Monday, October 24, 2016

Silver Lake restaurant owner closes doors after 20 years; Ludo Lefebvre moving in [updated]

Photo by Dan Gerson

Photo by Dan Gershon

Storefront ReportSILVER LAKE — Nadine Trujillo served up her last orders of Queso Frito and carnitas over the weekend after deciding to shut down Alegria on Sunset. Trujillo said she is retiring 22 years after opening the Mexican restaurant, which was originally located in Echo Park before moving to a Sunset Boulevard strip mall.

Trujillo left behind a management job at a large company to open her own restaurant, she told the L.A. Times in a 1995 L.A. Times article. Trujillo said:

In 1993 I rented a taco stand in Echo Park. I named it Alegria, which means “joy” in Spanish. I specifically chose that name because it is a joy to cook.

Two years later Trujillo moved to Silver Lake after the ceiling of her Echo Park restaurant was damaged during a rainstorm.

There’s no word yet what will be replacing Alegria.

Updated @ 2:51 p.m. Apparently one of Los Angeles hottest chefs, Ludo Lefebvre, might be looking to takeover the space with partners. Dan Gershon, a Silver Lake resident who has contributed photos and news to The Eastsider, spotted Lefebvre in line at a Silver Lake Chinese restaurant this afternoon. Lefebvre told Gershon he was opening a restaurant in the Alegria space with business partners.

Lefebvre was later spotted inside Alegria with others but a man at the door said he could not confirm or deny whether the French chef was opening a Silver Lake outpost. Meanwhile, Lefebvre’s Instagram account has posted a photo of Alegria’s interior. “We got a new place,” says a posting on the account.

Eater LA reports that Lefebvre is teaming up with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo for their third venture.

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  1. Man, another one bites the dust…although the sound of it is that she is just retiring after 22 years in the kitchen; no mention of rent.
    El Cochinito better not be going anywhere…

  2. It’s sad to see it close. Great food!

  3. The reason for this closing needs a much better explanation. Is it simply because she is retiring, no other factors were involved int he decisioin? Or, is she retiring because the rent skyrocketed? Or???

    • How and why is that any of your business on the details of what someone chooses to do? why does this person need to explain “much better” or elaborate on her thought process of decision to close after 20 years?

      • Susan has a good point. The east sider made it our business when they reported about it and even mediocre reporting should address the most obvious questions such as in this case why.

    • Why are you needlessly trying to stir up shit? Can’t someone just fucking RETIRE?

      People did the same thing when Verdugo Hardware closed for the same reason, because its owner decided to RETIRE after a lifetime of hard work. Many people do.

      • Ahhshuttup! @atomz Two hours later your ripping on Susan after Yelsho? Who’s is stirring up shit now needlessly? Go correct someone’s grammar or something.

        • “Your” should be “you’re”, and “after Yelsho” should follow “two hours”…the way you worded it implies I ripped on Yelsho before I ripped on Susan. Also, it should be “Who is”, not “Who’s is”, and “now” should follow “needlessly”, not precede it.

          It seems I didn’t have to go far, eh?

        • atomZ is a chronic shit-stirring fool . . .

          • Martin Arredondo

            And you are not? Pinche Payaso.

          • Tony the Main Spoon

            You know and I know this guy has nothing better to do but comb through various posts and analyze them like thesis papers. Atomz, needlessly swearing for no good reason, without an opinion on the subject at hand. (Oops, O didn’t care to use quotes with my iPhone!)


          • “…without an opinion on the subject at hand…”

            Says the guy known almost exclusively for one word, “Ahhshuttup” posts.

            It’s funny, I seem to be missing how any of your comments in this thread relate to the “subject at hand”.

          • I’ve been transparent about who I am on this thing. An tell the haters to “Ahhshutup” when the in time calls for it. I certainly don’t swear at people on this thing asking a simple question that this article may prompt the reader to ask.

            Nor have I tried the good at this joint unfortunatly. Let’s settle it’s another way. I don’t hide behind my iPhone. Why don’t you be a real man and let’s have a friendly game of pool at the short stop. Let the best man win. 6pm when the regulars are there. My name will be in the chalk board. See you there tonight.

          • (lol) I like your style Tony. Unfortunately, I suspect atomZ lacks the weight to accept your challenge. He’s better off smoldering on the hill than risk being TORCHED while attempting to be a real man.

            Peace and Respect to “The Main Spoon”.

          • Well Proper Dos, I’m gonna call out all ofthese posers. Haters. Wannabes. I’m gonna be there at 6pm. We can talk grammar, foul language at people with honest questions, and then I’m going to thrash him on the Short Stop table. I have always been transparent on this thing. My house is on Scott St. “hill”, my catalytic converter was taken from my honda Element, I make the best Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium the old school way, and I love NELA. Short Stop, 6pm, sharp.

  4. loved this place… thank you for all of the great food and amazing times!

  5. wow – bummer.

    i have been a regular at alegria for the past 12 years. nadine’s delicious and unique recipes have been my walking-distance comfort food – the convenient local fallback when i wanted a delicious and not-too-expensive date or meeting in the ‘hood, great takeout when i was too tired to cook for myself, and the sustenance i craved most when out of town.

    but starting with their BYOB bust, things had definitely changed over the years: the crowds had thinned, the service suffered, and i guess i can’t say i’m surprised it’s come to this. but the food never diminished in quality, and i am very sorry to see this restaurant go the way of so many others in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

    nadiine, i’m so grateful for all the deliciousness i devoured at alegria on sunset. best of luck with your next chapter…

  6. Algeria was my mainstay when I moved to Silver Lake. It was terrific until Nadine’s daughter left. That lady was great and kept everything and everyone in line. Once she was gone, Alegria went into a steady decline. That being said, I will miss the amazing agua frescas and cafe de olla!

  7. So depressed to read about Alegria’s closing. When we moved to Silver Lake over twelve years ago, we found this restaurant on our first day in our new home. Just wonderful food. It’s seen us through good times and bad, earning a rave by our visiting family and friends. To be honest, we preferred to order take-out, because that homey food seemed to demand that it be eaten … well, in our home. Nadine Trujillo really gave us a wonderful treat for all these years. I don’t often get attached to a restaurant – but Alegria was special.

  8. ludo’s instagram confirms it

  9. Can the editor get their facts straight? I assume the “Chinese restaurant” being referred to is Pine & Crane, since it’s a few minutes from the Alegria location. If in fact that is correct, they you should have stated it’s a Taiwanese restaurant, not a Chinese restaurant.

  10. I loved the sweet/smokey hot sauce at Alegria and hope the owner’s next venture is to bottle and sell it. One can dream….

  11. Had I known, I would have stopped by one last time for the crema tacos.

  12. Phideaux Xavier

    How sad. I loved Alegria and I hope Nadine knows how much “Joy” she brought to folks. I dearly wish the restaurant would open again, but apparently it was in order to retire. Very sad!!!

    Thank you Alegria!

  13. EWWWWWWWW One of LA’s HOTTEST CHEF teaming up with a silverlake resident and eastsider contributor??? This neighborhood just keep getting nastier and lamer.

    Im sorry but they are moving due the rents no doubt – so LA’s UBER chef can take over and have his hit resturant in a strip mall with a sick ass thrift shop — but have no fear they will get them out too and everyone else and it will be ALL theirs!!!!!

    The new silverlake is lifeless and souleless — and kicks anything out that does….. Wasnt this lady LAs Hottest Chef too????

    The nerve

    • oh javi, don’t get your panties all in a twist. embrace the changes, it a big world out there and change is a constant.

  14. Loved this restaurant. Wish I had known it were closing so I could have stopped in a final time!

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