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15 Restaurant in Echo Park

lil mikey Sep 6, 2007 08:44 PM

This is in the old La Paz Salvadoran space on Echo Park Blvd, a block north of Sunset. I loved this place for its pupusas on Sunday morning.

The new owner has really improved the looks, and there is now air conditioning. I like the rock photos (Keith Richards, Slash, Tommy Lee, Lemmy) on the walls. There is an imposing bar, with nobody at it because they don't have their liquor license. There is a TV over it, but the volume is turned down and there is light music playing in the restaurant. You can't hear the TV.

There's a small menu that you can see on their website so I won’t go into it here.

There is also a $15 at 15 deal where you pick an appetizer (calamari, salad or quesadilla), an entrée (braised short ribs, steak with chimichurri sauce, or tonight’s special: Chilean sea bass), and a dessert chosen by the management. 3 courses for $15. A deal if you ask me.

They start you off with sliced pita and a small bowl of decent hummus. We also ordered some virgin mojitos that were very sour. They could have used a little more sugar.

The calamari was quite good and served with Thai sweet pepper sauce.

The salad was also pretty good, with tender greens, baby tomatoes and a vinaigrette dressing.

The sea bass was reportedly very good. However the shortribs were offensively oversalted. It was like they were brined. And to make matters worse, the mashed potatoes had a healthy mix of horseradish (normally I would love this, but I needed something to neutralize the salt in the meat). I was starving, and it’s not a huge portion so I ate it anyway. But I will not order this again.

The winner of the night was the dessert: chocolate croissant bread pudding. This was nothing short of excellent. I will definitely order this when I go back.

And I will be back. I’m sure I can find something I like on the menu. I want to try the hamburger, the steak with chimichurri sauce and the chicken.

EDIT: (It's Echo Park Blvd, not Ave)

15
1320 Echo Park Blvd (1 block north of Sunset)
Echo Park

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15 Restaurant
1320 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

  1. h
    hpcat Sep 7, 2007 10:23 AM

    I haven't been to 15, but I was a semi-regular at La Paz. Does anyone know if they moved somewhere else? I loved their desayunos salvadoreno.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hpcat
      e
      emmy Dec 29, 2007 08:28 AM

      Yes, does anyone know whether Café La Paz moved somewhere else? I loved their pupusas, their curtido, their pollo encebollado and pollo guisado, their mojarra frita, and their empanadas de leche....

    2. l
      LLLLL Sep 10, 2007 11:08 AM

      what is the web address. I cannot seem to find it through Google. Thanks

      1 Reply
      1. re: LLLLL
        Chowpatty Sep 10, 2007 11:22 AM

        I don't think they have a website. Here's a listing from Metromix.
        http://losangeles.metromix.com/restau...

      2. t
        tcb720 Oct 4, 2007 08:20 PM

        Re-Edit... It's Echo Park AVE... They have it wrong on their menu/cards, etc. GREAT food though. Amazing short ribs. Will go back.

        1. r
          rednax8 Oct 28, 2007 09:17 AM

          Ugh. Having read previous posts and reviews warning of spotty service/food, I thought I'd give it a shot anyway, seeing as there are few decent local restaurants in echo park. We got there @ around 7:30 on Sat. eve. and there were only a handfull of diners. After being told to sit where we wanted, we waited and waited and waited to place our order. When the server came, he didn't take our orders, but told us of the specials... the fish of the day were 'scallops'... that's all he said; no desrciption on preperation... just the one word. After waiting even longer, we were finally able to order, and then continued to wait for our appetizers; which were ok. Our main courses came out too soon, and my Kobe Burger that I ordered medium-rare was not only practically raw, but refrigerator cold as well.... I sent it back. I was offered no apologies. I was offered no replacement. I got back the same piece of meat, which I only ate a few bites of; that bad. Now, we all know a good server can make up for a shakey kitchen, and vice verse.... but in this case, our server was apathetic. The best way to describe the food was mediocre. Sorry I went and wasted my money.

          1. b
            blitzy Oct 28, 2007 11:52 AM

            We've been to 15 twice. Both times we've gotten the $15 meal (which is an insane deal, we thought). We had a sea bass, short ribs, a pumpkin pasta, and the scallops. Plus the calamari, a terrific salad and the quesidilla. We enjoyed almost everything. I can't think of anything that was BAD. I'm particularly sensitive to salt and don't remember the short ribs being salty at all. I think they're getting their "legs," but for a neighborhood without too many restaurant options, we really liked 15 and have recommended it to many. It's just nice having someplace to eat at without driving several miles.

            1. p
              patterjen Dec 28, 2007 09:23 AM

              15 is alright. We went for the 3 courses for $15 dollar menu. It is a good opportunity to try a variety of things with out breaking the bank. Everything we had was just fine, but not impressive. I am really getting tired of menus that sound better than they are and 15 was no exception. My husband got the burger, which sounded really good, but so blah. My short ribs tasted fine but they just could have been so much better. The ingredients were all there but they did not come together as one would hope. Sure, it's great to have more dinning establishments in the neighborhood, but somewhat disappointing. I am sure that they are still figuring things out and hopefully their dishes will improve.

              2 Replies
              1. re: patterjen
                c
                carter Dec 28, 2007 11:14 AM

                Were you there last night, the 27th? I was also, and your comments fairly well summed up our experience too. Had the empanada and crab cake appetizers to start, and both were good enough yet not all that compelling to reorder on a future visit. One entree was the pork loin on flageolet beans with brussels sprouts which was a good sounding combination, and the beans and sprouts were tasty enough, yet the pork ordered medium rare was tougher than it should be, and the flavors just did not meld into one really great combination. The other item was the duck confit which was also tasty enough, yet will never allow you to forget the one you had at Comme Ca or probably any of the many other establishments serving it these days.
                Did not get dessert as only one was available, meaning the chocolate bread pudding one referred to above but since I don't do chocolate, we passed.
                2 glasses of wine, one iced tea, two entrees and two appetizers, and the bill was $72 plus tip.
                Summary:
                If going to the Music Center or Disney Hall, and you need a place to eat conveniently beforehand, it is good enough, yet it is not yet a destination restaurant unless you live within 5-10 minutes of the place. And parking is not all that fun either. Yet the place, concept, and what they are trying to do warrants their striving to improve things and keep it going.
                Yet to take an hour from sherman oaks as last night took is not warranted!

                1. re: carter
                  Chowpatty Dec 28, 2007 11:18 AM

                  I would agree. We had a pork dish made two ways -- one piece excellent, the other very tough. My salmon was fine, but not memorable. Great alternative for the neighborhood which has very few sit-down full service restaurants, but not a destination. I'm so tired of chocolate bread pudding, even though the one at Comme Ca was divine...

              2. luswei Dec 28, 2007 10:19 AM

                First of all, their website
                www.restaurant15.com

                We've been there twice. Both times our food was way oversalted. A shame. We liked our waiter, the space, the concept.

                1 Reply
                1. re: luswei
                  r
                  rachaeln Dec 30, 2007 08:56 AM

                  We were there a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the food. They DID have a full bar, (with a lot of silly sounding cocktails...the one we ordered off the menu - an "apple pie" or some such name - was DREADFUL... sour apple pucker, cinnamon, heavy cream and carmel...not a good combo) and the service was fine. We had the short ribs, salmon and 2 caeser salads and thought that the price is right and the location works...

                2. tooth Feb 8, 2008 04:45 PM

                  Definitely have mixed feelings about 15. I'm not sure whether it is what the neighborhood needs. Also the menu seems confused, I've been there a couple of times, both times feeling misled by the menu. I had a fennel and endive salad with pumpkin seeds that came out basically dressed in water. The duck confit was fatty but not delicious. The server was a little pushy about what wine I should order but otherwise the service was very attentive. I guess I just wish the food was a little more innovative, the menu does seem dated, like a lot of wolfgang puck recipes rehashed. The pieces seem to all be there, but it lacks a certain umph.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tooth
                    a
                    agnes_varda Apr 13, 2008 11:17 AM

                    Ugh, the many TVs that one sees from the street, we live in Echo Park and this is NOT what we need. I can just see the Hollywood crowds and plastic surgeries standing in line to get in, just like it happened at the Short Stop. The restaurant breaks with the aesthetics of the street. If you want a restaurant like this go to to Hollywood.

                  2. t
                    tcb720 Apr 15, 2008 01:32 PM

                    Actually... it is Echo Park Ave, not Blvd. (I live around the corner)

                    Great place, great soups. I have enjoyed every meal i've had. My only critique is that it can be a bit salty, but stangely my side of brussels sprouts were totally bland and undercooked. I can forgive them though because my pasta dish was really good.

                    As far as the way the restaurant functions, they definitely need to work out a few kinks, but not so much that I won't go there and I'm kind of picky. Oddly strange acoustics make it extremely loud.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: tcb720
                      p
                      ponypants Jun 26, 2008 02:37 PM

                      I've been there at least a doz times and it's great for a local spot. I'm sick of Edendale grill and Masa just SUCKs (how many Panini's can you eat with a 12$ glass of wine) At 15 I've had the Risotto special several times and it's A+ The Kobe burger is very good (just don't ask for it rare or the inside will be raw) the lavender fries are PERFECT! Dessert of the day is always very good they usually incorporate Mexican chocolate. The male waiters are a bit weird, I had a very good waitress once. The owner is super nice and friendly the acoustics do suck it gets load very quick. I think it's funny when they ask us if we would like a window seat as if we are overlooking Echo Park river instead it's the old gross Pioneer Chicken. For Echo Park I think it's an A+ I just wish I could walk to dinner.

                      1. re: ponypants
                        s
                        silverlakebodhisattva Jun 30, 2008 05:39 PM

                        Tried it on Friday, on the Chowspouse's "Let's go. NOW!" impulse. The $15 three-part prixe fixe is now $19. Still a pretty good deal for what they're doing, especially compared with what the same food would cost five miles west. Salmon with Watermelon and shaved fennel main nearly perfectly executed. Mac&Cheese pretty much, well, mac&cheese; was hoping for a bit more ooomph. Wine by the glass selection tasty, interesting, and priced right.

                        r gould-saltman no avatar

                        1. re: ponypants
                          love2eat Jun 30, 2008 07:42 PM

                          You can have your 15; but please do not dis Pioneer Chicken. Thank you.

                          1. re: love2eat
                            p
                            PWORD9D8 Jul 6, 2008 07:09 PM

                            You have to love pioneer chicken if you live in Echo Park...

                      2. lotta_cox Jul 6, 2008 10:08 PM

                        I have been to 15 many many times since they opened almost a year ago. They have a full liquor license and very reasonably priced wine. I have always had great service and met the owner several times, which is a bonus in terms of personalizing the experience for me. I sit at the bar fairly often during basketball season and just in general love 15.

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