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STREET LEVEL

Welcome to Eagle Rock refurb

March 25, 2007|Scott Timberg

DESPITE Eagle Rock's recent takeoff, the 'hood still offers two or three muffler shops for every hip wine store or boutique. So it was great when buzz started that a New American soul-food joint was opening ... run by a sophisticated gay couple ... in a Craftsman ... that used to be a used-car lot.

The place is not officially open, but as with speak-easies that admitted customers who knew the password, Larkin's offers "tastings" if you check in online.

Last weekend, the place was packed with a young crowd. One owner, who bore a startling resemblance to Justin Timberlake, greeted each table, pitched the food -- a legendarily heavy cuisine, prepared with a California delicacy -- and described the refurbishing of the striking 1911 building.

Eagle Rock's trick seems to be remaking the ruins of the old car culture. At Larkin's, the tables are made from the building's old doors. Nearby is Fatty's, an artist-run vegetarian cafe that was carved out of an old garage. And down the street is Oinkster, a gourmet pork-and-pastrami place that used to be a generic burger diner.

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-- Scott Timberg

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