Long anticipated or dreaded, depending on your point of view, Mohawk Bend is finally opening in Echo Park later this month. The “drinking and eating outpost” has taken over the former Ramona Theater space next door to Elf restaurant and will be serving a mostly vegan menu along with some vegetarian and meaty dishes.
On Tuesday night, I attended Mohawk Bend’s media preview party, and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the transformation. Designed by Spacecraft, the once-forlorn theater is now an impressive modern space, boasting high ceilings, patio seating, skylights, exposed brick, vintage beer signs, and an atrium-like room with long communal tables and a fireplace.
Food-wise, it wasn’t bad. While I wasn’t blown away by anything, I did enjoy most of what I ate. High marks go to the Petite Sirah dipping sauce that came with the Fire Roasted Artichoke and The Flash Gordon Salad with flash-grilled Little Gem lettuce (similar to hearts of romaine), grapefruit, avocado, pickled onions and dill dressing. Owner Tony Yanow says the locavore/organic menu will change weekly to reflect the seasonal comings and goings of produce.
The drink and beer selection was pretty damn prolific. Mohawk Bend takes the local beer offerings at Tony’s Darts Away—Yanow’s acclaimed restaurant bar in Burbank—to a new level, offering 65 California beers and 6 California wines on tap. Likewise, cocktails will be concocted with 100 all-California sourced spirits. I enjoyed the sweet-tart “Herb Alpert” with Charbay Red raspberry vodka, fresh raspberries, grapes, pomegranate juice and ginger beer. There’s also an absinthe drink complete with a black licorice straw.
I’ll definitely be going back to Mohawk Bend once it opens later this month. I’m curious about their Dork Burger, a mixture of ground duck and pork (all local), pickled onions, apple, fennel and aoli sandwiched by a house-made English muffin. I also wouldn’t mind a taste of their “little casseroles,” namely the one with polenta, leeks, broccoli and cheese.
I’m guessing Mohawk Bend is going to be a big hit.
2141 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
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Valentina Silva is a regular contributor writing about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her new blog, Eastside Food Bites.