Renovated Frogtown warehouse Elysian is a little slice of heaven nestled between the 5 and the Los Angeles River. Kitted out with an open kitchen, seven communal tables, and strategically placed pieces of Middle Eastern decor (Persian rugs, moucharaby tables), the loft-like space functions both as an event venue (nota bene, wedding planners) and as home to the underground dining series, Night In.
Run by former Ammo chef/artist David Thorne and artist/filmmaker Wu Tsang, the monthly prix fixe dinner emphasizes local ingredients and unfussy compositions.
Here, we chat with Tsang about what makes the place tick.
What makes Elysian stand out from the pack?
We like to describe our space as “open and intimate,” which we know is an oxymoron, but we love contradiction. It feels like a home, cozy and inviting. And you can stargaze under our garden sky dome — an open frame of a building whose walls and roof we stripped away so you can see the sky.
What is the best party that you’ve thrown thus far?
Last week, we hosted a benefit for Food Forward, and they built an illuminated orange tree out of fabric and china balls. It looked incredible.
What’s David’s most unique dish?
David says: “I really enjoyed something I made last night [at Night In], which was lamb meatballs with a mizuna ruby grapefruit salad that had harissa vinaigrette and crushed pistachios.” P.S. That was just the appetizer.
What does it take to be the hostess with the mostess?
The key is knowing how to guide people without them feeling guided. That applies to everything from crowd-herding for dinnertime to being helpful but not intrusive with people’s event designs. If we do our job right, you barely notice we’re there.
Elysian, 2806 Clearwater Street, at Ripple Street, Echo Park (323-929-7972 or elysianla.com). Night In cost is $35 per person.