The Brite Spot: a beacon of love and tofu enchiladas
August 8, 2011
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.