Melody brings “Lazy French” cuisine to a changing Virgil Village

Melody on Virgil Avenue

Courtesy Melody

EAST HOLLYWOOD —  Virgil Avenue has been described as “up and coming” for decades. But now the label seems to be sticking with the arrival of new shops and restaurants.  The most recent newcomer, Melody, is now serving up what it calls “Lazy French” dishes in a former Guatemalan restaurant.

David Andreone, one of the persons behind the new restaurant, said Melody’s dishes feature “the coastal cuisines of France with LA’s farmer’s market culture.”  The result is “Lazy French” cuisine that is lighter, simpler and more healthy than traditional French cuisine, Andreone said.

Melody, which seats 60 people in an old bungalow and adjacent patio, opened in the fall in the Virgil Village section of East Hollywood.  It’s catty-corner across from Sqirl, the restaurant that has drawn crowds and new cafe and shops to Virgil Avenue.

The pace of change has been picking up along Virgil, where a new housing development is rising on the site of Cha Cha Cha, which served Latin and Caribbean cuisine for about 30 years. Another Virgil Avenue mainstay, the Smog Cutter dive bar, closed after the owner could not renew the lease.

“In our quest to open a restaurant, we looked in various communities (Echo Park, DTLA, Koreatown, Chinatown), but ended up falling in love with everything about Virgil Village — the residents, the diversity, the business community, and the neighborhood’s overall character,” Andreone said. “When a little bungalow on the corner of Virgil and Marathon became available, we knew we had found the home for Melody.”

Indoor-outdoor dining at Melody in Virgil Village

Courtesy Melody

Melody is at 751 N. Virgil Avenue.

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  1. Virgil Village? Is this another term created by realtors to soften the neighborhood ?

  2. Even in the 90s no one except the realtors who would eventually sell the neighborhood actually used the term ‘Virgil Village’ to refer to the place. These processes take decades to see through, but they are being seeing through. Now, we see them.

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