Storefront Report: More room for cooks and diners at Echo Park vegetarian cafe

It’s been a long time coming but Elf Cafe, the tiny Echo Park vegetarian restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, has acquired the storefront next door as the owners prepare to apply for a beer and wine license.  But don’t expect the new space to be crowded with tables. Instead,  owner Scott Zweizen said much of the additional 600 square-feet to the east of Elf will allow him to expand his kitchen and provide other amenities.  “Though it will probably not translate into that much more seating, it will offer us the opportunity to build up our kitchen’s capabilities and give us a second restroom,” Zweizen said.

With the expanded kitchen area set up, Elf is now in the early stages of obtaining the necessary city and state permits to serve beer and wine to accompany the vegetarian dishes.

“We do plan on applying for a beer and wine license as well and have been reaching out to our residential and commercial neighbors to open a dialogue and get feedback,” Zweizen said. “The response has been wonderfully supportive.”


  1. i heard the plans for obtaining a beer and wine license for this property call for the construction of a cinder block wall painted with a mural of bouganvilleas and hung with a community bulletin board where people can sell their drums, jutting out into the sidewalk on sunset, to shield schoolchildren and passers-by from the horrific sight of adults drinking alcohol.

    • Yeah I don’t understand why a beer and wine license is such a big deal in LA. I used to live in Austin and pretty much every cafe and restaurant had one, it was just a given. Doesn’t mean everyone’s going to get hammered.

    • Ryan – funny!! we’re not sunset junction – YET! truly though, am really excited for elf and our community. this neighborhood gem deserves our support!

  2. Hooray! I don’t get there as often as I would like, but Elf is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad dish there.

  3. beer/wine liquor licenses are tightly controlled by the city because at this point they are political capital. there is no easier way to get your palm greased than the promise of a new liquor license. besides that, i believe that they are constrained per capita by the county population at 1:10,000 for liquor and 1:5,000 for beer/wine.
    i also read that there are more liquor licenses per square mile located in Koreatown than anywhere else west of the Mississippi.

  4. I agree that it shouldn’t be so difficult to obtain a liquor license or a beer and wine license. It’s not crack, is it? If you want to shield kids from seeing alcohol you would have to ban all forms of advertising for beer/ wine/ liquor and ban the sale in supermarkets, where kids run around with their parents. Rather teach your children to drink responsibly. Not telling kids about sex hasn’t prevented a single teen age pregnancy, right?

  5. I Miss The Old Antique`s Community @. Would have made Nice spot for French, Cuban, Greek, or even Armenian, Restaurant. The Community is Losing Its Sense of Ethnic Idenity. Even a Health Food Store would have been Nice; Anything but another Inflationary Bourgeois Proletarian Herbal Smoking Room !

  6. Glad to see the expansion! Maybe they could fit a Beano vending machine in the new space…

    Ever smell a vege fart?

  7. I wish the Eastsider LA would screen out juvenile comments like the ones above. The blog is better than this. On the subject posted, I have never eaten at Elf but this sounds like a positive addition to what is becoming a nice restaurant row, Burrito King & Pizza Buena included.

  8. And I for one vote that the EastsiderLA include MORE flatulence related humor.

  9. This couldn’t happen to a better restaurant and a better set of people running said restaurant. I wish them all the luck in their expansion.

  10. Love ELF. Much better food than the palce next door. Better people, better vibe, better ambiance.

  11. Bravo!! can’t wait to see the expansion. It’s been a long time comming!!

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