NEIGHBORHOODS / EAGLE ROCK
'Colorado cool' is the boulevard rule
Hip new hangouts are making this community thoroughfare the place to see and be seen, as well as where to eat, drink and shop.
Sandra Mastroianni, owner of Cactus Gallery in Eagle Rock. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
FOR THE RECORD:
Eagle Rock: A photo caption in Tuesday's Calendar section with an article on the Eagle Rock neighborhood described Occidental College students as taking a break along Colorado Boulevard. The photo showed students on the Occidental College campus. —
Nestled in northeast L.A., Eagle Rock is a little hipster-ville in the making. The pizza at Casa Bianca and the breakfasts at Auntie Em's have been drawing crowds for years, but other establishments are creating an eclectic mix of coffeehouses, bars and eateries worth a drive. The influx of kids from Occidental College -- whose current claim to fame is a former student named Barack Obama -- also helps fuel the demand for all things cool. A sampling along Colorado Boulevard:
The Oinkster is a diner with minimalist décor that serves up "slow fast food." It's a concept by chef André Guerrero of Max in Sherman Oaks and features a simple menu (Belgian-cut fries, burgers, slow-roasted pork, pastrami and chicken) with prices generally under $10. Little flourishes set Oinkster apart from its faster-food counterparts: Gruyère cheese for the Angus burger, roasted garlic aioli dip for the fries, and beers such as Stella Artois and Widmer Hefeweisen on tap. 2005 Colorado Blvd., (323) 255-6465, www.theoinkster.com.
In the java zone
Swork is an independent coffee shop with an IKEA-inspired interior that's surviving without a Seattle-based seal of approval. There's free wireless with purchase, which has mass appeal in this town-and-gown community. For families, there's a dedicated play area for kids and a number of drinks for pint-sized customers (sans coffee). Their adult beverages aren't bad either. 2160 Colorado Blvd., (323) 258-5600, www.sworkcoffee.com.
What's in a name?
The Coffee Table Bistro opened earlier this year with a name that's a little deceiving. It's not a late-night caffeine joint, but rather a haven for beer connoisseurs. With about 16 choices on tap and more than 100 others in bottles, it's easy to pass up the Bud for a Belgian beer or sample smaller California craft breweries. The sleek décor (is minimalist a trend along Colorado?) contrasts with the sports-bar feel emitted from the large TVs around the room. 1958 Colorado Blvd., (323) 255-2200, www.coffeetablebistro.com.
Eagle Rock Plaza is nicknamed the "Mall of Manila," with several places catering to the area's large Filipino population. Jollibee serves up burgers and fries along with Filipino favorites such as palabok (a noodle dish) and spicy fried chicken. Goldilocks Restaurant & Bakeshop is a sit-down place with adjacent bakery (try the sweet ensaymada bread with butter, sugar and grated cheese). Seafood City offers an array of imported goods and fresh fish, meat and produce. 2700 Colorado Blvd., (323) 256-2147, www.shopeaglerock.com.
Ziemba is a freelance writer. email@example.com