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Nov 7, 2008 08:15 AM

Overpriced Los Feliz/Silverlake restos?

Is there an upward trend in prices in Los Feliz and Silverlake? I was at Little Dom's a while back and had one glass of wine, a Ceasar salad to start and spaghetti and meatballs, and got a whopping $55 check. I tried Sila this week, had a skimpy cheese tart with arugula to start, two small burgers (one of the cheapest items on the menu - most of the entrees hover around $20 - $25) with a glass of wine and left the restaurant $45 lighter. I've also noticed the steep prices at Local sans service! And LA Mill! Is there anyone besides me wondering how these places, which are decent but not exceptional, can survive in this economic climate, particularly in Los Angeles where you can get incredible meals at fair prices?

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  1. I'm sure this is true of every neighborhood. But I think one of the big reasons besides the cost of food is that places like Lamill and Little Dom's are new. They had to sign big leases, and they're both decorated to the nines. It takes a lot to amortize that. In the case of Local, he already had the space and it's barely decorated, but the owner is committed to responsibly sourced products which definitely cost more. And in the cases of other places, they figure the market can bear it, since if you can afford to buy a home around there, you must be doing ok. Of course you can get incredible meals at fair prices at many ethnic restaurants, but usually they won't be at the heart of the action (Little Dom's) or be on the cutting edge of food and beverage trends (Lamill). Oh well, there's always the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Best Fish Taco in Ensenada -- BFTE? Anyway, get the combo, it's fish and shrimp together in one taco for $1.75.

      Sometimes I order two combos, ditch the tortilla's, and pile on heaps of shredded cabbage, pickled radish, and avocado salsa.

    2. I lived in Los Feliz since 2004 and still come back to the old neighborhood to hang out sometimes. Yes, everything has gone upscale, although you can still find some affordable joints. If you want more affordable hangouts, try Eagle Rock! I live in Mt. Washington now, and the new places coming up around me are more affordable than the new ones in Silverlake/Los Feliz.

      1. It's just another side-effect of gentrification and the current economy. Los Feliz & Silverlake have a lot more upwardly-mobile people living there, so restauranteurs are seeing in the neighborhoods can sustain a higher-end joint. Chances are they can. Also, the global economy is shit and the price of ingredients keeps going up. All that imported wine and coffee is costing more this year than the year before.

        Want cheap? Go to any of the places that have been there forever, be it Fred 62 or Electric Lotus.

        3 Replies
        1. re: suicidemartini

          Ouch. Fred 62/Electric Lotus "been there forever"?!! Boy, do I feel old! They weren't there when I moved to Silverlake! (Patty? You too?) Now, Palermo, House o' Pies, Astro, Paru's, Burrito King, Red Lion, Taix, THEY"VE been there forever (or at least 20 years plus). . .

          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

            of course, but they've both been there since 1997 (pretty long in LA restaurant years) and they're the two of the cheapest meals I've ever had a full service joint ($5.88 for a grilled cheese and fries!)

            1. re: suicidemartini

              There are those who would dispute a reference to Fred62 as "full service", but I'll acknowledged they've improved. The grilled-cheese and fries at Astro is $7 something, but having not ordered Fred's I don't know how they compare...

        2. I think there are probably expensive/overpriced places in all areas, also as areas become more popular rents for new restaurants are going to be higher. I guess some places can charge more for the "ambiance" even if you can get the same quality food at a hole in the wall a few blocks away. While some places are "overpriced" and doing well..others are definitely going out of business at the same time.

          1. viet noodle house

            pretty good but atrociously expensive.