could persuade the board’s vote.
    3. As a 8 year resident within 4 blocks of this location, I agree the Pioneer Chicken was a bad, bad place. It had a nasty stench that wafted around the whole area. Maybe that’s what attracted the undesirable population of junkies and bums. I’m not against junkies or bums but I don’t like anything in high concentration. Which would include fast food joints. Starbucks would be better if for no other reason than that it sells caffeine and sugar instead of fat and sodium. I’d rather have better choices on the table but if those are my choices then I pick Starbucks.

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