More great coffee and the revitalization of a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz
Los Angeles has always been a jigsaw of neighborhoods, especially when it comes to restaurants: little pockets where good food and drink spots tend to collect, drawn to each other as we’re then drawn to them. The short stretch of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz just east of Vermont Avenue has been such a small pocket for years, and a week ago, when the doors of the coffeehouse Go Get Em Tiger opened for some highly caffeinated business, it was the latest chapter of what’s turning into an actual restaurant row.
Go Get Em Tiger, the third project from award-winning baristas Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville (G&B Coffee at Grand Central Market, Go Get Em Tiger in Larchmont), is far more than a coffee counter. In addition to the excellent coffee program, there’s an extensive menu from chef Ria Wilson, who helped open Sqirl and created the seasonal lunch program at Canelé in Atwater Village. Wilson’s all-day brunch is Filipino-inflected and decidedly on-trend: mung bean salad, steak and eggs, scrambled eggs on biscuits, an adobo grain bowl and, of course, lots of waffles and toast.
Go Get Em Tiger’s 950-square-foot space is fronted by a huge patio, with casual seating and two big olive trees. It’s a patio that will soon be shared with McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, which is opening in the adjacent space, in what’s essentially a duplex.
This pastoral scene goes in next door to Covell, Dustin Lancaster’s wine bar and hotel. And one doorway east from that is HomeState, Briana Valdez’s Tex-Mex taco joint. If you walk up the street in the opposite direction, you’ll pass a medical office, a tattoo parlor and a vintage clothing shop, and then a door that still has lettering for Mother Dough, the much-loved pizza place that closed in January. This is the future home of Kismet, the new Middle Eastern-California restaurant from chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Madcapra), in partnership with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Trois Mec), that will open in late fall.
If many of these names seem familiar to those who frequent Grand Central Market, downtown L.A.’s popular century-old food hall, there’s good reason. “We brought in our friends from Grand Central,” said Glanville (the “G” of G&B) on Friday while sitting on Go Get Em Tiger’s patio. “Community plays a big part.”
“Kyle did just call me up,” confirmed Michael Palmer, who owns McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams with his wife, Eva Ein, in an email. McConnell’s, G&B and Madcapra’s falafel stand are all within steps of each other at Grand Central, the kind of friendly collective that Palmer hopes will continue in Los Feliz. “Ultimately, it’s about creating a community and neighborhood where before, there was an underutilized stretch of high-density boulevard commuter traffic,” Palmer wrote.
Both Palmer and Glanville credit Lancaster with anchoring this part of Los Feliz when he opened Bar Covell in 2010. Further establishing the small neighborhood’s food credentials are Yuca’s on Hollywood, the outpost of the beloved 40-year-old taco hut on Hillhurst Avenue and Umami Burger. And if you needed further proof that this is an on-trend stretch of sidewalk, there’s a barbershop called Sweeney Todd’s and a massive Goodwill across the street from Go Get Em Tiger’s leafy patio.
“It feels pretty special,” said Madcapra’s Sara Kramer. “We’re all in such good company.” We all are indeed.
HomeState, 4624 Hollywood Blvd.; Covell, 4628 Hollywood Blvd.; Go Get Em Tiger, 4630 Hollywood Blvd.; McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, 4634 Hollywood Blvd.; Kismet: 4648 Hollywood Blvd., Umami Burger, 4655 Hollywood Blvd.; Yuca’s on Hollywood, 4666 Hollywood Blvd., all in Los Feliz.
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