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From morning to night, Bar Avalon in Echo Park is the place to be. Located in the Mohawk Collective development on Sunset Boulevard, Bar Avalon is a casual neighborhood restaurant where you can start your day with coffee and end your day with wine. Bar Avalon is located inside a brick building with floor to ceiling glass walls. Inside the space is has high barn-wood ceilings which make the space seem larger than it is. Exposed brick walls and leather booths warm the space. The open kitchen offers seating so that you can watch the cooks work. You can also sit at the bar that is cleanly decorated with wine bottles. There is also an outside patio where one can dine and also where you will find planters with herbs that the kitchen uses. All in all, it is a cool east-side space.
The Henry touts themselves as the "greatest neighborhood restaurant" and it may achieve just that on Robertson Blvd in West Hollywood. Surrounded by celebrity-spotting trendy venues, including The Ivy, The Henry has a welcoming and friendly vibe. The Henry is located in the former Newsroom Cafe space on the completely overhauled 100,000 square foot Robertson Plaza. The Henry is owned by Sam Fox, the creator of True Food Kitchen, as well as numerous other restaurant concepts. Fox opened The Henry in Phoenix, where the company's headquarters are based. A popular location in Phoenix, The Henry earned its title of "the greatest neighborhood restaurant" as they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, have a full coffee bar, a cocktail program and offer free wifi. Thus, as a result, many use The Henry as a work space.
One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants is not in my neighborhood. It is across the city but that will never stop me from going back to Kali.....again and again! Kali is the baby of Chef Kevin Meehan and Wine Director Drew Langley. Chef Meehan worked at Citrine and Patina Restaurant Group before launching his underground passion project Kali Dining. Langley worked as Wine Director at Providence for a decade. He and Meehan had met years prior while together at Bastide and Citrine. With a shared passion for fine dining hospitality, Meehan serves a menu of contemporary California cuisine paired with Langley's creative and concise international wine list in a casual, neighborhood restaurant. The menu at Kali consists of locally sourced seasonal ingredients. While elements of the dishes change seasonally, there are a handful of my favorite dishes that I can find when I am there. Kali offers a five-course tasting menu option for $65 ($95 with wine pairing). But if you are with a group of people, I suggest ordering a la carte. While the menu is not a share-plate menu, with four people you can order a handful of first course selections to share and then select a a few second course selections off of the menu and then share them to get a taste of all of the different flavors.