If you’ve lived in LA for a while, you’re probably familiar with El Chavo. El Chavo is located right at the border of Silver Lake and Los Feliz, just steps away from the Vista Theater, making it a perfect “dinner and a movie” destination, or a great spot to fill up before or after an epic drinking session at the Tiki Ti.
El Chavo is both restaurant and bar, with El Chavito bar attached to the side of the eatery. Open since 1966, it’s a popular spot for the locals, and for good reason. Mexican fare and happy hour specials are a big draw to an area slowly getting consumed by gentrification and high prices. That’s why when El Chavo announced their closure back in late 2015, it was sad news for regulars who frequented the spot.
The fate of El Chavo was unknown until recently (just a few weeks ago), when they re-opened as an all new restaurant. It’s a collaboration between seafood pop-up The Ceviche Project, Freddy Vargas of Scarpetta, and cocktails curated by The Cocktail Academy. The newly revamped restaurant offers a more upscale and detailed menu showcasing a variety of seafood-centric dishes that will satisfy pescetarians. In addition to fish, a variety of other traditional Mexican dishes are available for those seeking more variety, like their veggie torta, chile relleno, and arroz con pato.
As of now, the pop-up will last for six months, giving you till around summertime to visit the spot. Prices vary from $8 for appetizers, to $10-$18 for the ceviche bar and entrees. If you’re looking for more affordable eats, check out their new happy hour available from Tuesday - Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. It’s a good deal at $10, where you get a Bandera (a cocktail with tequila, lime, and sangria), three oysters, and a beer. Or you can opt for one of the other creative libations, of which they have many.
Overall, every dish at El Chavo will be a hit if you’re looking for good Mexican eats, especially some good ceviche.
Spanish Octopus Tostada
Avocado mousse, tomato, red onion, cucumber, habanero oil, cilantro flowers, Extra Virgin Olive oil.
If you like octopus, you’ll love this dish. A crispy tostada topped with big, fresh chunks of tender octopus, complemented by the perfect condiments. It’s an excellent appetizer-sized option to start your meal with. So good you may want to order two.
Yellowtail in a Young Coconut
Crispy corn, jicama, shaved market carrots, pineapple leche de tigre, Extra Virgin Olive oil, jalapeno, fried plantains, borage flower.
Definitely the star of the ceviche bar menu. The Yellowtail in a Young Coconut takes a while to prepare, but in the end it’ll be worth the wait. Melt-in-your-mouth yellowtail with crunchy jicama are a great textural combination. The pineapple leche de tigre juice in the coconut marinating all the ingredients is divine. Luckily, it comes with a spoon, since you’ll want to drink every last drop. Also, you get to scrape off and eat the delicious coconut meat in the end.
Housemade chorizo, queso fundido, and tomato.
A nice hot dish that’ll warm you up. The roasted poblano pepper has the smoky taste that pairs well with the queso fundido and chorizo. The sauce that tops it all off is seasoned perfectly and generously poured.
Choice of beer, lime, and secret mix
Bowl-sized goblets of micheladas are served with your choice of Mexican beer. The glass is rimmed with plenty of salt and tajin, while the “secret mix” adds just the right amount of salty and savory.
Unlimited fresh tortilla chips that you can dip into their house spicy salsa, which is reminiscent of the old El Chavo, with an upgrade. Unlimited tasty chips...need I say more?
Tatiana Ernst is a writer and photographer born and raised in LA. When she's not writing about food, you can catch her shooting film photography of the city streets. You can also find out more about her on her site.
All three of Cain Carias' puppets, El Triste, La Smiley, and his Little Mr. E puppet, were in the trunk of his 2003 Red Honda Civic Coupe, which was parked at the corner of Santa Monica and North Heliotrope Dr. before being stolen.
A 31-year-old man attacked five people at about noon yesterday in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach, leaving four, including a two-year-old, with minor injuries. The man was stopped by a police officer who shot him, leaving him non-life threatening injuries.