7 Ways to Eat and Play in Eagle Rock

Though relatively unknown to some L.A. natives, Eagle Rock is home to enough eateries and activities to fill a day. Eagle Rock is also home to my alma mater, Occidental College, and where I resided for three years. 

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Breakfast

To start the morning off right, Le Petit Beaujolais on Colorado Boulevard offers a delicious French-inspired breakfast. Diners can sit outside in the warm morning sunshine and enjoy a cup of coffee and a croissant or choose from a wide variety of omlettes, french toast, quiches and crepes. The Eggs Florentine Benedict is perfectly cooked with fresh spinach, fluffy eggs and a simple and surprisingly light hollandaise sauce. Since the service is always friendly and attentive, Le Petit Beaujolais is a must for an easy breakfast or brunch any day of the week.

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Play

Permanent Records is a one stop shop for a wide variety of vintage vinyl records and CDs. The shop’s highly-trained staff can answer almost any question about records. For students running out of dorm space, the store is always happy to buy used LPs, 7s, CDs or DVDs for cash or for in-store credit. Aside from having a vast collection of classic rock, soul, funk, R&B;, country, classical and jazz albums, Permanent Records frequently hosts bands to play free performances.

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Lunch

The Eagle Rock Italian Deli provides a wide variety of high quality deli meats, cheeses, fresh bread, olives and a number of Italian goods including pastas, sauces and olive oils. While waiting in line to order, patrons gaze into the glass case holding mountains of fresh, mouth-watering cookies and pastries. The most popular sandwiches are the traditional Italian Grinder and the Caprese Sandwich, both served on Italian bread that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. For only about $7, diners can get a massive sandwich, a bag of cookies and a drink.

Explore

The Eagle Rock Stairs offer a light and local mid-afternoon hike. In the ’20s, when Los Angeles first created public transportation in the form of trolleys, streetcars, buses and light-rail systems, city planners installed the stairs as a pathway for people to get down the hills to schools, shops and transit lines. Staircases were built in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. There is an iPhone application that displays the routes of the stairs all over Los Angeles. Two secret staircases pass through Eagle Rock: one is 3.8 miles long and starts at Los Robles Street off Colorado and the second is 3 miles and starts where Avenue 40 becomes Scandia Way. Charles Fleming’s book, “Secret Stairs,” maps out 42 different walks through the city. The view from the top is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Engage

On Fridays the Eagle Rock Farmer’s Market offers a sampling of fresh produce sold by food vendors who gather each week. This homey farmers market has become a regular meeting spot for Eagle Rock residents. The farmers market is a great place to check out and feel more in touch with the community.

Dinner

Little Beast is making a name for itself as one of the best restaurants in east L.A. People from all over the city come to sample its fresh, seasonal American cuisine. While the prices run higher than some spots in Eagle Rock, it is definitely worth the money. The menu changes constantly because it features in-season ingredients, with both vegetarian and child-friendly options available. Little Beast’s intimate and sophisticated atmosphere provides a convenient location for a romantic date or a dinner with visiting parents. The Burrata and Prosciutto Small Plate for a starter and the Wild Mushroom Risotto for a main course are excellent choices. The menu can be viewed on their website.

Let Loose

Bands always draw an audience at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. The venue is big enough for a crowd but small enough to intimately experience the music. The same people who organize the annual FYF Fest in Los Angeles bring in artists from all over the country. Usually tickets range from $10 to $15.

Eagle Rock offers a wide variety of shops, diners and outdoor locations for students to explore. Even though the land is limited, the opportunities are not. Eagle Rock is an up-and-coming neighborhood that caters to anyone looking for a diverse experience beyond the norm.

This post was originally written for and published by the Occidental Weekly