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Jul 5, 2008 04:24 PM

The Park - Excellent Pre-Dodger Food

We had an early dinner… got there just before they opened. They were nice enough to seat us and let us read the menu while the kitchen prepared for the evening. Service was extraordinary the entire time. They were very friendly and helpful, and had a great sense of humor.

The Szechuan calamari was tasty, but did not meet our expectations. We were expecting something spicy. This dish has a little heat to it (very little), but also has a black bean sauce which makes it kind of sweet. If they called it something other than Szechuan calamari, like maybe Asian calamari or something, we wouldn’t have been surprised. As it was, the dish was fine, but nothing special and a little bit of a letdown as we wanted something spicy.

The corncakes also did not meet our expectations. The menu says “seared shrimp, chipotle butter, roasted tomato salsa and crema.” So we expected the shrimp to be hot. Words like “seared” and “roasted” led us to think the shrimp would be hot. It was served cold, refrigerated cold. Like the calamari, the dish was very flavorful and we liked it. But the explanation did not properly allow us to anticipate what we would be getting. We were a little disappointed with this one, but not as much as the calamari. This is a very tasty small snack.


They had a pan-fried cod special that night with a delicious sauce served over potatoes. I don’t particularly care for the texture of cod, but my wife literally devoured this dish. I tried it, and the flavor was at the same time deep, fresh and tangy. And we both loved the crisp crust they created while cooking. If you like cod, this is among the best we’ve ever had.

The Park Burger also significantly exceeded our expectations. You can pick from about 6-7 toppings, and we chose cheddar and bacon. The cheddar was sharp and melted perfectly, and the bacon was thick enough to retain its flavor and add it to the burger, but not too thick that it overpowered the burger or was hard to eat.

They ask you how you want it cooked, and we told them medium with a little red in the middle. It was cooked perfectly, and I mean perfectly. It was thick and juicy and very flavorful. It had a real beefy taste and with the bacon and the cheddar and the fresh bun, this was a mighty fine burger.

It came with aioli fries that I liked, but the wife was not overly impressed. They’re thin fries that while quite brown in color, weren’t particularly crisp. I loved them, especially the seasoning.

This was a delicious meal, and it was very reasonably priced. We will definitely be back. Maybe before a Dodger game.

As an aside, now we’ve been to The Park (this restaurant), Park Barbecue (very good Korean barbecue in K-Town), and Park Ave. in Stanton (excellent steaks and seafood in an unlikely location). Maybe they're onto something with this Park name.

The Park
1400 Sunset (Corner of Douglas)
East Echo Park
(213) 482-9209

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  1. But have you been to Central Park in Pasadena?
    Anyway, I agree, The Park in Echo Park is very solid. Sorry your shrimp were cold, I really enjoyed the shrimp and corncakes and I think it was served warm.
    The cod sounds good -- I had the duck confit special which was quite special, served with a rajas tamale.
    Too bad the decor isn't terribly appealing, but maybe they'll keep working on it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Thanks Chowpatty. I'll have to add Central Park to my list. I also have Parc on my list.

    2. I appreciate the review, but I just don't understand why anyone would go out to eat before a Dodger game.

      10 Replies
      1. re: soccerandlost

        Because the food at Dodger Stadium sucks.

        1. re: soccerandlost

          why not.. pre game food and drinks.. sounds good to me.. I do the same if I am not bringing in. Last time had a few sandwiches from Bay Cities at the game, very tasty.. Just personal preference I guess..

          1. re: soccerandlost

            Not quite sure of the point of this statement. Some of us just aren't too keen on calling a crappy, skinless hot dog and some whiz-topped chips "dinner." Sorry, soccerandlost.

            And yeah, The Park is definitely a solid neighborhood joint.

            1. re: JeMange

              I guess it's a "to each their own" situation. The food is not gourmet, and the options at Dodger Stadium are far more limited than most, but I've always found that eating the ballpark fare is a critical part of the ballpark experience. Especially given that for years there wasn't much that was positive going on on the field.

              1. re: soccerandlost

                thumbs down to $5 crappy dodger dogs.

                1. re: soccerandlost

                  We have/share season tix and for 30 games a season, one cannot eat at the stadium. We only do a couple of times a year. Good that Canter's arrived. Food quality is not good, one has to wait in lines too long for the $ they make, and a dog + beer =$16.
                  I agree that Park is a welcomed addition. We've been once before a game, and may well go again tonight. I liked the chipotle shrimp on corncakes myself. Friendly service, quick on the prep, very fair prices.

                  1. re: john gonzales

                    I'll give you that. If I had season tix, I'd be looking for alternatives as well. Incidentally, I applaud your perseverance. You are a great fan, and hence a great Los Angeleno.

                  1. re: JeMange

                    I agree entirely with soccerandlost. The food is part of the experience at the Stadium. Who cares if the hot dogs aren't grass-fed natural lamb casing BS. Or if they serve French's mustard instead of artisanal whole grain mustard hand-ground in a molcajete. A baseball game is about drinking beer, sharing fattening food, and watching Ethier hit homers.

                    I'm very content with my grilled Farmer John all-beef Dodger dog, Garlic Fries, Nachos with Cheese Whiz, and a Miller Lite. Yes, it's expensive for what it is, but you are at a ball park and paying for the experience.

                    1. re: love2eat

                      well I wish you well with your indegestion... just kidding, but if you go to more than a few games a year that scenerio grows old very quickly.. Bring it in and not PB &J but some nice food that has your section mates drooling, or go out before hand. I get the point you have pointed out. but that is why they make vanilla and choclate ice cream.. I prefer to have a Dodger Dog only once a season...

                2. does The Park have a liquor license?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lotta_cox

                    No. And they're kind enough to tell you in advance and steer you to a local liquor store. There is no corkage.