Monday, October 24, 2016

Storefront Report: Critical praise fails to save Echo Park’s Allumette

Echo Park, restaurantsECHO PARK — Looks like restaurant critic Jonathan Gold will have to rename his list of  101 Best Restaurants.  The owners of Allumette – ranked at No. 51 on this year’s recently issued list – announced that they were shutting down the Echo Park restaurant on June 28 after failing to “find the customer support necessary to sustain our business,”  according to Eater L.A.

Allumette and chef Miles Thompson have been highly praised by critics and foodies for innovative cuisine and cocktails. But it has also been taken to task for a pricey menu.  Owners Owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna, in a statement published on Eater L.A., said:

 A restaurant like Allumette requires tremendous and consistent effort in sourcing and producing the food and drink that we have been celebrated for. We took a calculated, but substantial risk opening a restaurant like this in Echo Park and ultimately we just couldn’t find the customer support necessary to sustain our business without compromising the guest experience.”

It’s not clear what will replace in the Echo Park Avenue restaurant.

Allumette becomes the second high-end restaurant in Echo Park to recently announce its closure.  In April, the owners of Cortez,  announced they had sold the restaurant.

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  1. An affordable restaurant would be a welcome change. Echo Park isn’t Silver Lake or Los Feliz and the prices should reflect that.

  2. Good riddance! You can’t find a customer base that likes spending all their money and still leave hungry?
    Definitely a nice staff, but I felt bad for them when I had to stifle laughing in their face when they sat a ridiculously small item in front of me. It is possible to serve good food and NOT rip people off. Too bad you never figured that out.

  3. Total bummer. Had two very good meals there, and was game to go back.

  4. u stick a revolving soosh place there with plates 3-5 bucks u make million dollah.

  5. Hahahahahahaha , over priced ! how about a strip joint ?

    • Mario, I noticed this is the third time you’ve made such a comment on these stories (you left the first two comments on the articles regarding El Batey #2). If your sister is looking for employment within walking distance of your house, let her know there are other options.

  6. Yes, the food was amazing but the small portions and high prices kept me from dining there more than once a year, A $200 dinner for two is an extravagance. Will probably try to stop by for one more meal.

  7. I want my dollar pupusas back. That place had the best ones back on the day. Everything else has failed since.

  8. Allumette was apparently delicious, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it. Likewise Cortez at which I ate twice and loved it both times. I appreciate the presence of these restaurants however can’t imagine there are too many folks who can eat there regularly. Echo Park could use an outpost of a restaurant like Maximilianos—which is both delicious, friendly, and affordable. Not sure why all the interesting and well priced restaurants seem to be opening in Highland Park, but imagine it’s because of overpriced commercial rents in our neck of the woods.

    • MmmmmHmmmmm. You got that right…Maximilianos is delicious and affordable…the owner (who is a local) is savvy enough to know a restaurant like that will succeed and survive. More and more successful restaurants are opening up in Highland Park.

      The rent & price-point per sq. ft. in EP is so expensive that it’s quite difficult for small businesses to open up now-a-days.

    • Echo Park resident

      I love Maximilliano’s. It has the air of a “nice” restaurant — some place you’d go on a date, or take family when they’re in town — without the “nice restaurant” prices. The food there has always been good, and the place is always packed. The owners also run the Oinkster, which just opened up another location in Hollywood. Really wish they’d consider opening something in Echo Park.

  9. Good riddance to the overpriced and UNDERSIZED portions. Ate their and had to go to El Compadre after cause we were still hungry. If your portions are gonna be that small then the prices should reflect that. I don’t care how well source your foods are….there certainly needs to be a balance.

  10. Allumette people, Very sorry to hear that you’re closing .

    Although I’m not your target market ( too poor), I appreciate the craft and vision of your effort.

    Well done & best wishes to the entire staff.

  11. dingus’ comment makes me laff, now I must go cleanse myself.

  12. Come on people just a joke . I love Echo Park , born and raised here , Yes I own my own home , things change sometimes for the good .

  13. Their reputation for sending people home hungry didn’t do them any favors. At the very least it kept me from ever giving them a try. I understand that there are people who prefer dainty portions in order to stay skinny but I think the best way for a restaurant to accommodate them is to offer appetizers on the menu for them to choose from and an entree menu with standard sized portions for those who prefer not to go home hungry.

  14. Beverly D'Angeleno

    Need more like The Park on Douglas and Sunset. Above average food. Average prices. That’s the EP secret sauce!

  15. Great! Now will you re-open AYC!?

  16. @Beverly D’Angeleno
    Definitely need more restaurants like Park. They serve delicious food, have great prices, and excellent service. Serving the neighborhood well..

    As I stated above, another great restaurant in Highland Park is Maximilianos, “Maximilianos is delicious and affordable…the owner (who is a local) is savvy enough to know a restaurant like that will succeed and survive. More and more successful restaurants are opening up in Highland Park.

    The rent & price-point per sq. ft. in EP is so expensive that it’s quite difficult for small businesses to open up now-a-days.”

  17. Couldn’t happen soon enough for me. I tried it twice and came away with the following impressions: the portions were so tiny you’d be starving after dinner; the service was so abysmal that we thought we were being punked (even when the server reappeared, he got our order wrong twice); the food wasn’t very good, which was the biggest sin. The whole thing was like a satire about bad restaurants.

    • Amen. This place was the WORST of LA. I eat at all types of places, all price ranges. It all comes down to do you feel you got the value for what you paid for. Allumette made me feel like I was ripped off. Simple as that.

    • The service was an issue; went there and had a lot of good courses – but they were small and came out every 20 minutes (average time to eat for our party: 3 minutes). So it took forever and we were all tired by the end of it. And I don’t think any of us ever went back.

  18. Sorry to say I agree with the “go home hungry” consensus. Delicious food but maybe adding a bread basket would’ve saved their butts. I hope chefs continue to try and crack the EP nut, man cannot live by Taco Zone alone.

  19. I will truly miss the Allumette late night happy hour. Exceptionally well made cocktails for a reasonable price in a friendly atmosphere. I suspect many of my neighbors never discovered this gem!

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