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Eastside Hit Vaka Burgers Leaves Boyle Heights Behind After Landlord Issues Arise

The long-running residency inside Ramirez Liquor is done

Vaka Burgers, 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.

Vaka Burger Express is leaving their Boyle Heights location behind after an alleged spat with their landlords at Ramirez Liquor on Olympic Boulevard. The upstart restaurant, which turned from a popular truck into an in-the-know destination for some of the city’s best burgers, has already walked from the space.

Owner Esmerelda Sanchez tells Eater that Vaka was operating on a month-to-month lease inside the massive liquor store run by brothers Carlos and Alex Ramirez, but recently the pair came to Sanchez and chef Aaron Perez to let them know they would begin seeking out a different tenant. On their end, the Ramirez’s say that Vaka Burgers were given a failure to pay notice, which means their lease had been terminated after not paying the agreed-upon rent.

Now Vaka Burgers says they will be heading to Whittier, opening as a sort of pop-up inside local bar The Real McCoy’s on Philadelphia Street. It will take some time to get up and running there, but Southeast LA County to be able to enjoy their food in a matter of weeks. The team is also still working on their first originally-planned standalone location on Beverly Boulevard, though construction is going to take a while for that one.