Red Hill just opened in the old Phoenix Bakery site in Echo Park. It's right next to where Pioneer Chicken used to be but is now a Little Ceasar's pizza. (Elsie trivia: That Pioneer is the first place I remember eating fried chicken!) They tout a reasonably priced, creative menu of dishes made with organic, local ingredients. And their pasta is freshly made.
We had originally planned on dinner elsewhere but I received a Daily Candy email describing some of the menu items at Red Hill, which prompted a quick switch. When we arrived, all the tables were full but we waited comfortably at the (wine/beer only) bar. Once seated, Sergio ordered the carbonara, I got a ravioli made with squash. Liz ordered the pork belly over potato pancakes, Nelson got the mussels AND pulled pork pappardelle. All of our meals were quite flavorful and tasty. The pappardelle was a tad soft and I felt the portion on my dish was small. Though delicious, it could have benefited with an accompaniment. The mussels were OUTSTANDING. Yum. Sergio really liked his carbonara. I have to admit, the menu was a little confusing as there was not clear indication of whether a plate was meant to be an appetizer, a main or a side. Everything on it looked so good but we weren't sure how much or little, to order.
The place itself is snazzy. Dark woods, open kitchen, candles. Pretty. I kind of dug being able to see the people making my food but the concept seemed to eat up precious floor space. I think the counter is meant to actually seat diners, however the space is so tight, it would be kind of awkward to sit so close to the behinds of counter diners. Now, full warning, I seem to be turning into a crotchety old lady when it comes to these things, but to me it seemed a little too dim and a little too loud. I don't know, maybe it's just me.
Also, romantic lighting is terrible for food photos. Sigh.
I gave up on the food photos. Here are a few of us chatting after dinner instead. Sergio seems to have loosened up these days.
We hadn't hung out with just Liz and Nelson in quite some time. It was really so nice to catch up. As for Red Hill, we'll be back. There's a ton of stuff on the menu I'm eager to try. Probably on the early side though. I'm too old to hang with them noisy youngsters.
1325 Echo Park Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026