The Park just opened (soft opening) in Echo Park at the old El Autentico location (Sunset and Douglas.) We wandered down fully prepared to abandon the place the second we walked in. But we decided to stay and I'm glad we did.
We started with the New England Clam Chowder and the corn cakes with shrimp and a mexican crema plus a spicy bruschetta (it couldn't really be called salsa.) The flavor on the soup was mild, a very traditional clam chowder with a little too much cilantro and not enough heat (in terms of flavor, the temp was perfect.) The corn cakes were a clear winner, the sauce was tangy and flavorful, the shrimp were super fresh and the corn cakes right off the grill.
For entrees we had the Jidori chicken and the homemade vegie burger with gruyere and fries. The chicken was fantastic, perfectly cooked, juice and flavorful, didn't need anything on it. We felt so guilty because we were seated right next to the infamous Ti Georges whose chicken we love, so we had to tell him we were superfans. And we were sorry for cheating on him! But man that was great chicken.
The homemade vegie burger is good, very well flavored and presented and absolutely a million miles away from frozen vegie burgers. The garlic aoli and fries were okay, the fries could be crispier, they were a little on the soggy side.
The service was fantastic. Our biggest complaint is the decor... they aren't sure what they are doing with it and we really hope they decide to darken the ceiling and drop it down at least visually. A dark orange/copper paint on the ceiling that comes halfway down will help so much.
The place filled up by 9pm and everyone brought bottles of wine. I think this place could be a big neighborhood hit if they just warm up the paint job and decor in the dining area. I think they sorta took the old layout and stuck with it, which is too bad, I think the space could be way warmer. But the food is fantastic, and absolutely is welcome in the hood.
Oh, and for El Autentico aficionados, the rainforest bathroom is gone. :(
1400 Sunset Blvd
LA CA 90026
213 482 9209
open tue-thur and sunday 5:30-10pm
fridays and saturdays 5:30 - 11pm