Shopper and Diner Report Cover

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

Tamale sales have dramatically declined due to families not gathering during this holiday season, the Los Angeles Times reports. One restaurant that is feeling the hit is Tamale’s Liliana in Boyle Heights. Owner Juan Manual Santoyo said that he normally sells 40,000 tamales on Thanksgiving Day, but this year he hasn’t even reached 20,000.

KCRW spotlights Silver Lake's El Conchinto restaurant in its Good Food series, “In the Weeds.” Chef and owner Daniel Navarro speaks about his grandmother Glady’s legacy and influence, the fruition of El Conchinito and how the award-winning restaurant has sustained itself since his grandmother opened the restaurant in 1988. 

Mochinut has landed in Eagle Rock, What Now Los Angeles reports. The company website describes the Mochinut as Hawaiian-style donuts that are mixed together with Japanese mochi and American donuts. Expect Mochinut to open the first week of January. Mochinut is located at 3756 W. Avenue 50 in Eagle Rock.

A small Camobodian restaurant in Lincoln Heights launched the debut of the the new program, “What We’re Into.” Produced by the LA Times, the episode features the spicy pork num pang from Gamboge. Gamboge is located at 1822 N. Broadway 

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A Chinese and Peruvian restaurant by the name of Chifa has set up shop in Eagle Rock, the Los Angeles Times reports. The family-run restaurant is spearheaded by Alberto Leon, cofounder of fashion brand Opening Ceremony. Chifa is a stylishly sophisticated revival of the restaurant Leon’s mother, Wendy Leon, owned 45 years ago in Lima, Peru. Chifa is at 4374 Eagle Rock Blvd. in Eagle Rock. 

Grocery Outlet, which bills itself as an "extreme value retailer" catering to bargain-minded shoppers, opened its doors to its latest store in a Highland Park shopping center, The Eastsider reports. The discount market fills an 18,500-square-foot space that has been vacant since early 2019 when another discount retailer, Fallas Paredes, closed its doors. The store credits low prices combined with a "treasure hunt" experience for fueling recent growth.

Pandemic restrictions have now taken out an Echo Park vegan restaurant, and threaten a landmark gay bar that has managed to last nearly a quarter of a century in Silver Lake.

They’re just small bistro tables - four of them, set out near Swork Cafe at the corner of Colorado and Eagle Rock boulevards. But these days, that counts as highly visible protest. A notice on the table says, “I need to work too and because my patrons are unable to sit and enjoy coffee here - in the open air, six feet away from another patron, I am exercising my right to peaceful protest,” The Eastsider reports. Since putting out chairs with these tables, Swork and owner  Patricia Neale Vuagniaux have gotten attention from the L.A. times, KFI radio, Fox and Friends, and CBS News.

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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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