The sign outside Mohawk Bend on Sunset and Alvarado in Echo Park has promised “Opening soon. Very soon” for a few weeks now, and I’m very, very excited that it will finally open at 5pm today. Mohawk Bend comes courtesy Tony Yanow, so if you’ve been to his excellent Tony’s Darts Away bar in Burbank, you’ll know what we can expect here: vegan-friendly eats and a damn great craft beer selection.
The bar is located in an old movie theater, completely rehabbed so what was once the lobby now houses a long bar, communal and non-communal tables, and an open kitchen. Tony is vegan, so the menu is too (“60 percent vegan, 20-percent lacto/ovo vegetaria, and 20 percent meat” is how the press release describes it). It’s dinner service only for now, but they hope (as do I) that they’ll start a brunch and lunch service soon.
Most important, though, is that beer. There are 65 California craft beers on tap, 5 from out of state breweries, and a two-firkin cask system for those of you who are uber-serious about your ales. And sweet, kind people behind the bar who can patiently explain the differences between an IPA and non-IPA and help you decide which pint(s) to try.
I was lucky enough to attend a preview event of the space two weeks ago and, believe you me, the space and the beer selection is fantastic. See their photos of the space here, and see you there, soon.
Mohawk Bend, 2141 W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park; (213) 483-2337.
After being canceled last year for budgetary reasons, the Lotus Festival returns to Echo Park this weekend. This event, in which local Asian and Pacific Islander communities come together to share and celebrate their cultures, has traditionally been held in July when the Lotus Flower blooms. Echo Park once house the largest lotus bed in the country. Unfortunately, the lotus bed died off two years ago and while there are efforts underway to bring it back, there will not be any of the pink flowers to see. (There weren’t many in ’07 as you can see).
You still might want to take in the free festival though, which runs today and tomorrow starting at 12pm. There will be a variety of entertainers and lots of food vendors. There is a good rundown of what will, and will not, be happening at this year’s 32nd Lotus Festival on the Echo Park Now site.
The festival is today, Saturday, July 10th from 12pm-9pm and tomorrow, Sunday, July 11th from 12pm-8pm. Echo Park Lake is located on Park Avenue between Glendale Avenue and Echo Park Boulevard, just north of the junction of the 101 and 110 freeways.
There are so many holiday activities going on this weekend. How does one choose? I recommend going where you find the highest concentration of holiday fun, and on Saturday that is going to be in Echo Park.
Saturday at noon you’ll find Grand Marshall Bob Baker leading the annual Echo Park Holiday Parade down Sunset Boulevard. The parade will also feature local high school marching bands, dance troupes, and other surprises. I have it on good authority that the L.A. Derby Dolls will be skating in the parade. I’d bet there will be an appearance by a certain white bearded man in a festive red holiday suit, as well.
The parade is only part of what’s happening, though. Local businesses have decided to stretch the fun all day long with the Echo Park Holiday Shop Hop. The parade may begin at noon, but other festivities start as early as 10:00am and will go on until 2:00am. Many businesses will be offering specials throughout the day, as well as various performances and workshops.
My favorite Echo Park business, 826LA, will have things going on all day long. There will be free gifts with purchase at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart. They will also be accepting donations to support the great programs they offer; if you donate $5 (or more,) you’ll get a book written by Echo Park kids. I’ve read their work, and it’s really good.
At 3pm 826LA will present “A Guy Walks Into an 826LA…,” a stand-up comedy performance by 826LA students. At 8pm, it’s “Dead Author Readings with Charles Dickens.”
This is only the beginning. Get complete details of special offers from local merchants, activities, performances and donations for local charities at the Echo Park Holiday Shop Hop page.
This Saturday, December 12, get yourself to Echo Park and get all of your holiday fun and shopping in one place.
In spite of my extreme eyeball aversion, I’ve been fascinated by this Echo Park billboard located on Glendale Boulevard just north of Alvarado. I think it speaks for itself. I did call the number at the bottom, which is for Lamar Advertising. So, if you want to rent this space, you have the contact info.
Wondering what you’re going to do with your Friday nights now that Battlestar Galactica is over? Tonight you can stop by Machine Project and check out The Forest that’s been under construction for the past couple of weeks. I’ve heard it’s quite a sight to see.
The Opening Reception for The Forest is tonight, March 27th, starting at 8pm. This is a last minute announcement, so if you can’t make it tonight, there will be ongoing events occurring in and about the forest, which will continually transform until April 24th.
Machine Project is located @ 1200 North Alvarado in Echo Park, 90026, right between the Downbeat Cafe and the Echo Park Film Center. Stop by to check out what is sure to be a unique and magical exhibit.
It’s that time of the year again! Time to drag out the classics. From the Echo Park Film Center, whose last date of operation before it closes for the holidays is this Satruday (they won’t re-open until January):
What a wacky and wonderful year it’s been! Join us for EPFC’s last event of 2009… our annual screening of that ol’ holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. Sentimental sobbing encouraged.
Also on the bill, a very rare and special treat: incredible Super 8 footage of the 1967 Echo Park Christmas Parade shot by the one and only Mr. Al Kasselman! Neighborhood history at its finest!
And for those who have been both naughty and nice, a very special presentation of Doug Harvey’s Moldy Slide Show.
The event is free, with eggnog, cookies & reindeer treats in attendance, as well as your lovely visage.
Someone call Lovecraft Biofuels* & tell ’em to start hackin’ down all the kudzu in the hills behind ’em: according to some experts, kudzu–“The Plant that Ate the South (and Parts of Echo Park and Silver Lake)” has a high yield of carbohydrates that can be converted into ethanol. In fact, the yield per acre would be comparable to that of corn.
According to The Discovery Channel, “The team estimated that about one-third of kudzu plants would be harvestable. If so, they calculate that kudzu could offer about 8 percent of the 2006 U.S. bioethanol supply.” Dr. Rowan Sage, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, says “[The refinement process] will probably be simple, but it has not been worked out,” Sage said. “Kudzu roots are like large sweet potatoes. Simply wash, grind it up, and treat with enyzmes to break down the starch and sugars to glucose, and ferment with yeast or bacteria and then distill. The kudzu stems could be burned for distillation.” Harvesting could be difficult, though, as roots sometimes hide beneath as many as six feet of soil. More info is here, here & here.
*Now, this would make ethanol, not biodiesel, but it’s still of interest as an alternative fuel.