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Elf Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 13 reviews )
Contact 213-484-6829

2135 W Sunset Blvd (at Alvarado, in Echo Park), Los Angeles, California, USA, 90026

Very small and cozy vegetarian restaurant with nice ambiance and neighborhood feel. Main course range from $14-18 each. Vegan dishes are marked on the menu. BYOB. Limited seating, dine inside or out on the sidewalk. Parking on street. Open Wed-Sun 6:30pm-11:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Organic, Mediterranean, Gourmet

Reviews (13)

First Review by xtfrclqn

Best tagine in LA - Edit

Outstanding vegan friendly restaurant. What I like the most of this small charming restaurant is that it's plant-based in its pure sense. No attempt to substitute meat-based dishes with tofu or fake meats. Its masterful recipes have to be meatless otherwise they would not be as good. Its menu is very well conceived, creative, everything that I had was absolutely tasty and very well served. I highly recommend sharing one entree with two people, otherwise, it would be too much food.

This small café is also in a cool neighborhood, easy to reach by public transportation and both the hostess and the servers are very friendly. The music is of very good taste. It would blend with a perfect evening. However, you should be careful about one aspect. Since this restaurant is small and extremely popular, it is definitely not the place for a spontaneous meal. You should reserve, otherwise, you'll face high chances of not getting seated.

Pros: Delicious food, Location, Environment

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Nice to try - Edit

After having tried out all the top contenders in LA, this place was the next one down the list even though it’s not completely vegan and does use dairy/eggs. We stayed in Hollywood and had to make a special trip out to Echo Park just for dinner. Was it worth getting out of the way for? Not so much for vegans. If you aren’t, you might have a better experience.

There were many vegan options on the menu, but most of them were kind of boring and overpriced ($10 for avocado tahini puree with pita? $14 for kale salad? $13 for crudités?) Also, in case you don’t do dairy and hate mushrooms, you’re SOL because they seemed to take center stage on the menu. We ordered the buffalo oyster mushrooms for starter, the baked tart and the mushroom shish kabob for entrées. Everything was good, just a tad oversalted. The baked tart that everyone raved about was a little disappointing. Without cheese, it was dry and bland and could have used some kind of sauce. The vegetables tasted very fresh and shone through, which was probably the only one thing that I took away from this meal. Prices were, again, on the expensive end. From what I saw on the other tables, pasta and risotto came in massive portions. Get those for more bang for the buck if that’s your thing.

The décor was cute and rustic. Slightly dim, the atmosphere was set up for date nights. Service was friendly. The food was decent, but the value wasn’t quite right. This one is a 3.5 rounded up to a 4.

Pros: fresh & tasty food

Cons: pricey, uninteresting menu

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One of my favorite LA veg spots - Edit

Get here early or make a reservation (which they recently started taking).
BYOB, or if you forget there is a bottle shop nearby. It's a cozy little restaurant and hard to find. It sits right next to Mohawk Bend which the just the opposite in size and atmosphere. They make great tarts which you can order filled with just about anything.

Pros: Creative, delicious food, BYOB

Cons: Small, BYOB, Cash only

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  Contributions +19

Great - Edit

loved this place, my sister took me here. Small, but it has a cool vibe. I had the roasted beet and fennel and it was amazing. When I first looked at the food going around I thought the portions looked small, but I ended up not finishing it, the food was very filling everyone took leftovers. The flavors were so rich that you felt satisfied quickly. Awesome place, would go again next time I'm in L.A.

Pros: Quality of the food, Friendly, Vibe

Cons: Price

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Good Food - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and stopped in for dinner once. Here's my Elf Cafe review.

It's easy to overlook Elf Cafe because there is no visible sign from the street, so my friends and I just looked for the number.

The restaurant is rather small but very cozy with interesting eclectic music playing in the background. Long lamps hang from the ceiling gave off a warm glow to the interior, and a candle shed light on each small table. There is also a counter where guests can sit.

At first glance, the menu seemed to consist of mainly dishes with cheese, but upon further examination, we were able find several vegan dishes. We ordered a handful and shared. And we enjoyed them all. Each dish was brought to our table nicely arranged and warm.

Personally, I liked the vegetable tagine (moroccan spiced vegetables over couscous) and the kale salad with citrus dressing. The roasted beet and braised fennel was quite delicious as well. Our party finished every bit of food and left very satisfied.

Overall, the food at Elf Cafe is certainly more creative and unique than many other veg restaurants in Los Angeles. I highly recommend it -- go early before the crowd gets there cuz it can get really busy.

Pros: friendly service, gourmet & organic, head chef onsite

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Why haven't I gone here sooner? - Edit

Elf is like a dream come true. I instantly felt like I was transported to Paris upon walking through the door. Come with your own bottle of wine, good friends and relaxing conversation. Elf is an experience to enjoy. The Elf Salad is gigantic and can be split. The meals are works of art with plants as paint.

Pros: Atmosphere

Cons: Cash Only

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Best vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles - Edit

I've been to Elf at least a dozen times and its never disappointed me. The food is top notch and the service is unusually attentive.
I recommend the big stuffed portabello mushroom, torte, asparagus starter, tahini avocado starter, the soup, crepe with goat cheese butter, beet and fennel or any of the salads. Remember to bring a bottle of wine.

Pros: food, service, atmosphere

Cons: small size, wish they had lunch

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OK Food; Lousy Service - Edit

Food's the sort startng vegetarians make--pastas and savory pastries loaded with cheese, because you don't know how else to flavour the food. Mac & cheese is a more sophisticated version of what Kraft dishes out--nothing like the real deal, which is fragrant with becahemel & bay leaves.

Don't go here for polite service. The cook and waiters glare at you stonily (the place is so small you cannot avoid looking at them), as if to reproach you for imposing your business on them. Our waitress coolly forgot to mention the daily special to us, then lied that it wasn't ready when we were seated (we saw the special, a stuffed onion deal, on the counter!).

Pros: vegetarian

Cons: lousy service, too small space, no wine

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Good Food, Nice Staff - Edit

I went to Elf with my Mum as we are always excited to try new veg restaurants. We thought Elf was pretty good, the kale salad made me feel like superwoman, so much healthful goodness. I remember their dessert special (pear torte?) was good too. It is on the pricey side, but worth a try.

Pros: good food, healthy cuisine

Cons: expensive, small, limited parking

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I like the vibe and the food - Edit

It was good to be prepared on the no-credit/debit card front & it can be a bit crowded, but the service and food are unfailingly lovely. I've been four or five times now, with different sets of friends, and everyone has enjoyed it. Dishes I enjoyed: avocado hummus, tomatoes and feta, th Elf salad (I think that's what it was caled), the red pepper tart, and more. It's wonderful to have another vegetarian restaurant that obviously cares a lot about food and the whole dining experience.

Pros: great savory tarts, friendly, sexy staff, chefs who care

Cons: a tad crowded, cash required, closed Sun-Tues I think

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