Tag Archives: silver lake

More Late Night Eats in Silver Lake

The scarcity of late night dining options has been a sore spot for me since I moved to Los Angeles in 2003 from Atlanta, “where parties don’t stop ’til 8:00 in the morning.” So, naturally I am enthusiastic when I find a restaurant that serves food late, like Silver Lake’s newest taquería, Tarascos.

Silver Lake's Newest Taqueria
Silver Lake's Newest Taquería

Tarascos is a very pleasing, minimalist taquería. No obnoxious sombreros hanging from the ceiling or mariachi crooners hovering over your guacamole. You walk into a small foyer and order at the counter. The menu is handwritten on chalkboards on the walls – and the prices are minimalist too! $1.50 for tacos, $5.50 for burritos and quesadillas – your choice of charbroiled steak, charbroiled chicken, cochinita pibil, or carnitas. For a smaller taquería, they have an unusually generous vegetarian selection and salads too. They also have some rather delicious flautas, which are not on the online menu right now, but very tasty and not too greasy. Continue reading More Late Night Eats in Silver Lake

Three Outdoor Flea Markets in Silver Lake

There are at least three decent outdoor flea markets in Silver Lake, central to Sunset Junction and conveniently located near quite a few delicious brunch options, allowing for the perfect afternoon of mimosas and thrifty shopping.

Saturday is really the only day you can hit all of these, since two of the three are not there on Sundays. Just park your bike or car around Sunset and Maltman and you will be central to all three of these outdoor shopping options:

1. Silver Lake Farmer’s Market (produce, jewelery, clothing, vintage, etc.)

2. Silver Lake Art Craft and Vintage

3. Don’t know the name, but it’s next to the Jiffy Lube and Kelly Green (Santa Monica at Sunset)

As seen on YouTube, I found this great lampshade yesterday at the smaller of the three flea markets, located behind Kelly Green on Santa Monica Blvd. This vintage lampshade also doubles as a fancy hat that I later wore to The Eagle for afternoon cocktails with some leather-lovin’ (and now lampshade lovin’) gays.


(video courtesy of Mark Hayward)

Silver Lake Farmer’s Market is located at 3700 Sunset Blvd, between Edgecliffe and Maltman (at the intersection of Griffith Park Blvd), 90026. Continue reading Three Outdoor Flea Markets in Silver Lake

Proposed Retail Development In Silver Lake

Hat tip to my neighbor for posting this notice on her blog about a community meeting (conveniently timed during the middle of Coachella weekend) on April 18 regarding a proposed mixed use development for 94 rental units, restaurant and retail in Silver Lake on Sunset at Sunset Junction.

Dear Neighbor, Guess Who's Moving In?
Dear Neighbor, Guess Who's Moving In?

Here’s what the notice says:

Dear Neighbor,

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council

Invites you to attend

Community Meeting / Open House
Saturday, April 18
11:00 AM
Location: The parking lot on Santa Monica between Sanborn and Manzanita, across from Jiffy Lube

Regarding 4000 Sunset Blvd. (Sunset Junction)
Proposed mixed use development for 94 rental units, a restaurant and retail Continue reading Proposed Retail Development In Silver Lake

East Coast Flavor On The East Side

Scooting down Hyperion after work I noticed a pizza joint I have never seen before called “Tomato Pie.” Hungry from ritual starvation, I pulled up their web site as soon as I got home. After impatiently scanning the online menu, bombarded with more options than I expected, my stomach began to groan with anticipation. Tomato Pie’s menu boasts “east coast flavor” pizzas, pastas (hot and cold), salads, subs, desserts, there is really so much to choose from that I couldn’t decide so I called them up to ask what they suggest.

The Grandma from Tomato Pie
The Grandma from Tomato Pie

Another surprise. I totally expected the phone to be answered by an apathetic clock puncher who would be openly annoyed with all of my questions. However, the guy who took my call was friendly and helpful, taking his time to assist me with my virgin Tomato Pie experience. I later found out that his name is Freddy and, along with partner Garrett, runs the joint.

ME: “What do you think is the best thing on the menu?”

FREDDY: “Our most popular item by far is the Grandma.”

The Grandma is a pizza topped with crushed marinated tomatoes over an olive oil base with fresh garlic, basil, oregano, light whole milk Continue reading East Coast Flavor On The East Side

ReForm School Girl


I must have browsed inside ReForm School in Silver Lake countless times before I noticed that the store is focused on sustainable design and green living. With unique and functional accessories for the home and impeccably designed masterpieces (and no sign of hemp or tie dye anywhere!) on every shelf in the store, it’s hard to believe that my shopping habit is also saving the world.

Succulent Terrarium Class at ReForm School
Succulent Terrarium Class at ReForm School

You’re welcome, world. I also didn’t know that ReForm School offers a slate of fun evening classes designed for for adults. What better way is there to recycle my money than by feeding it back into my brain? You’re welcome, brain.

This month’s ReForm School class roster includes “Embroidery 101,” “Needlefelting 101,” “Sewing 101,” and lots of other courses that will teach you how to make such things as your own succulent terrarium, papier-mache bracelet, or even vintage charm jewelry. The best part is, you get to take home whatever it is you learn how to make. ReForm School also offers kid-friendly courses, see their web site for details.

I signed up for the Succulent Terrarium class on March 16, which teaches you how to re-purpose glass containers and plastic toys to make a diorama-style habitat for your succulent (all materials provided). Space is limited, so if you want to join me you better go online and sign up now. You can enroll and pay for all classes via Paypal or credit card here: Continue reading ReForm School Girl

Pour Some Sugar On Me

For reasons I’m too ashamed to tell anyone outside of the deepest most inner circle of my friends, I can no longer show my face at my former hair salon and therefore must reluctantly begin the tiresome process of finding a new home for my hair. Silver Lake may be brimming with totally tantalizing eats, mega hip bars and the best in indie fashion, but one thing that seems to be lacking in my neighborhood is a wide selection of high quality, cutting edge hair salons.

Sugar Hair Salon in Silver Lake

Perhaps hair is the one area where the west side has us beat.

Having walked and scooted by Sugar Hair Salon in Silver Lake dozens of times, I randomly chose this beacon in blue and white as the first stop on my quest for maximum coiffage.

Adriana Rodriguez, co-owner of Sugar, greeted me and immediately began assessing my poorly shaped locks, which had become shamefully sloppy from mad neglect. While we discussed my hair preferences, my eyes were drawn to a giant wall of paintings and other media across the salon.

Adriana explained that the wall is part of a collection called, “100” featuring 100 square feet of art, by 100 Los Angeles-based artists, all for under $100. How rad is that? Apparently, I missed the opening in late February, but the pieces will be on display in the salon through May 24, 2009. Continue reading Pour Some Sugar On Me

It’s Official: Home Ec Department is up and running

homeecpartySorry for the short notice, but I just got confirmation that tomorrow night is the kickoff party for ReForm School‘s new Home Ec. department.

Giveaways and other shenanigans are scheduled to go on all night long, along with great snacks and music.

Jenny Ryan will also be on hand, signing copies of her new book, Sew Darn Cute.

Home Ec Kickoff Party
Friday, February 20, 6-9pm
@ ReForm School
3902 Sunset Blvd.
LA CA 90029

Win tix to The Airborne Toxic Event tomorrow at the Fonda!

Everybody’s fave local-band-making-good hits the stage at the Fonda tomorrow night for what’s sure to be a fantastic hometown show. Want free tickets? The Event is well-known for promoting the Silver Lake music scene and often name-checks their other favorite local bands when they’re performing. Which is admirable and if you’re in a band you should do it too, because nothing gives you more cred than giving cred where cred is due. So tell me your favorite local bands who you think should hit the big time, and we’ll randomly pick some winners to get pairs of tix gratis.  Info on the show is here.

Sunset Junction destruction: Are we about to lose the heart of Silver Lake to a developer’s wrecking ball?

Demolition of Sunset Junction’s distinctive former Red Car station & surrounding buildings could change the heart of a historic neighborhood forever

You know this row of buildings. It’s that cute corridor at the terminus of Santa Monica Boulevard, right at Sunset Junction.

Now imagine it gone. Wiped off the map, along with one private residence and the historic Red Car station–everything on the land spanning from the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Sanborn Ave., (former site of Lovecraft Biofuels) to Manzanita Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd, would be replaced by…wait for it…

A four-story (FOUR STORY!), 60-foot-high apartment / retail monstrosity.

A four-story (FOUR STORY!), 60-foot-high apartment / retail monstrosity with ONE SINGLE EXIT / ENTRANCE on Manzanita Avenue.

Hello, traffic and inflation. Goodbye, charm & community. As if those eyesores across from El Cid weren’t enough of an abomination, now they’re going to try to foist this on us?!


All the info you need is here at the Sunset Junction Destruction website. That site informs us that:
A community input meeting is scheduled for the beginning of February 2009. For questions and concerns, and information on upcoming community meetings please direct inquiries to:

[email protected], Chair, Urban Design & Preservation Committee
www.frostchaddock.com, developers for the 4000 Sunset Blvd Project

Send email & comments to [email protected] and they will be forwarded to The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Eric Garcetti CD13 and appropriate parties concerned. Thank you.

In Memoriam: Rikki Madrigal’s Story, by Brian Bentley

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”Jack Kerouac

I agonized over how to write this, primarily because I knew the subject; she meant many things to me. Other folks around town have written it up already, but I really wanted to “do it justice”–not to mention the whole subject really threw me for an emotional loop–and so I lagged. But my personal baggage should not come between this post and whomever out there who may need to read it, so I’ve tossed my half-completed Notepad drafts into the recycle bin and have just come here, to the wordpress page, to compose this on the fly.

Los Angeles is full of a special breed of amazing women, inspired women, women who wear their damage like red dresses and with whom you fall impossibly in love. These women blaze a trail through the city, equally torn between their dreams and their demons. They’re artists, and in turn they inspire art; despite their sadness, they shine. You’d think with all the beauty that ripples out from them, they could see some sort of way through, but their lives accelerate too fast, and close in on them, and the beauty happens less and the desperation happens more.

I wish I could seize every one of these women by the shoulders and force her to grab onto peace, onto serenity, like a buoy in a sea. To hang on, and to slow down, and to change; to stop burning out so fast like a flare shot off into the night sky, falling fast and guttering, the sparkle turning, too fast, to ashes.

This is the story of Rikki Madrigal, whom I knew towards the end of her life. I did not know her well. When I knew her, I was pretty lost & sad as well.

If I knew her today I would never let her walk away from me the way I did the last time I saw her.

Continue reading In Memoriam: Rikki Madrigal’s Story, by Brian Bentley

A Sunday Sequence

With a little patience I can go into our Silver Lake backyard and be shown amazing things.  Today I was trying (in vain) to get pixels of the swallowtails who’ve teased me all summer with their fluttery fly-bys. But instead a chattering near the cactus gave me this little cactus flower sipper (click thumbs to magnificate).

Hyperspeed: My Morning Commute

So the last couple of my bike commutes I’ve been goofing around with the timelapse capabilities of my handlebar-mounted digicam and the results have been interesting… to me, at least.

There’s no envelope being pushed here, just your standard low-res, potentially motion-sickness-inducing timelapse that condensed my 60-minute 14-mile crosstown journey into four stopmotion-filled minutes. Contrary to what we’ve lately been finding in the media, the trip wasn’t a death-defiant one. I didn’t get doored or get cursed at, or get drenched in flung beverage, or get a ticket, or get shot, stabbed, run over or run off the road. I just get on my bike and get to work — but not on any freeway. Instead I traverse thoroughfares far more frightening than a gridlocked 405: Fairfax Avenue and the boulevards of Venice and Sepulveda. Anyway, I hope you come along for the ride below and enjoy it. My philosophy is that any day I can ride a bike is automatically a better day.


Kudzu as potential eco-fuel?

vinelasher_kudzu.jpgSomeone 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.

Finally some relief!

Notice about the new parking restrictions

For years we’ve had to deal with the increasingly disgusting display (and aroma) of the RVs and other vehicles camped out on Riverside Drive in Silver Lake.

Well, after many complaints, we’re finally going to see some relief: NO OVERNIGHT PARKING restrictions begin tomorrow!

Swiped directly from Diane Edwardson’s blog,

Starting this Friday, 3-14-08, The City will implement a “No Overnight Parking Zone” from 2AM to 6AM daily on Riverside Drive between Los Feliz and Oros St., as well as Allesandro Ave. between Riverside Drive and Glendale Blvd. Residents can obtain permits for “District 527” and more information by calling the Dept of Transportation (213)473-7890.For decades people have lived in motor homes and other vehicles on Riverside Drive. In response to the increased number of vehicles and neighborhood complaints, the City crafted this solution after years of discussion within City Council District 13.Parking District 527 will be expandable if motor homes start parking on adjacent residential streets. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and CD13 identified the most likely streets last fall.IMPORTANT NOTE: If motor homes begin parking on your residential street, report the activity immediately to 1-877-ASK-LAPD and your Senior Lead Officer. Additionally, contact CD13 (if you are south of Fletcher) and report the motor homes to Billie Jean Londono (323)957-4500 or Sallie Martinez (323)478-9002. CD13 will create a file to establish justification for expanding the district. However, the downside is neighbors would have to purchase parking permits. So calling the LAPD is important to reinforce that our residential streets are not appropriate for motor homeless living.

Best espresso in the neighborhood eh?



Spotted this sign on the door of the Starbucks near my place in Silver Lake and almost choked on my dirty chai. That’s a pretty steep claim considering that I consider Intelligentsia and Kaldi both to be in my neighborhood and they easily make the stuff Starbucks serves seem like muddy water. I mean, really, this is verging on offensive. Starbucks is passable and consistent, but the best in the neighborhood? Please. I’m guessing this is a national campaign, maybe we should start a list of Starbucks locations and the “much better espresso option” nearby. Is there a Starbucks and a better place in your neighborhood?