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Boyle Heights’ Famed La Serenata de Garibaldi Space Earns a Bright New Tenant

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Beer and wine now available at Little Jewel in Chinatown

Casa Fina in Boyle Heights
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A Boyle Heights return story

Boyle Heights legend La Serenata de Garibaldi vacated its decades-old space earlier this year, but the building itself hasn’t stayed down for long. Instead it’s been painted a very bright purple in anticipation of its new tenant: Casa Fina. You’ll find “opening soon” banners hanging from the ceiling, and reports are that the place is hiring up for a quick-flip opening sometime this spring.

Casa Fina is the work of first-time restaurateur Josefina Lopez, says The Eastsider. Lopez is the writer of Real Women Have Curves, and a staple of the Eastside theater scene. Now she’s on one of the most legendary Boyle Heights blocks there is, with her own plans for dinner and dancing, per a public post on her Facebook page. That’s all good news for the neighborhood, considering there were rumors of some big-money developers coming in with plans for the space. Instead it’ll stay in the hands of a local.

Badmaash for all

Ever wonder how Downtown’s Badmaash came to be? It all started with butter chicken and Biggie Smalls says Taste Cooking, who digs in with the Mahendro family to discuss their past, their future, and the dishes that make them famous.

Chef Sydney Hunter talks

Kettle Black/Sawyer chef Sydney Hunter III chats it up with the Snacky Tunes team, talking about his history inside some of the city’s best kitchens, and his current role running double-duty out in Silver Lake.

Little Jewel drinks

There’s beer and wine available now at Little Jewel of New Orleans in Chinatown. The comfort food spot serving po’ boys and more has always been missing their Abita, so it’s nice to see the place earn the right to let folks drink in peace.

Jason Fullilove’s next party

Chef Jason Fullilove is now fully ensconced in the former Smoke.Oil.Salt. space on Melrose, turning out one of the better happy hours in the area. He’s also big on weekend brunch, and will be pulling in Mark Peel for a weekend session on April 2 from noon to 3 p.m. They’ll be serving sour cream waffles, wheat berry risotto, and more dishes for $45 a head total. Oh, and if you want to help Barbara Jean the restaurant go fully legit, you can donate to their GoFundMe page here.

Ice cream sandwiches for the Valley

There’s a new summertime treat option coming to North Hollywood this week, as CREAM opens to the world on Saturday, April 1. Show up in the afternoon and you’ll get yourself a free ice cream sandwich too, which is pretty fantastic. The CREAM franchise already enjoys locations across northern California, so if this one goes well you should expect to see even more in already-saturated ice cream market Los Angeles.

Vegan flavors too

Speaking of ice cream, it looks like there’s a new vegan ice cream competitor on the Hollywood scene, as Cocobella Creamery has gone from papered windows to soft opening in a matter of weeks, it seems. The Fountain and Vine corner strip mall newcomer is softly serving this week, with a variety of flavors to choose from.