Great news, here in Echo Park!
Now if you want a terrific bottle of olive oil, a creamy pint of Dr. Bob's ice cream, some McGrath Farm Swiss chard, or a tub of fresh Gioia ricotta, you just need to hop over to the hipster block of Echo Park Avenue to visit the new green grocer, Cookbook. No need to trek over to Silver Lake or Los Feliz, anymore.
We've finally got something to call our own! And thank goodness it is not another vegan restaurant! Absolutely nothing against vegans or their restaurants, I just think one per block is sufficient. I want some new cafés, affordable bistros, and boutique markets that offer up dynamite food.
Heck, I'd celebrate a decent grocery store.
Thankfully, we now have Cookbook. Cookbook is a tiny storefront (about 500 square feet) that houses an extremely well curated selection of flowers, dry goods, cheeses, produce, bread, and prepared foods.
So many of those for sale are already much beloved editions in my own collection. If the space itself hadn't won me over the moment I stepped inside, the copies of The Zuni Café Cookbook, Canal House Cooking, and the Chez Panissse cookbooks would have. Also well represented are Claudia Roden, David Tanis, and Paula Wolfert. I think you can trust people who stock their shelves with volumes like these.
The owners, Marta Teegan (a chef, master gardener, and neighbor!) and Robert Stelzner have a wonderful idea to have their caterers, Heirloom L.A., feature dishes from a different cookbook each week. Imagine sampling the recipes of a book that you long to buy, right out of the prepared food case, just down the street from your house. Fantastic!
A. and I thoroughly enjoyed a bass confit sandwich and roasted vegetable flat bread made by Heirloom L.A. for lunch yesterday. And let's just say, by the taste of our lunch and the looks of what they're doing on their blog and website, I'd seriously consider hiring them if I had the need.
Besides lunch, I snagged a small bucket of ricotta, a crusty baguette, and a bottle of Bariani extra virgin olive oil from California. I was taking it easy, but I would happily purchase the Creminelli salumi, the Celles sur Belle butter, any of the fresh pastas, San Marzano tomatoes, or PG tips.
Two minutes from my house, this is the place I will turn to, when in a last minute panic about what to make for dinner. Their hours are conveniently 8a.m. to 8p.m., so stopping in for a cup of coffee and a wedge of focaccia in the morning is as easy as picking up some heirloom tomatoes, a bunch of fresh basil, a pound of pasta, and a ciabatta on the way home for work.
And all this, in Echo Park. Hooray!
The fact that the produce selection was almost depleted on Saturday indicates to me that this store is every bit needed and desired in Echo Park. Let's hope that this is just the beginning of more good things to come.
1549 Echo Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90026