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Vandals leave their mark on York Boulevard restaurant

Ba Restaurant/Nathan Solis

Nathan Solis spotted this tagging early today on the side of Ba Restaurant in Highland Park. The vandals combined the restaurant’s name into the phrase “Bad for the community.”Is this a sign of anti-gentrification sentiment or, as Solis notes, someone who does not like French food? Either way it’s a pain to clean up.



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94 comments

  1. This is very disgusting and a frightening reminder of the dangers of entitlement. Los Angeles is a city very divided in terms of race and class and as a “transplant” to this town I really get a sense of how the native Angelenos have difficulty getting along with one another.

    And how is a restaurant bad for the community but slanderous tagging not? Weirdos

    • *This is very disgusting and a frightening reminder of the dangers of entitlement. Los Angeles is a city very divided in terms of race and class(. A)s a “transplant” to this town(,) I really get a sense of how the native Angelenos have difficulty getting along with one another.

      And how is a restaurant bad for the community(,) but slanderous tagging not? Weirdos(.)

      • At first I thought you were just some kind of grammar-nazi asshole. But then I read further and noticed you’ve corrected every comment on the page. Get help, friend. You are mentally ill.

    • That spray painted comment is actually pretty funny.
      Must be a joke. There’s nothing like some vandalism to rise up our community!

  2. Whoever did this is such an asshat. Can’t even spell correctly. Chop off their thumbs!

  3. An uneducated tagger. This is sad…it is also sad that it’s not realistic for most of us to purchase a house in this neighborhood now, which is certainly not the restaurant’s fault. The absolute insanity of the real estate prices in the area and wealthy people hoarding the houses is horrible to witness. Tag the federal reserve bank or a real estate agent instead. Sorry to be down on real estate agents, I know they are just doing their job and excited to make a profit on a sale, but I do think they are part of the problem too.

    • I wouldn’t exactly call the people moving into Highland Park wealthy – maybe middle class – but not “wealthy”.

      • *I wouldn’t exactly call the people moving into Highland Park wealthy(. M)aybe middle class(,) but not “wealthy”.

        • The ending period must go within the double quote. Also, note the inconsistency between the two appearances of the word “wealthy.” One is quoted, one is not. I find your corrections wanting, and I would appreciate your trying harder in the future.

          • Funny– in some cases Sean Pearse is also inserting his personal stylistic preferences as grammatical corrections.

        • A decent house here is now over $500,000, they were about $100,000 less a year ago. I don’t think middle class can afford that. And what I meant by wealthy people hoarding is that wealthy people who are in real estate buy property and flip them at a profit and this drives the price up. Nothing against wealthy people doing that, i get it, it’s just annoying and nuts that people fall for the hype and buy over priced property…it baffles me.

          • julee:

            1) yes, the rich buying up multiple houses as investment properties sucks. A lot of the buyers are actually foreign. the only thing i could think to do about that is to end the tax credit for homes after your first home. if you can afford multiple homes you don’t need the extra tax credit. but even that wouldn’t make a big dent in the problem.

            2)It’s not overpriced if you’re paying cash or can put a significant amount down. Renters pay your mortgage and then some, you sell in 5-20 years and make a nice profit.

            3) with interest rates up to 4.5%, the market is cooling off. i don’t think prices will do down much, but they have stabilized and will stay put as long as interest rates don’t go back down.

            4) the middle class can still afford these homes, although it is harder than ever. I bought a house last year. good news: mortgage is only a few hundred more than my old rent. the trick was having the down payment. took over 10 years to save, and financial sacrifice, but i did it. a dual income household could do it even faster.

            5) if anyone wonders how gentrifcation gets started, here it is: people can’t afford area A (too many richies), so they move to area B or C because it’s still affordable to the middle class. the area is called ‘up and coming’. eventually the new middle class starts to push the lower class, and BOOM. gentrification. It all starts at the top. Stop hating on the middle class.

            6) the solution to all this is more housing. NIMBYism has left LA with a housing shortage. the catch is LA is out of room for single family homes. hence the small lot developments and condos. LA is expected to add 3 million people in the next 30 years. so expect densification. personally, i think it will be a good thing as long as it is done intelligently.

    • Who is the ” middle class ” in Los Angeles?

      To afford purchasing a house in highland park, in today’s market, you need a family
      6 figure income.

      6% of the us population has an income in excess of 90k , and most economist put the income
      Range of ” middle class from 30-90k.

      • If the young, home buyers in Highland Park are considered wealthy – a neighborhood where the current average sale price is $469,000 – then what do you call home buyers in place like Santa Monica, Brentwood or Beverly Hills – where the average price of a home exceeds $1 million?

      • *Who is the (”middle class”) in Los Angeles?

        To afford purchasing a house in highland park, in today’s market, you need a (total) family (income of) 6 figures.

        6% of the (American) population has an income in excess of 90k , and most economist put the income (r)ange of (”middle class”) from 30-90k.

    • @Julee

      Talk about uneducated?! You think real estate agents are to blame for high real estate prices? That is hilarious!!

    • @Julee: “wealthy people hoarding houses”?!?!?!? Many of the folks buying homes in HLP are contributing to the community and investing heavily by purchasing property. I bet most of them are first time buyers. How is that bad? Who guaranteed you the right to purchase a home anywhere? These people are improving their homes, which contributes to the local economy, starting businesses and spending $$ in HLP: everywhere from Ba to Super A.

      • I don’t think it’s bad…it’s just annoying. Real estate agents i do believe create hype and cause property to go up by feeding into the insanity by creating perceived value with their need to sell a house…nice for the seller, not the buyer. Why do we even need real estate agents? Check out some of the tricks some agents pull on craigslist trying to convince people that still very horrible houses in awful neighborhoods are worth over $500,000.

        • Agree with your comment regarding housing inventory, though I’d venture to think that in a market like LA’s it may have the reverse effect. Instead of driving prices down it may heat up the market as more people across the country find that with increased inventory the city has become a little more affordable. It seems that markets like LA, NYC et al suffer from this condition. But yes, we need more inventory. We also need more affordable inventory which means developers would have to be able to build cheaper. One way of doing this is zoning or CUP multi-family developments that are 1/4-1/2 distance from a transit node (subway, LRT, BRT station) to have reduced, flexible and/or no parking mandates at all. That would drastically cut the price of development and also lessen the blight that comes from our ugly boxes that sit atop a first floor visible parking garage further deadening the street.

    • I’ll probably catch some flack for saying this, but the insanity of real estate prices in LA is a compelling argument for more density and mixed-use development (which so many on this blog are against.) And while I realize that construction costs will ensure that new apartments, townhomes, condos, etc. won’t be cheap, adding housing to the market will help to stabilize prices on older buildings through basic supply and demand. People should keep this in mind with regards to 4 story buildings popping up all over the city… infill density isn’t some evil plot to increase traffic and strain parking, it’s pretty much a necessity in a built out city like ours.

      • *I’ll probably catch some flack for saying this, but the insanity of real estate prices in LA is a compelling argument for more density and mixed-use development(,) which so many on this blog are against. And while I realize that construction costs will ensure that new apartments, townhomes, condos, etc. won’t be cheap, adding housing to the market will help to stabilize prices on older buildings through basic supply and demand. People should keep this in mind with regards to 4 story buildings popping up all over the city…(I)nfill density isn’t some evil plot to increase traffic and strain parking(. I)t’s pretty much a necessity in a built out city like ours.

    • *An uneducated tagger(, t)his is sad…(I)t is also sad that it’s not realistic for most of us to purchase a house in this neighborhood now, which is certainly not the restaurant’s fault. The absolute insanity of the real estate prices in the area and wealthy people hoarding the houses is horrible to witness. Tag the federal reserve bank or a real estate agent instead. Sorry to be down on real estate agents(—)I know they are just doing their job and excited to make a profit on a sale(—‚)but I do think they are part of the problem too.

    • Julee, I am a renter in HLP and my neighbors who own their homes are both families. On one side is a middle aged Hispanic family with high school-aged children, and our other neighbors are a young white family who just had their first child. I wouldn’t call either of them “wealthy,” but instead “average Angelenos.” Owning a home doesn’t make one automatically wealthy. I know the family with the young child had been saving money and tax returns for years to be able to own a home — and I know this because I asked, since I’d like to buy a home one day, too.

      Don’t cut homeowners down for choosing to buy a house. You don’t know their backstory, and you sure as hell haven’t seen their bank statements.

      • How is it being perceived that I am down on homeowners? That is a very strange conclusion to draw from what I wrote. I want to buy a home too. I am upset because of the strange “unknown forces” at work that caused the property in this neighborhood to go up in value over $100,000 in the last year. $400,000 is something maybe I could swing, but now I will have to look in another neighborhood because there aren’t any left at that price.
        I am guessing that the neighbors you speak of purchased their homes before this new bubble that has occurred over the last year. Very many people were smart and or lucky and purchased here before the inflated prices took place.

        how

        • I just ran a search on the multiple-listing service (MLS) and found 17 active single-family listings – and three multifamily listings – under $400,000 in the 90042 zip code. I’m not sure why you’ve been unable to find something suitable in Highland Park.

          • I had a long conversation about this over the weekend. At first I was very sad for the owners. When I first saw Ba I felt excited to see someone create something beautiful and interesting that created a nice aesthetic on York. I love to see change and innovation and creativity. After discussing it further, I realized that I have never eaten at this restaurant because I feel it is just a little too expensive for me. Then I thought of the idea that small businesses are ideally meant to create services for the community, and after carefully looking at this I realized that Ba did not take that into consideration and there is something kind of obnoxious about it.

            The business owners had a different restaurant located in AZ in the past that a friend of mine used to go to while he was in college, that he just loved. It was a laid back place with affordable prices and was a very popular, and I think open very late. I wonder why they didn’t see that this community would have appreciated a restaurant like that much more? I think it would have been much more appreciated and I am sure much more profitable.
            This neighborhood is actually in need of a place like that.

    • Julee, I’ve been following the real-estate market in Northeast Los Angeles closely for the last twelve years (and I have a broker’s license), and although it’s a bit rough now because there are so few homes on the market, there are deals out there. As a first-time buyer of limited means, you can’t have everything you want. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say there are three main considerations when you’re searching for a home: Size (of the house and of the lot), condition, and location. A first-time buyer isn’t likely to meet all three criteria, but you might meet two of them.

      When I purchased my first house in 1997, it was a serious fixer-upper in a decent part of Silver Lake; I managed to meet two of my criteria (size and location). My second home was a very small fixer-upper in a great area north of Glendale; in that case, the location was so superior to anything else in my price range that I was willing to overlook the size of the home and its condition. Lastly, if you want a deal, be prepared to act quickly. Write up the offer as soon as you can, and in this market, make your first offer your best offer – or close to it.

      (Okay, Sean Pearse, I defy you to find one error in my post.)

  4. Matthew Castellanos

    Of course its an Anti-gentrification sentiment.

    Small businesses who’s main demographic is the increasing influx of predominantly white middle class people contribute to the marginalization of poverty stricken young people of color, who have nothing to lose but the feeling of relevance in the neighborhoods they grew up in.

    • I was raised in a middle-class neighborhood of Minneapolis that was predominantly white. Now when I return to visit my parents, my old neighborhood is mostly Ethiopian, Hmong and Mexican. Demographics change – that’s life. And yet my family doesn’t go around tagging anti-gentrification or anti-ethnic slander on people’s homes. Nope – we welcome them with home baked pie and an invitation to a BBQ.

      • *I was raised in a middle-class neighborhood of Minneapolis that was predominantly white. Now when I return to visit my parents, my old neighborhood is mostly Ethiopian, Hmong and Mexican. Demographics change(;) that’s life. And yet my family doesn’t go around tagging anti-gentrification or anti-ethnic slander on people’s homes. Nope(;) we welcome them with home baked pie and an invitation to a BBQ.

        • Hey, Sean: Your editing skills need work. To wit: the modifier “home-baked” works as a unit to describe “pie,” and as such, I’d place a hyphen between the words. Like I said before, if you’re going to hold yourself up as the arbiter of correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, then make sure you don’t miss any corrections.

          • Sean never said he was holding himself up as the arbiter of correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. He’s performing a public service but seems not to be perfect. Stay on him James.

          • I think it’s important for people to edit their comments before they post them, but I don’t think it’s right to point out every small error a person makes. I often can’t resist, but I think it’s snarky and petty, and I level that accusation against myself as well. It’s kind of like an elementary-school teacher who responds to students’ requests to use the bathroom with, “Can you go to the bathroom? Well, I hope so. May you go to the bathroom? Yes, you may.” (There’s one such teacher at every school.)

      • Lester, come on! That’s just ‘Minnesota Nice’ in full-effect. 🙂

      • But we must recognize historical context. I doubt that whomever tagged this store was a person of color but when blacks moved into white neighborhoods not too long ago they were met with MUCH MUCH MUCH worse actions than this innocuous joke. The tone has been set in this country for decades to come because of the mid-century “white flight” movement and anti-integrationist sentiment that completely inebriated the larger white population up until pretty recently. We’ve constructed the society that we now live in. History is real. Actions have reactions. Sorry. Just be glad that the Ethiopians are a civilized people and aren’t burning a Lion of Judah figurine on your parents’ lawn.

        • I’m guessing that the owners of Ba did not actively participate in mid-century white flight or were not inebriated with anti-integrationist sentiment.

          If these were the taggers motives, then the tagger is every bit the prejudicial stereotyping type.

    • maybe they should expand their horizons and try some French food

    • Oh Lord, your racism is showing Matthew. Do you really think this area has always been made up of “marginalized poverty stricken (young) people of color”? Neighborhoods change and the changes happening in HLP are good. What do you have against white people?

      • *Oh Lord(. Y)our racism is showing Matthew. Do you really think this area has always been made up of “marginalized poverty stricken (young) people of color”? Neighborhoods change and the changes happening in HLP are good. What do you have against white people?

        • Sean, why didn’t you catch the omission of a comma between “showing” and “Matthew”? You also missed a hyphen between “poverty” and “stricken.”

    • *Of course it(‘)s an (a)nti-gentrification sentiment.

      Small businesses(—whose) main demographic is the increasing influx of predominantly white middle class people(—)contribute to the marginalization of poverty stricken young people of color, who have nothing to lose but the feeling of relevance in the neighborhoods they grew up in.

    • Yeah, well most of the white kids who grew up in San Marino can’t afford to buy there, because the Chinese are paying cash for everything. I’d love to live there, but can’t afford the type of home I’d like, so I bought elsewhere.

      So, don’t feel like it’s something only happening to brown people. You can’t stop it. The best you can do is learn to adapt, and, in this case, learn to like escargot 🙂

      • Eat shit and die, maybe they can serve you up some escargot! I knew you were nasty.

        • Such vitriol. That wasn’t very nice.
          I’ll cut you some slack. I can imagine you may be angry as the world passes you by… seeing others be successful and happy, while your old-school banger mentality makes it hard for you to “keep the lights on” as you say.
          Quit resisting and give in. I’ll go eat a street taco, if you try some escargot.

    • Real reality for Real this time

      To call the people moving to Highland Park “white” is a misstatement. All the families I have met at my kids school, or who have opened the “hipster” businesses on York and Figueroa look “white” but are actually a smorgasbord of Latino, Asian, and “White” (mostly 1st of 2nd generation immigrants from Europe) partners who have kids, jobs, and don’t want to be stuck in a miserable post-WWII suburb on the outskirts of civilization.

  5. Capitalism wins again, pitting the 99% of us against each other. If this is anti-gentrification sentiment (is that anarchist sign also part of the tag?), why doesn’t this tagger deface Blackrock Investments, who is driving up home prices by buying them in masse for all cash, or our government that believes that interest rates rather than unemployment and wage stagnation is the problem with our economy? Instead s/he goes after a local business. Good job being an anarchist tool of the capitalists, you rebel!

    • Good point, kinda reminds me of when the Occupy kids downtown decided to protest at City Hall day and night instead of in the financial district where the banks are.

      • *Good point(. It) kinda reminds me of when the Occupy kids downtown decided to protest at City Hall day and night instead of in the financial district where the banks are.

        • Dearest Sean,

          I think something is wrong with your keyboard. It seems your copy and paste buttons are stuck. There also appears to be a problem with your parenthesis button. You may want to go to the highest building you can find and jump off.

          You are welcome.

    • *Capitalism wins again, pitting the 99% of us against each other. If this is anti-gentrification sentiment (is that anarchist sign also part of the tag?), (then) why doesn’t this tagger deface Blackrock Investments, who is driving up home prices by buying them in masse for all cash, or our government that believes that interest rates(,) rather than unemployment and wage stagnation(,) (are) the problem with our economy? Instead(,) s/he goes after a local business. Good job being an anarchist tool of the capitalists, you rebel!

  6. This is a small chef-owned restaurant. They clearly don’t know the first thing about the restaurant or the owners.

    http://www.restaurantba.com/about-restaurant-ba/

  7. I can barely even tell that it says “Bad.” Geez, way to make a statement.

  8. This is really upsetting. In a separate incident, this restaurant also had all of it’s front windows smashed in last week by someone in the wee hours of the morning.

    How is a French bistro bad for the community? Only unbelievable cowards would do something like this.
    I suppose a small local business is an easy target for an illiterate tagger wanting to look clever. Dumb asses didn’t even get their anarchy symbol right either.

    • *This is really upsetting. In a separate incident, this restaurant also had all of (its) front windows smashed in last week by someone in the wee hours of the morning.

      How is a French bistro bad for the community? Only unbelievable cowards would do something like this.
      I suppose a small local business is an easy target for an illiterate tagger wanting to look clever. Dumb asses didn’t even get their anarchy symbol right either.

      • Sean. You’re needed at the Silver Lake traffic whinger’s site. Someone used “there” for “their” in a rant about the evil “West Side” of LA. Now they want to send her back to the Ivanhoe School.

  9. Maybe if it was still a place to rent a bouncy castle this wouldn’t have happened.

  10. Another boring white on white, pseudo class war. Yawn…..”I’m poor but righteous!”, “I’m over educated and indignant (but friendly and welcoming of others)”. “You don’t know anything!”, “I listen to NPR”. Waaa waaa waaa.

    Parse this!

  11. These morons have encouraged me to visit Ba more often. I had a terrific meal there last night!

  12. Small minded, xenophobic crap.

    The people that run Ba’ are nice and the food is decent.

    Just to spite that tagger, I’m going to have dinner there this week.

    And to Sean Pearse:

    TAKE YOUR MEDS.

    • Yes, actually, this has turned out to be great advertising. I’ve never eaten there, but I’ll make sure to try it out.
      If it’s tasty, I’ll make sure to return, to make sure it stays in the community for a long time.
      Thanks, tagger, for bringing this restaurant to my attention.

  13. I am appalled that BA have had two incidents recently of vandalism. If this didn’t cost James and Julia so much to fix when it happens it would be laughable, because anyone who knows them knows that they are by no means wealthy, nor are they hipsters, nor are they whatever other odd assumption someone wants to make.

    The couple that run BA are two lovely, very hard working people. They did almost all of the work on the building themselves, hiring on local folks when they could afford to or when they didn’t have the skills themselves. And ask the fine folks of Elsa’s Bakery if they have any problems with their neighbors! They will tell you how delighted and thrilled they were to have the place so well loved.

    And the neighborhood used to be working/middle class Italian, just like ER was. As others have said, all neighborhoods go through pendulum swings.

    What on Earth would make a nice and tasty restaurant that is open late for those who work late, bad for a neighborhood?

    The reverse classism is downright absurd.

    • This neighborhood was never “working/middle class Italian”. There were Italians along with Okey-whites and there have always been Mexicans in this and every other part of L.A. The one constant? Mexicans like my uncles who bought homes in HP in the 50s and 60s and are responsible for the mom-and-pop appeal of York Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhoods. I can’t help but chuckle at the rewriting and telling of L.A. history that virtually always excludes Mexicans. Even now when the city is solidly 45%-50% “latino” and the cleanest and safest it’s ever been you have these newcomers determined to claim credit for making it better. Newsflash! It was already better and improving before the latest swing of the pendulum. As always, the natives are happy to share (e.g., Elsa’s Bakery) but not be excluded or marginalized in word, actions, or pendulum swings.

      • the “appeal of York Boulevard”?
        Dude, you have some seriously bad taste. No offense to the owners of Ba, or any of the other establishments trying to improve York, but York Blvd has no appeal whatsoever of any type.
        We drove down it today, and my oldest boy asked me if we were in a bad neighborhood. I asked why he thought that. He remarked that it was ugly, trash, some graffiti, and most businesses had bars on the windows. I couldn’t disagree with him.
        I will patronize a select few of the establishments, but not because of some appeal of York, but rather proximity and a desire to see new independent businesses flourish.
        The “appeal of York Blvd”… you crack me up, Procopio.

  14. How do you know it’s a message against anti-gentrification? It’s a known secret that if you want to keep the
    rents down for businessess in the HP corridors, you make it appear to landlords that their rentals are not worth rate increases. The York Corridor businesses and Chamber of Commerce are not going out of their way to clean, sweep, wash down sidewalks, and empty cluttered trash cans.

    I complement Ba and Elsa’s Bakery because their cuisine, pan dulce and beautification of their business are exceptional! Ba THANK YOU for coming to HP and Elsa’s THANK YOU for your many years in HP.

  15. Interesting comments but it is REALLY difficult to follow the discussion with the additional comments posted by ‘Sean Pearse’ that do not contain any new content.

    Is there a way to simply not view his/her/its comments?

  16. The “child” who tagged the building has no respect for his/herself, community, schools or parents.

  17. Whatever the point was that someone was trying to make, they epically failed to anyone who knows the restrauteurs who opened Ba. All any of us can see is a disgusting attack on a guy who has put his everything into following his passion of cooking the food he loves, and a gal who has opened her arms and heart in every way to participate in the local community. I disagree with the person who called this an innocuous joke. It may not have been the worst atrocity ever committed, but it was was definitely harmful and offensive. Imagine how you’d feel if someone scrawled that on your “baby”? The couple who started this restaurant live in the area. They work in the area. And now they’re being punished because they want to invest in the area? …because they like French Food instead of some “more local” cuisine? …because someone thinks the property nearby would be more affordable if there were a vacant storefront on the corner instead of Ba?
    I was at the restaurant last night and heard a waitress explaining to another customer that the Chef would customize anything on the menu to meet her dietary restrictions. So kind. So willing. So capable… and this is the thanks they get? Excellent service, a personal and charming touch, and excellent food. I say Beautiful Addition to the community!

  18. I doubt this was done by anyone “young.” This looks like the work of someone much older, but are they old enough to remember when Highland Park was mostly white? Times they are a changing, like constantly, roll/grow with them.

  19. I am the guy who built and owns Ba Restaurant, and I am the guy who painted out the graffiti yesterday morning. Thank you all for your comments of support. I was tagged by a little kid with bad spelling. Nothing more. It happens. As for the larger discussion of gentrification I have to recuse myself. I have lived in this neighborhood for a very long time, and I love Highland Park. I have worked in kitchens for over 30 years and I wanted to do something about the lack of fresh food in the area. It is very upsetting to me that between Super A and Fresh and Easy there are absolutely no fresh fruits and vegetables available to anyone, except salads at the York and whatever Thai Eagle Rock offers. I see the toll this has taken on the health of the community, especially the school children who have only McDonalds, bad Pizza, and tacos made with Lard as their snack options. I wanted to build a restaurant that served localy grown, and sourced organic ingredients cooked with skill by professionals. I chose this spot because I could walk to work but also because it was empty and I was concerned about displacing someone else. The room my restaurant is in was workspace for Elsa’s Bakery next door. When Super A and the other super markets started doing industrial baking it killed the independant, Mom and Pop bakerys like Elsa’s. My landlords hung on because they owned the building and had a good retail business, but they had to let alot of their workers go and did not use the worktroom for almost 20 years. I found out after renting that Mr Vargas is the second owner of the building. He bought it from the family of the Jewish immigrant baker who built it. Mr Vargas was trained in a French Bakery in Santa Monica before he moved to Highland Park in 1971 and began selling Baguettes, pan au chocolate, Croissants, and other French pastrys. I wonder if he got accussed of gentrification? Mr Vargas and I hit it off and he agreed to rent the empty space to me. I built my restaurant from scratch, by hand, by myself with my wife and a few friends. We hired some local professionals when we had to, and besides Home Depot everything in the project was sourced locally from independant vendors.
    Since opening the restaurant I am proud to say that we have gotten nothing but love from the community, and our customer base is a very successful mix of longtime predominantly Latino locals and the recently arrived new neighbors. I think I have shown that good service and loccally grown produce prepared well and sold at a very affordable price transends any ethnic or political boundries.
    I am very sensitive to a communitys socio-economic changes, I know from experience that if it is not managed carefully it can go very badly. Nutrition, and education must always be a part of a communitys growth. Bigotry should never be part of it.
    Please forgive my poor spelling and grammer, my education was no better than the taggers. I am just a cook.
    James Graham

    • I’m a longtime HP resident. And, I’m so happy that you and your restaurant have made HP your home!
      Thanks for reminding me, to frequent Elsa’s Bakery more often. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      • Elsa’s Bakery has been taken over by someone else. I heard they are opening a donut store. The baked goods will never be the same as the Vargas family’s decades old recipes. When I moved here 15 years ago,I bought food from Elsa’s every day. Now,After dining at Ba,I used to be able to buy my dessert from Elsa’s. It was Delicioso. I miss the bread pudding,already.
        I am glad James is here.

    • Thank you James.
      It’s a pleasure to meet you via this forum and I hope you continue doing what you so obviously love.

    • Go James Graham!

      Well said, poor grammar and spelling p-shhh – that was succinct, passionate, and exactly what this forum needed.

    • I hope you’re not calling Italiano’s “bad pizza!” Other than that, very nice comment.

    • The aspirations expressed here are laudable, but I just don’t see how you reconcile them with the menu at Ba.
      The food is just too expensive, and out of reach for the community. You can’t improve the community’s nutrition by making the food unaffordable. And, there is all this talk of “fresh vegetables,” and yet there are very few, if any, vegetarian-friendly options. I know that organic, locally-sourced food makes food more expensive, etc. But, frankly, the vegetables don’t have to be organic and locally-source to be healthy. If you are serious about providing healthy food to the community, then actually serving affordable vegetables would make sense. But, as it is, your menu just doesn’t do that.

  20. So many restaurants; so little time! I’ve never dined at Ba, but after reading Chef Graham’s thoughtful and cogent post (above) and seeing the menu, I can’t wait to go there. http://www.restaurantba.com/

    Thanks so much for being a quality part of TheEastsideLA! There’s nothing more admirable to those of us who love good food than a really good cook!

  21. I admire James Graham a great deal. He is and has created a wonderful restaurant in Highland Park. He cares about his community and his contributions as a business within the York retail district. My husband and I have patronize his establishment and have held a special fundraiser for our project. Having choices and amenities in our neighborhood makes it more livable and desirable. James works hard and in the end he has become a beloved part of our community. We thank you James for bringing your wonderful confections to Highland Park.

  22. I am going to Ba….never have been…never wanted to, but now its seems there are anti-diversity thugs coming out as protectors of the community…par de pendejos hijos de la chingada.

  23. As the population of Los Angeles increases gentrification is an eventuality. It has even come to East Los Angeles. I live in City Terrace and the house flippers have descended on this area like an invading army. I have seen rents in this neighborhood double in the 3 years I have lived here. There is a building just down the street from my house where the one bedroom apartments are renting for 1300 a month. I think what is driving this is people are moving back into the cities from the suburbs. With gas at $4.00 a gallon it is not practical to live 70 miles away in Fontana, Corona, or Palmdale and commute into LA to go to work. I bought my house 3 years ago in City Terrace and have already seen its value go up about 40%. I plan to stay here. I like the neighborhood but I see the changes happening. When I moved here in 2010 I was the only white guy on the street. Now there are about a half dozen of non Latinos living on my street and more are moving in every month. The secret is out that East Los Angeles is still very affordable when it comes to housing but it is not going to be that way for long. My other neighbor was renting the house next to mine for 1000 dollars a month. It was sold to a house flipper and he was ordered out after 14 years of living there and now the house has been fixed up and is going to rent for $1750 a month.

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