Dine, stroll, and bowl in this small town in the big city

Not too long ago, the stretch of Colorado Boulevard that ranthrough the Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock was, in thewords of resident Mary Tokita, "just a place you drove on to getfrom the Valley to Pasadena."

Now the boulevard and Eagle Rock itself are coming into theirown. For years, residents watched as Colorado Boulevard slid intodecline: Storefronts receded, parking lots encroached, andneighborhood shops were replaced by automotive businesses ―more than 90, by Tokita's count. But Tokita and other residentsformed a neighborhood association that fought to enhance thefoot-friendly nature of the boulevard, which serves as Eagle Rock'sMain Street.

Once an auto-repair shop, Fatty's & Co. ($$; closed Tue; 1627 Colorado Blvd.; 323/254-8804) is now avegetarian cafe, although the automotive magazines for sale hereprovide a nice link to the past. Longer-established favoritesinclude Casa Bianca ($; closed Sun-Mon; 1650 Colorado; 323/256-9617) for pizzaand Colombo's Restaurant ($$$; 1833 Colorado; 323/254-9138) for steaks and livejazz.

Car culture hasn't been totally lost here; on the last Saturdayof each month, Jim's Burgers ($; 2005 Colorado; 323/257-3892) ― as unpretentious asthe name implies ― hosts the Eagle Rockin' Rodders car club.After talking shop with collectors of "vintage tin," bowl a frameor two at All Star Lanes (4459 Eagle Rock Blvd.; 323/254-2579), famousfor its thwarted appointment with the wrecking ball.

Higher culture isn't neglected either. Toros Pottery (closed Sun; 4962 Eagle Rock Blvd.; 323/344-8330) is a gemof a store, with beautiful ceramics and a range of pottery classes.And Occidental College (1600 Campus Rd.; 323/259-2500) has graceful MyronHunt-designed buildings that have been settings for numerous films,from the Hepburn-Tracy classic Pat and Mike to Star Trek III. A walk through campus makes a fine springouting. Or enjoy a musical offering: On April 24, theOccidental-Caltech Symphony Orchestra performs for free at ThorneHall auditorium.

Eyes on Eagle Rock

From Pasadena, take State 134 west; exit at Colorado Blvd.323/257-2197 or www.eaglerockchamberofcommerce.com

You May Like