Shopper and Diner Report Cover

Here’s your weekly rundown of Eastside dining and shopping news.

Boyle Heights has some of the best and most diverse styles of birria in the city, Thrillist reports. Hector Ramirez of El Jalisciense offers birria tatemada, or oven roasted goat birria. The Moreno family’s Birrieria Nochistlan ZAC serves its celebrated birria that’s known for its tasteful simplicity. Tacos El Morro brings it tacos dorados de quesabirria, a Guadalajara-style birria de res that comes with corn tortillas soaked in birria then seared with dried cheese. El Jalisciense is at 3436 E. Olympic Blvd. Birrieria Nochistlan ZAC is at 3400 East 4th St. Tacos E Morro is at 3036 ½ Whittier Blvd.

Here’s a short list of sit-down restaurants in Silver Lake that have reopenedaccording to Eater LA. Botanica restaurant and market has extended its takeaway and market service with the addition of patio dining. Austrianesque Eszett also debuted its al fresco dining, albeit with limited evening hours. Botanica is at 1620 Silver Lake Blvd. Eszett is at 3510 Sunset Blvd. 

Security is now on the job at Burgers Never Say Die in Silver Lake after a visit from some abusive customers, NBC 4 News reports. Owner Shawn Nee has seen a drop in incidents involving angry anti-maskers who are refused service for not following its No Mask, No Service rule. Burgers Never Say Die is at 2388 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake. 

Counterpart in Echo Park has a new chef and co-owner who is launching a more ambitious vegan menu, including an 8-course, $75 tasting, says Eater LA. Almitra “Mimi” Williams is the chef behind a “plant-based, comfort food-esque” menu. "I want my food to be approachable for people, but there’s not just Reubens and doughnuts that I can do here. It’s limitless.”

Gingergrass in Silver Lake has launched an outdoor wine and beer tent that focuses exclusively on libations from Black makers. The tent’s current list includes Brown Estates/House of Brown (California), the first and only Black-owned estate winery in Napa Valley; Maison Noir (Willamette Valley) helmed by André Hueston Mack, former sommelier at Per Se and The French Laundry; and Aslina Wines (South Africa) by the country’s first Black female winemaker, Ntsiki Biyela. Beers from Urban Roots (Sacramento), Boomtown (Los Angeles), Crown and Hops (Inglewood) and Full Circle (Fresno) are among those currently featured. The tent is open Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday noon to 9 p.m. Gingergrass is located at 2396 Glendale Blvd in Silver Lake. 

Cliff's Edge -- the high-end Silver Lake restaurant that attracted celebrities like Jennifer Aniston to its tree-shaded patio -- has closed for good, the restaurant announced this week, The Eastsider reported. The restaurant founded by Silver Lake business woman Dana Hollister has been closed since March when the coronavirus struck but now the closure is permanent. 

With many bar hoppers and restaurant diners staying at home during the pandemic, many local wine shops and liquor stores have seen an increase in sales, in-store traffic and new customers, reports The Eastsider. In Silver Lake, Joe Keeper, owner of Bar Keeper on Hoover Street, has had to add employees to abide with in-store safety protocols and handle a sharp increase in sales. Highland Park Wines has expanded delivery. And Tilda in Echo Park has added a "wine window."

Claudio Blotta is the owner of Barbrix in Silver Lake and All'Acqua in Atwater Village. Born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in Buenos Aires, Blotta came to the U.S. in 1981. He went to school to become a commercial pilot but instead decided to work in the restaurant industry. In a Q&A with The Eastsider, Claudio shares his experience owning his first restaurant and his favorite pasta dish to make.

Eastside Guides

Eastside Guide: Neighborhood Restaurants & Businesses

Neighborhood businesses need your support during the pandemic. Shop local whenever possible.

Cecilia Padilla-Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999.

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