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Jul 3, 2007 05:33 PM

The Pure Luck in East Hollywood

The former Korean/Chinese restaurant with humongous portions located across the street from SCOOPS has been re-opened with the same name as a pub serving beer on tap with vegan appetizers.

I peeked my head in a couple weeks ago and checked it out, they're open late, with a fluctuating closing time between 12am and 2am depending on how many people are in there. I was surprised to see them have Fat Tire Ale on tap, in addition to several other good brands (no Bud/Miller/Coors crap).

I finally checked it out this weekend during a block party event and had a Fat Tire while a friend of mine had one of the German-sounding brands. They also have Happy Valley Hefeweizen, which I wanna try. This place works GREAT as a neighborhood pub. I went to Portland a couple months ago and enjoyed the pubs there. Seems like a little bit of Portland followed me home.

I never had the food there but will check it out next time. I'm not vegan myself but hey, I'm open-minded enough to eat anything.

Earlier that day one of my neighbors who came down to the block party his cousin wanted to check out a bar and I asked him "cocktails or beer?" He said "beer" so I pointed out to The Pure Luck and later found the two cousins chatting away a good two hours later.

BTW, the sign on the top says, "UCK" It's next door to Orange 20 Bikes and as mentioned across the street from the world-famous Scoops Ice Cream shop in the hip "Hel-Mel" (Heliotrope/Melrose) corner of E-Ho.

The Pure Luck
707 N. Heliotrope Drive
Los Angeles 90029

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  1. Vegan appetizers? So it's not Korean anymore? Sounds like something the bike shop people would cook up. Does anyone remember when this place was owned by the Cha Cha Cha guy and served upscale Latin breakfast type stuff?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      That woulda been "Mambo Cafe". Pats, you date yourself, and me. It was a good place while it lasted, though.

      no avatar

      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

        Was that when the Orange 20 building was the original location of Y Que?

        1. re: Normal Garciaparra

          Yes! It was around then. And Show Pony was the cool gallery, maybe in the same place as Scoops. But I am dating myself again.

          1. re: Chowpatty

            That's okay, I'm dating myself too. Been going steady for a while.

      2. re: Chowpatty

        I think it is something the bike shop people cooked up. Haven't had the food yet but they also have Craftsman beer on tap.
        Hel-Mel is the place to be....

        1. re: oro3030

          I was just there last night with a friend. I placed my order at the counter and the dude asked me my name. He recognized me and it turns out he was an acquaintance of mine I knew like 10 years ago...and he told me he was the owner! Yes he used to volunteer in the Bicycle Kitchen across the street and decided to buy the business. He said he's personally vegetarian, not vegan,. but thought vegan food would be a better niche market to get into. The menu changes daily because of supply issues but once those get worked out in the near future they will stick to a permanent menu.

          1. re: Normal Garciaparra

            Small world - I love it when things like that happen. Anyway, did you order food this time and, if so, how was it? (Some vegans are coming for a visit next month and I'm on the prowl for something new.)

            1. re: ElsieDee

              I have eaten there and am happy to report that everything was great. The salad rolls and spring rolls were invented for eating with beer. My girlfriend loves the avocado tostada (although its really just an avocado with salsa on some tortillas; freshness counts). I ahve had the tamales (from Mama's), the cold noodle salad and the black bean burrito- everything has been outstanding. I'm not a vegan and I love this place. They have had trouble staying open on certain days and they've cut back their hours...I hope they can survive: food this good, this healthy and this cheap (with beer!) is a rare find.

              1. re: flowerofhighrank

                Thanks for the food review and suggestions - that avocado tostada sounds decadent! You say that the food is cheap (which I take to mean inexpensive, not meaning bad quality) - can you give me a 'round about estimate on prices?

                Next week I'm being visited by the carnivore segment of the family - but two weeks later the vegans arrive, so I'm starting to create my lists of "places to suggest."

                1. re: ElsieDee

                  There's no item over $10 I believe. And the beers are all $4!
                  The Avocado Tostada is $3. Ben, the owner wanted to make sure the food was good enough for omnivores to appreciate.

                  1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                    Woo-hoo and thanks! I am going to get there as soon as I can - those beer prices are very affordable and it sounds like the food is, too.

      3. I checked this place out over the weekend, and was blown away by the triple combination of excellent food, affordable price and fantastic draft beer. I can't think of another place in LA that has such a combination.
        I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, but the food is so good it doesn't matter. I had the jackfruit "pulled pork" BBQ sandwich and it was unbelievably good, with the texture perfect. It was served on a very nice soft roll, which had been lightly grilled, freshly crinkle cut pickle slices, chipotle bbq sauce and perfectly spaced diced raw onions on top. A lot of thought has gone into this sandwich, and it pays off.
        The rosemary french fries were excellent too, but what makes em even better are the two custom hot sauces they have made for themselves - thai lightning and red lightning. One is thicker, one is more vinegary, both are exactly the kind of thing i like on my fries (im not much of a ketchup guy)

        And the beer is where they really hit the ball out of the park. I had an Alesmith Nut brown ale and a craftsman triple white sage. There are very few bars, much less restaurants, that have such quality brews. And the fact that i dont have to push around and get pushed around by a bunch of chumps at fathers office makes it even better. What a score - a place with great food and great beer that isnt filled with jerks.

        my tab was 17 bucks for two pints of premium beer and my sandwich and fries. thats just ridiculous. I'll be making this a regular stop.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mr mouther

          Ditto here on the BBQ sammich, which I had the other week.

          The Rosemary fries are hit or miss. The first time I had them they were kinda soggy, the second time, nice and crispy, the third, a little of both. But I like the garlic mayo sauce. Never tried the other sauces though. You have to ask for them?

          1. re: Normal Garciaparra

            I asked for hot sauce and the waitress brought over tapatio, sriracha and the two sauces that they have custom-bottled. I asked about the story behind these two bottled sauces because they were pretty damn good, and was told something like "one of the uncles of someone who works there came up with the recipe, and then owner had the production and bottling contracted out.
            i can't remember exactly, but the sauces were yummy x 2

        2. we went on two reccomendations, i am not vegan but always like to try to eat healthy and meatless when i can. waiting in line to order we were seeing the kinks in the service, only one person taking orders on a saturday night at 8:00, she was also the only server and had to find the person by name among 4 or so tables (one with a 15 person party), by wandering around with the dish and calling out the name on the ticket. It seemed to me table numbers would save her a lot of hassle. There were two tables that had food on them that never got bussed the whole time we were there, one with uneaten food and i kept wondering "did people walk out to smoke and never come back?" later i heard the server say to someone that was here table. HUH? okay, onto the food, really interesting and tasty. I had the taco combo, one carnitas one tofu with rice and beans. loved both, especially the carnitas which replicated meat to the "T". Could not eat it all with the rice and beans so took those home for lunch. My boyfriend had the torta and he says "it was good". They were out of fries so he got the potato pals, which were tasty puffs. I think they were supposed to come with sauce? But they didn't. Beers are GREAT and a GREAT deal!!

          1. yah, service is a little weird. in fact, my server last time ate two pickles off my friends plate as she was bussing it. Um, very strange, and pretty gross.
            Of course, the food is damn good. i've had some new things too: that mexican torta with grilled tofu was good. my only complaint was thta the tofu was diced, and i felt like it would have been much nicer with a long thin piece of tufe, especially since the beans fall out of the sandwich so easily already, and i didnt need two things falling out of the sandwich.

            the dressing on the side salad was delcious, and very hard to rememner that there was no dairy in it. well done.
            oh, and i had the pumpkin curry soup special which was EXCELLENT.

            If i had two recommendations for them they would be 1)more daily specials and 2) a couple more entrees to choose from.

            but holy shit it is still one of the best deals in town as far as im concerned and having great beer with tasty food is still a rarity.