The corner of Vine and Sunset has grown in its restaurant offerings, but for the most part the selection hasn't been particularly compelling. Sure there's ShopHouse and Tender Greens, and of course, The Hungry Cat's excellent seafood, but Los Balcones has managed the southern edge of the intersection for years now, offering fine ceviches and a great pisco sour.
In comes Chavela, named for a Peruvian sangria or sorts, and helmed by chef Rachel Carr, who is setting up a plant-based, vegan menu that's inspired by Latin America. Empowered by Los Balcones trio Jorge, Walter, and Eduardo Rodriguez, Carr brings her knowledge of vegan cuisine from Cru and SunCafe to this food-starved section of Hollywood.
Consider dishes like rocoto barbecue sweet potato or pan con aguacate (avocado toast anyone?), or spicy battered mushrooms and cauliflower for something with a kick. An aji amarillo mac & cheese with roasted red peppers should be the ideal comfort food while a chili chocolate ganache with avocado chocolate mousse highlights the sweets section. To drink, enjoy the namesake chavelas, which will rotate regularly, plus additional cocktails from Joel Black (who also did the drinks at Los Balcones).
The tiny space, designed by Spacecraft, uses plenty of great natural woods, with a rough concrete wall that feels both industrial and slick. Some tastefully placed greenery adds color while the wooden rafters up top give it a sense of warmth.
Chavela officially opens on June 24, with hours running 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday until 11 p.m., and Sunday until 9 p.m.
1358 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 0028