Real meat, fake lakes.


With $14 salads from Four Cafe and $12 burritos from Chipotle (that extra guac charge is a killer), it is an increasingly difficult task to find a filling meal under $10 in Northeast Los Angeles. Square One Dining challenges this predicament with Square One at the Boathouse: the group’s more casual dining option located on the shoresif one can call them thatof Echo Park lake. Though the cafe itself is not the most glamorous, Square One at the Boathouse offers an array of scrumptious breakfast and lunch dishes, all under $9. The Squash Blossom Breakfast Burrito ($6) with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted potatoes, parmesan, onions, peppers and organic scrambled eggs is perfect for the vegetarian diner, while a more carnivorously-inclined eater can enjoy the B.L.A.T ($7) with Nueske bacon, avocado, bibb lettuce and tomato on five-grain bread with aioli.

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Though the lake that surrounds the cafe is artificial, the ingredients that Square One uses are certainly not. Square One’s motto asserts, “Natural is always best and basic is not a trend.” Though there are many interpretations of the word basic, it certainly is a trend that Square One refuses to adhere to. All the ingredients used at the Boathouse cafe are hormone-free, and much of their food is locally-sourced and organic. This is rare for a dining establishment with such affordable prices, however the proof of this organic goodness is in the patty melt (100% grass-fed beef with caramelized onion, local grùyere, caper thousand island dressing and mustard).

The cafe also brews Intelligentsia coffee, adding a stamp of Angelino authenticity to the establishment. Brunch haters and lovers alike can enjoy the casual, outdoor ambience of Square One at the Boathouse, and perhaps the more adventurous customer will even rent a paddle boat for an excursion on the “lake” that gave Echo Park its name.

Echo Park Lake

Square One at the Boathouse is located at 751 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90026. It is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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