Breaking: More Echo Park Restaurant News

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We just heard Restaurant 15 is closing, and now the Digest has learned that Lot 1 is re-jiggering things as well—thank god…

Owner Eileen Leslie has brought in chef Jaime Chavez—former sous chef at Xiomara and most recently the executive chef at Munchkins in the Culver Hotel.

“We’re on a completely new track,” Chavez told us. “We really want to cater to the people that live in the area—and that includes the Chinese, Hispanic, and African American influences. We’re utilizing the ethnic markets nearby to get produce and stuff we couldn’t get from places that deliver to restaurants. The Chinese markets have incredible quality poultry, duck and chicken with their feet and heads on.”

“They’ve gone through a few people since Josef [Centeno] left. I’ve been there just cooking for about a month and a half, and honestly, I was apprehensive about the food we were serving. But now, with this new menu, I’m really confident. We’re bending over backwards trying to keep it local. When it comes to the daily specials, I’m going out and buying the ingredients myself. We want to highlight foods that come from the area, especially since I grew up a block away.”

…and we hear he still bikes to work. Soooo Echo Park.

The new menu starts sometime later this week. For a sneak peak, here’s Richard Foss’s review of his work at Munchkins.

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