This taco stand popped up at the biannual Echo Park Craft Fair in Silver Lake this past weekend. It seems you can’t drive a block in Los Angeles wihtout seeing either a small taco joint, truck, take-out window or improvised stand. But this one is unique in a couple of ways, most notably in its architecture and construction. The do-it-yourself quality to the construction and use of materials is clever. Long wood boards have been slotted into the gaps in a stack of wood pallets. These pallets form columns and the boards function as shelves and a counter. The menu items are written in chalk on the side of the pallets. White fabric has been thrown over the contruction to form a roof. Then there is the decor. There’s a Tibetan Buddhist-style string of colorful flags strung along the top of the stand. Woven Mexican bowls on the columns add color. Potted plants accent the facade and rest on heavy wood blocks that help support the columns. It’s brilliant, though one wonders how structurally sound it is and whether it’s “up to code,” as they say.
Some colleagues scored some cronuts from the Dominique Ansel patisserie in SoHo on the way back to our office after an early morning client meeting downtown. And they shared with us. And it was good. Really, really good. OMG yummy.
On our recent visit back to Tokyo, we picked up a bag of freshly-roasted espresso beans from Bear Pond Espresso at their cafe at On the Corner in Shibuya. We love the totally unbranded, shiny, silvery bag — it’s only markings are the roasting batch and date numbers.
We stopped by the recently minted New York City outpost of Intelligentsia Coffee in Chelsea, an NYC neighborhood that is home to the city’s largest art galleries and, as such, a global art-world hub. The new Intellgentsia is actually two distinct cafes: a smart, beautifully designed cafe in the lobby of the High Line Hotel, and a mobile espresso bar set up in a vintage Citroen truck parked in the garden courtyard in front of the hotel.The coffee is great, and the drinks menu includes the “Angeleno,” a agave-sweetened iced coffee based on a recipe created in Los Angeles as an alternative to the ubiquitous Starbucks frappuccinos. Perfect for summer. If you’re not an espresso freak, a visit is worth it if only to appreciate the decor and relax in the wonderfully-designed space.