The Brite Spot: a beacon of love and tofu enchiladas

August 8, 2011

Photo courtesy of bbmcshane on Flickr Creative Commons

LOS ANGELES, US – It may sound farfetched that a late-night, throwback LA diner could bring two soulmates together, but I’ve lived to tell the tale. Well, not my tale exactly, but the tale of my close girlfriend, let’s call her April. One summer night as April and I shared a booth at Echo Park institution the Brite Spot, in walked the “one that got away”…a love she had parted ways with ten years prior. Lo and behold, he was recently divorced, she was recently single, and the rest is history. Today the happily married couple share a home in a suburb of LA with their toddler son.

Could this greasy spoon be some sort of a vortex for romance? With a motto like, “All you eat is love,” I’d wager a yes.

The vibe here is somewhere at the crossroads of family restaurant and hipster haven. With the alt rock/world music mecca The Echo just steps away, the late-night crowd (the diner’s open daily until 4:00am) is thick with post-show parishioners in their best vintage duds. They blend right into the hasn’t-been-updated-since-the-’60s décor, complete with shiny vinyl booths and a Formica counter.

If the wheels of romance are greased with, um, actual grease, then the Brite Spot is quite the love lubricator. All the standard diner favorites are well represented. Breakfast brings thick French toast and huge three egg omelettes with yummy “O’Brien” potatoes. Lunch and dinner aren’t short on artery cloggers like burgers and fries, grilled cheese, and fried chicken.

BUT, this being Echo Park, the menu is broadened by the cultural influences of the surrounding Mexican-American community and the legions of Eastside vegans. Accordingly, they turn out a darn fine wet burrito, and those eschewing meat/dairy will thrill to choices like tofu enchiladas and the veggie ciabatta sandwich (a boon for star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of the meat-eating fence).

Sweet things definitely seal the deal on this courtship. All desserts (displayed appealingly in the retro glass case) are made from scratch in house. It’s hard to imagine not falling in love over a slice of their fresh cherry pie or a vegan red velvet cupcake. If you can’t wait ’til dessert for something sweet, try adding chocolate chips and strawberries to your morning pancakes or waffles.

I’ve yet to find a love of my own at the Brite Spot, but ever since April’s one-in-a-million encounter, it’s become hallowed ground in my eyes. With an array of Angelenos as diverse as the daily chalkboard offerings constantly revolving through its doors, the prospects for meeting that someone special at the Brite Spot seem pretty darn bright.

Brite Spot Family Restaurant
1918 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
(1) 213-484-9800

Brite Spot on Urbanspoon

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1 Comment | Posted by Rachel

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  1. My lady and I went there 100 times over the past year … One time about 6 months ago, one of the waitresses gave us an egg sandwich with almost no eggs (we order a very simple egg whites on wheat toast, butter, lettuce tomato on the side every time we go). She said we had to pay more for more eggs, we told her we never have this problem before here, and she was like “Well that’s how it is”. So we talked to the owner, she called the lady over right there and told her to give us what we want. Every time we ever went back with her there, when she was working, my lady and I went out of our way to be nice to her, to put it in the past. She wouldn’t. She would make us feel as unwelcome as possible. So finally last week, I asked her, after another visit with shitty service, why she insists on treating us so unwelcome-ingly, and she said “Maybe you are willing to put it behind us, but I am not.” … Yesterday, when we were walking by, thinking about going in for an egg sandwich, we saw her, so I went in to remind her that I won’t be spending my money in their business because of her poor customer service. Today when I walked in for coffee, the manager (I think it’s her boyfriend) told me that because I “don’t like the place” (I never said that), that I am not allowed to be their customer anymore. I have spent so much money there, went every day with a smile and respect, brought so much business to them, and Dave (the manager) and Kim (the poor customer service waitress) are creating this problem within their community.

    I tried to talk to the owner, Jenie, about it after Kim said she wouldn’t put it behind us, but she said she was “busy” and didn’t give me the time.

    The manager tries to claim that I don’t “like the place”, but she is the only person I ever had a problem with. The elderly lady is PERFECT. The busboy’s are BEYOND PERFECT. The rest of the staff has been wonderful.

    They have made a habit of charging me different prices for a few things on random visits, but I have never made an issue with any of their staff with the ownership other than this one lady (“Kim”) and (probably her boyfriend) Dave, the person trying to chase me, his good customer and neighbor, away.

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