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Mezcal bar debuts in Echo Park; Highland Park gourmet grocer planning to sell beer and wine; Silver Lake flea market’s new hours

Jul 6, 2018

Bar Calo owners Brooke Fruchtman and Jamie Turrey | Courtesy Bar Calo

BY CECILIA PADILLA-BRILL

Mezcal and Mexican-inspired fare has makes its way into Echo Park this week by way of Bar Caló, which debuts Friday, July 6 at 4 p.m.  Situated in between Sunset Brewery and Alternate Universe in an unassuming Sunset Boulevard strip mall, the 1,300 square-foot intimate space is the brainchild of husband and wife team Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman, owners of Ostrich Farm across the street and neighborhood residents for the past 15 years.

Bar Caló pays homage to Turrey’s Chicano heritage, the couple’s trips to Mexico City and the historic Echo Park neighborhood where they live and work. Designed by Fruchtman, the space accommodates 30 diners inside and 25 diners outside to enjoy shareable plates from Ostrich Farm alumna Carrie Funk and cocktails from former Bestia bar manager Jeremy Simpson.

The bar menu includes  thirty selections of mezcal from independent Mexican producers. Drinks range from a “Market Margarita” using ingredients Simpson sources from the farmer’s market, and a “Brown Buffalo,” a riff on an Old Fashioned made with Oaxacan corn whisky, bourbon, chipotle syrup and Angostura bitters.   The menu features all-day meals,  including like the twice baked sweet potato with house made chorizo, cilantro-almond pesto, feta, and a poached egg; and the quesadilla de jamaica with hibiscus flowers, queso fresco and mezcal salsa.  But there will also be breakfast items, like the short stack savory corn pancakes, and Tom Kha ceviche and Oaxaca hot chicken for dinner.

Bar Caló is at 1498 Sunset Blvd. near Portia in Echo Park.

In other dining and shopping news …..

Cookbook, the high-end grocery, has applied to sell beer and wine to-go at its Highland Park store, according to state alcohol license information.  Owners Marta Teegan and Robert Stelzner opened the market on Figueroa Street last fall about five years after they opened their first store in Echo Park, which does not sell alcohol.  The beer and wine license for the Highland Park store is still pending. Cookbook Highland Park is at 5611 Figueroa St. near Avenue 56.

More beer and wine news …. Pollen in Elysian Heights  now serving beer and wine, the owners announced on Facebook. Although the team is “over the moon” to have the beer and wine license, it is reminding its customers to drink and drive responsibly. Australian restaurant owners Bonnie Shearston and Tom Sanceau took over the former Fix Coffee space last year.  The  Pollen is at 2100 Echo Park Ave. at Baxter in Elysian Heights.

Food trucks are a dime a dozen these days, but the Asadero Chikali food truck is a true standout, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Pérez family certainly has something good going on with the Mexicali-themed fare. Take the handmade flour tortillas made from dough imported from Mexicali, fresh barbacoa, guisados and vampiros, a popular snack mostly served in Sinaloa and the border states of northern Mexico. The Asadero Chikali food truck is at 401 S. Atlantic Blvd. near E. 4th in East Los Angeles.

The Silver Lake Flea Market is cooling down a bit during these hot summer months. Starting July 14, the market will operate on Saturday evenings, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. instead of its usual noon to 5 p.m. time slot, a company email reports. Now, customers can beat the heat while shopping for vintage clothes, vinyl, furniture and accessories, along with new items such as apothecary, home décor, artwork and most things in between. DJ Daiana Feuer will be spinning and opening night’s bites come from Jogasaki Burrito Food Truck. Silver Lake Flea Night Market begins Saturday, July 14 and every Saturday after. Silver Lake Flea Night Market is at Micheltorena Street Elementary School, 1511 Micheltorena St. at Sunset in Silver Lake.

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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