Nestled in northeast L.A., Eagle Rock is a little hipster-ville in the making. The pizza at Casa Bianca and the breakfasts at Auntie Em's have been drawing crowds for years, but other establishments are creating an eclectic mix of coffeehouses, bars and eateries worth a drive. The influx of kids from Occidental College -- whose current claim to fame is a former student named Barack Obama -- also helps fuel the demand for all things cool. A sampling along Colorado Boulevard:
The Oinkster is a diner with minimalist decor that serves up "slow fast food." It's a concept by chef Andre Guerrero of Max in Sherman Oaks and features a simple menu (Belgian-cut fries, burgers, slow-roasted pork, pastrami and chicken) with prices generally under $10. Little flourishes set Oinkster apart from its faster-food counterparts: Gruyere cheese for the Angus burger, roasted garlic aioli dip for the fries, and beers such as Stella Artois and Widmer Hefeweisen on tap. 2005 Colorado Blvd., (323) 255-6465, www.theoinkster.com.
Swork is an independent coffee shop with an IKEA-inspired interior that's surviving without a Seattle-based seal of approval. There's free wireless with purchase, which has mass appeal in this town-and-gown community. For families, there's a dedicated play area for kids and a number of drinks for pint-sized customers (sans coffee). Their adult beverages aren't bad either. 2160 Colorado Blvd., (323) 258-5600, www.sworkcoffee.com.