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Echo Park’s Newest Opening Is an Izakaya Straight From Osaka

Plus, burglaries in Santa Clarita, the return of the California Strawberry Festival, and more

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The exterior of a building with a sign announcing a new restaurant.
Izakaya Dongame comes to Echo Park.
Farley Elliott
Virali_Dave is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Born in Mumbai, she has always considered the West Coast to be the best coast. Her writing has appeared in FoodBeast, NBC News, LAist, Life and Thyme, The Ringer, Input Magazine, and more.

Izakaya Dongame is coming to Echo Park soon. This will be the first stateside location for the restaurant, which was established in 2012 in Osaka, Japan. Izakaya Dongame will serve a range of Japanese small plates, meals, and drinks, with plans to serve beer and wine. An opening date has not yet been announced, but the team is hiring for front-of-house and back-of-house operations.

Izakaya Dongame will be at 1712 W. Sunset Boulevard, which was previously the location of a Blue Bottle Coffee and Echo Park Independent Co-Op, which sold clothes and accessories made by LA designers.

Burglars target family-owned businesses in Santa Clarita

In the past week, at least five family-owned restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley have been burglarized — Pizza Di Marco, PokiTomik, WaffleLove, Klickin’ Chicken, and Masa Ramen. Burglars managed to shatter glass and take cash registers and envelopes of cash. Business owners and employees found out when they arrived at work on the morning of Wednesday, May 10. CBS News reported an additional two businesses have recently been burglarized as well. It is not yet clear whether the seven burglaries are connected, but several restaurants are located near each other along Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia.

The return of the California Strawberry Festival

After many years on pause, the California Strawberry Festival is returning to a new location — the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The two-day festival begins Saturday, May 20 and will include a carnival, contests, and games. Of course, there will also be treats from over 40 food vendors featuring strawberries, including strawberry beer, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry shortcake, and more. Tickets for adults are $10, and children under four can enter for free.

Pies, quiches, and tarts at Camphor

James Beard Award finalist chef and author Maya-Camille Broussard will be collaborating with the team at Camphor this Sunday, May 21. Along with Broussard, chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George will serve up a four-course tasting menu inspired by Broussard’s new cookbook, Justice of the Pies. Tickets are available for $195 per person.

Brunch at Lingua Franca

Frogtown’s Lingua Franca, which opened earlier this year, is now open for brunch service, serving breakfast sandwiches, steak and eggs, pancakes, fruit bowls, and more. Reservations can be made here.