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Friday, September 30, 2016

Highland Park bar makeover puts food first

Photo courtesy Cafe Lobos

The Highland Park bar once known as Marty’s reopened this week with a new name – Cafe Lobos – and a more ambitious menu.  Chef Jasmine Wolf, a Highland Park resident who has worked at Wurstkuche in downtown L.A.,  has overseen the transformation of the York Boulevard bar opened by Rudy Martinez, who also owns Mia Sushi in Eagle Rock and tried unsuccessfully to unseat  Jose Huizar as District 14 councilman.  “I live in Highland Park and had been looking for a place to open my restaurant,” said Wolf, who serves as head chef and co-owner. “I approached Rudy with my ideas and he loved them. We really want our neighborhood to have more options and be a destination for Angelenos.”

What’s the main difference between Marty’s and Cafe Lobos?  “We are a restaurant with a full bar instead of being a club/bar with food,” Wolf said via email.

Cafe Lobos’  menu will feature local and California-grown and raised food and many seasonal dishes. Wolf provided a sample of the comfort foods that will be served from breakfast to dinner:

Breakfast nachos, dutch babies, pigs in a pig blanket, Twinkie pancakes etc … Lunch includes a Big Lobo burger with two patties and a fried egg  … Happy Hour is vegan sliders, naughty nachos, angel or devil wings (devil is hot hot hot) and dinner we have queso fondito, vegi or beef bangers and mash; the DJ is a Kobe steak, hot wings and tums; babyback ribs with fried polenta and green beans. Our dessert includes a salted caramel bacon brownie; banana pudding parfait; deep fried Twinkies with raspberry coulis.

Photo courtesy Cafe Lobo

The remodeled restaurant, redone with brighter colors and plans for displaying local artwork, is not leaving any customers behind.  “We are making baby food and dog food for our K9 friends,” Wolf said.”We have a back patio for dogs and their people.”

Cafe Lobos is currently serving dinner only at half price during a soft opening. The grand opening will take place on Friday, Nov.  4. Click here for hours and menu information.



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  1. I am LOVING the fact that they did not forget about our pups! I live nearby and can’t wait to try it.

  2. The misses and I had the pleasure of having Jasmine cater our wedding a couple years ago. This girl knows what she is doing and has a serious command of meats, vegetables, regional ingredients and styles. Despite all the variety in town I’m pretty sure she will stand out from the crowd. What good news.

  3. Their webpage doesn’t have menu info up yet! Looking forward to seeing it.

  4. Is “queso fundito” a typo or something different than “queso fundido”? Also, will the valet parking go?

  5. I was pretty excited but the menu looks run of the mill, I guess it will come down to execution.

  6. Some may complain that little by little, Highland Park is becoming Silver Lake and consequently bringing a gentrification effect. Well, investing into our local economy is always good and will help the community from decaying like other parts of LA. The transformation is a good one!

  7. Wow, very pricey. $12 for lunch sandwiches is a bit much. Look at The Park in Echo Park – they have great well-prepared comfort food for very good prices. I’d like to see a place like that in Highland Park.

  8. I will never go to any establishment owned by Rudy Martinez. What a scumbag.

  9. I had the pleasure of going to the soft opening. Everything was amazing! The salted caramel bacon brownies are heavenly. So excited to add this new addition to Highland Park.

  10. I may hate Huizar, but Martinez is every bit as much of a politician in the Villaraigosa negative kind of way. Not something I would hype.

    That website reeks of everything bad about flash animation and cheap design. You would think for $5 bread they could afford a better website. Not holding my breath much and willing to just wait for brunch at Senor Fish instead.

  11. I had the pleasure of accepting Jasmine’s resignation at Wurstkuche. She is truly a wonderful chef, not only considerate of her approach to food, but amazingly endearing in her approach to people. Go enjoy her hospitality!

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