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Japanese café coming soon to Echo Park | Ethical Coffee in Elysian Valley | Highland Park’s leading eats

Sep 28, 2018

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BY CECILIA PADILLA-BRILL

The owner of a new Elysian Valley coffee roaster is on the road to promote his company. A BBQ place has opened in Echo Park while a Japanese-style cafe is preparing to open. And a Lincoln Heights bookseller is holding a downsizing sale.

Elysian Coffee Roasters, which began operations last year in Elysian Valley, is now seeking to raise awareness of its ethical approach to coffee roasting and sales. According to the company’s website, ECR reinvests its profits to develop the areas from where its coffee beans are purchased and sold, participates in nutrition programs in Honduras and offers coffee that is traceable, fairly traded, and grown in organic environments. Launch parties ae being held throughout the nation, with the first bash happening in St Louis, Mo., hometown of owner and founder Shane Mulligan. A launch party is happening for Los Angeles but the date and time have yet to be announced. Want a bag of ECR’s small batch beans? Order online or wholesale.

A slice of Tokyo is opening next month in Echo Park by way of Konbi, the owners have announced. Chefs Nick Montgomery and Akira Akuto, who are both from Osso in Los Angeles and Momofuku in New York City, focus on daytime fare at the Japanese café. The restaurant has been getting press for months, leading L.A. Magazine to call Konbi “a staple on ‘most anticipated openings’ lists.”  Expect pastries, coffee from Coffee Manufactory, seasonal veggies and Japanese style sandwiches. Opening date is set for Tuesday, Oct. 2. Konbi is at 1463 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.

If you are looking for something more meaty than a crustless Japanese-style sandwich, Baby Blues BBQhas opened in the 1900 block of Sunset, where it replaces Costa Alegre Mexican restaurant. The menu includes pulled pork and catfish sandwiches, Memphis-style ribs, beef brisket and hush puppies. Baby Blues BBQ is at 1901 Sunset at Reservoir.

Bookfinger, a bookstore located at the Brewery in Lincoln Heights, is holding a half-off sale as it prepares to downsize and move to a smaller space, said proprietor Steven Kilfoy. The sale applies to  used, rare, and out-of-print hardbacks,  paperbacks, LPs, and posters. Bookfinger is at 620 Moulton Ave. #113.

Two Highland Park restaurants were named in Los Angeles Magazine’s “3 New Restaurants you have to try this October.” First off, Hippo is happening with its Cali-Italian vibe and offerings of sweet corn cappellacci and harissa-rubbed roast chicken crafted by chef Matt Molina, formerly of Mozza. Teresa Montaño’s Otoño was also praised for bringing her modern Spanish cuisine to the old Frank’s Camera Building. Tapas, pintxos and paellas paired with gin and tonic or vermouth libations make for an unpredictable culinary adventure. Hippo is at 5916 N. Figueroa Street. Otoño is at 5715 N. Figueroa St. Both are in Highland Park.

That’s it for this week’s Shopper & Diner Report!

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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