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Secret Lasagna Chef Wants to Kill the Avocado Toast Trend at New Cafe

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Royce Burke’s meat-free menu launches on July 7 at Yarrow

Royce Burke
Royce Burke
Wyatt Conlon
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The former chef and owner of Secret Lasagna moved to Mid City to launch a new vegan cafe on July 7. Royce Burke’s Yarrow opens in the central Park La Brea neighborhood, with a menu inspired by his upbringing, LA experience, and a desire to shift thinking around vegan and vegetarian food.

Yarrow is in the former Hyperslow cafe, next door to Hyperslow Yoga. It’s ideal to be close to the Grove, LACMA, the Peterson Automotive Museum, one of the many office buildings or the thousands of residential units in the area, especially a light-filled space with high ceilings, and a fresh approach to vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

Burke’s menu pulls from his background and combines his chef experience throughout Los Angeles. He starts with Alsatian grandmother’s rustic French food but adds influences from work throughout Los Angeles, adding Chinese, Thai or Filipino ingredients.

Burke wants his roasted carrot tartine to knock avocado toast out of the trend sphere, with open-faced Bub and Grandma’s foccacia, roasted carrot purée, Beech mushrooms, spicy fried chickpeas and crispy leeks. There’s the eggs-optional breakfast burrito with mushroom, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, a charred lemon romesco, with cheese griddled on the outside tortilla for extra bite. Burke sources vegetables locally through the Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement Foundation.

Jack Benchakul of Endorffeine coffee put together Yarrow’s coffee program. A former biochemist and barista, Benchakul developed cancer drugs prior to specializing in coffee. Local pastry chef Beth Kellerhals launched the original menu at the Pie Hole, and prepared items like a blueberry polenta loaf with tangerine thyme glaze for Yarrow. Some gluten-free options are available too.

The chef and owner of Secret Lasagna has a tattoo of the medicinal herb yarrow on his forearm. Burke is also eating less meat these days. He says, “I find myself eating less meat because I feel healthier,’ and continues “I also dislike the idea of doing vegan versions of things just for the sake of it. You make certain diners feel like an afterthought, which is just bad business. But you also do a disservice to yourself as a chef.”

Yarrow’s hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Yarrow. 487 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Chinatown Ramps Up the Late Night Eats With Newcomer Called Secret Lasagna [ELA]


727 North Broadway, , CA 90012 Visit Website

The Pie Hole

6314 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 963-5174

Secret Lasagna

727 North Broadway, , CA 90012 (323) 505-8256 Visit Website