How did I miss this amazing restaurant in Silver Lake all these years?! It’s a mystery.
I was showing a home to a buyer in the Silver Lake area a couple months ago, and I got turned around and ended up in this older neighborhood of small, California bungalows, just on the north side of the 101 Freeway near Virgil. There was a golden stucco building with a beautiful, over sized, carved wooden door, mostly hidden by the landscaping and palm trees. The sign above the door said “El Caserio.” Huh?
I thought that I knew every restaurant in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz area! This was pretty cool...I wanted to check it out, but I got busy and forgot about it. Then, last weekend I got together with a couple friends for dinner, and we were all throwing out restaurant suggestions. Nothing was really hitting a chord with the four of us, and we kind of settled on something without too much enthusiasm. Then I remembered that hidden wooden door! “Oh, I know where we can go!” I described the place I’d seen, we looked it up online and decided to try it! (I love friends like this...spontaneous, up for trying something new!). We called to see if we needed a reservation...no, just come on in.
We ignored the valet and parked about a ½ block away in this quiet little neighborhood, walked to the restaurant. We opted to sit out on the patio, covered in umbrellas, palm trees, and twinkling lights. You’d never know it, but the 101 freeway is just on the other side of the walls of the patio..but we had to strain to hear it.
The evening weather was perfect, and the atmosphere on the patio was very relaxed. One of the best things about the restaurant was the crowd. Everyone was very chill, friendly, really enjoying themselves. It’s not your typical hipster spot, it feels almost like a European locale with many different languages spoken out on that patio.
It was absolutely charming! The food was amazing...”contemporary Ecuadorian-Italian Cuisine.” What a combo...perfect. The South American influence is the dominant one at El Caserio, and it spills over into the decor, the service and the music. The wine was perfect. The server was friendly, helpful. It’s not an inexpensive place, but there were no complaints, as the experience was well worth it.
I still can’t get over the fact that I’d never heard of this place...they’ve been there for 27 years! I would go back in a heartbeat...in fact, I’m probably going for brunch this Sunday!
See you out on the patio of El Caserio in Silver Lake...come by my table and say hello!