An Authentic, Nourishing Persian-Jewish Dinner—in Los Angeles

"I could smell Tehran wafting through Frogtown, the industrial district and burgeoning artistic universe on the cusp of the Los Angeles River. Tucked behind a gate, through what appeared to be a magical greenhouse without its glass roof, was Elysian LA, a warehouse that operates as a restaurant, venue space, and home to Julia Meltzer’s Clockshop, an arts and culture non-profit. I was there for an Iranian Jewish dinner as part of Kan Ya Ma Kan, meaning “Once upon a time,” a yearly festival that highlights Jewish Sephardic and Mizrahi diaspora culture, food, and music."

Merissa Nathan Gerson, November 2015

dinner at elysian, a quasi-restaurant in frogtown

"There now exists all sorts of permutations of the concept "restaurant," and many of them aren't easily definable. "Pop-up" was a useful term but came to mean something fairly specific: a chef or group of cooks presenting food in a temporary space for a set amount of time. There are incredibly interesting projects happening these days that don't quite fit that description. 

One of these is Elysian, a quasi-restaurant in Frogtown. Elysian is an events space that sometimes opens for dinner and now holds a mainly regular brunch service on Sundays."

Besha Rodell, June 2015

Elysian Night In Dinner Series Relaunches

"Any attempt to describe Elysian in Twitter-friendly brevity would be futile, as well as selling this place short. But fans of unconventional restaurant experiences can see for themselves this Monday, July 14, when co-owner David Thorne cooks his first public dinner in Elysian's new beautiful, slick kitchen, designed in collaboration with local Frogtown firm RAC Design Build."

Jessica Ritz, July 2014

Shopper and Diner

"Private event space Elysian is looking to give their business a jolt  by becoming a full-fledged restaurant early this summer, writes Eater LA. The indoor/outdoor space in Elysian Valley looks to have a menu that emphasizes seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.  The space is currently under construction. It should be interesting to see what chef and owner David Thorne cooks up and if it can draw patrons to this very industrial block."

Jesus Sanchez, May 2014

Elysian Event Space Morphing to Elysian Restaurant

"Elysian, a quaint indoor/outdoor private event space in Elysian Park, is upping its game to become a full bore restaurant and bar. The venue is presently under construction and owner/chef David Thorne hopes to launch in May or early June. The plan is to continue serving a seasonal farmers market menu several days a week and also host guest chefs and pop-ups. However, sticking to its roots, Elysian will continue to be available for private events as well." 

Kat Odell, April 2014

Los Angeles Industrial Greenhouse Wedding

"Often it’s your venue that becomes the inspiration for the rest of the day. As soon as Tawny + Irv stumbled across the Elysian in Silverlake, California they knew it was the perfect venue for them. They wanted a venue that had a city feeling without losing elements of why they love being outdoors so much. A former mold shop, the space has a great industrial feel with a greenhouse structure in the middle of a beautiful garden filled with bamboo, succulents and fruit trees. Elysian quickly became the inspiration for many of their details!"

April 2013

Where To Make It Official In LA

"The renovated Frogtown warehouse 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 Middle Eastern carpets, it’s a dreamy loft-like space."

October 2012

The Somewhat Secret Cocktail Parties

"When we walked into The Elysian, those fears quickly melted away as we stepped into a little oasis— jazz music emanated from beyond the lush, tree-filled space and we passed smartly-dressed folks lounging in Eames chairs with their cocktails.  The half-outdoor, half-indoor space was filled with mid-century modern furniture from Yeah! Rentals that had a Palm Springs desert-chic edge. Tal was manning the bar in his signature bow-tie and served us with a French fortified wine as an aperitif."

Elise Freimuth, July 2012

Frogtown Feast: Home Cooked at Elysian

"Southern California cooking served all summer long by former Ammo chef/artist David Thorne and artist/filmmaker Wu Tsang. The monthly prix fixe dinners emphasize local ingredients."

Erica Avila Thomas, June 2012

Does Great Food Rise To The Level of Great Art? A Conversation with David Thorne

"David is the perfect person to talk to about food and art. His art work (much of which you can see here) has won him a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, an Art Matters grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, and, in 2009, a Guggenheim fellowship. His food life began in the 80s when he dropped out of college to work at Cate Farm, “growing radicchio before foodies existed let alone even knew what radicchio was” (that’s straight from his bio). He’s been a line cook at Canelé (where I had that astonishing pancake) and a prep cook at Ammo with Chef Daniel Mattern."

Adam Roberts, May 2012

A Night In And Out

"Night In resembles a dinner that is hosted by your artsy, culinary friend. An open kitchen, shelves stacked with books, and a worn, L-shaped couch in the waiting area further accentuate the house-like vibe.  Perhaps it feels like a home because David and his wife used to live at Elysian.This is not a pop-up; it's a pop-in."

Alexis Steinman, May 2012

Paradise Found

"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."

April 2012

An Imaginative Feast

"Molly Stevens has long been one of my favorite cookbook authors. Her All About Braising book turned me into a passionate braiser; and her new All About Roasting book led me to oven-roasted hamburgers and slow-roasted herbed turkey breast. So imagine my surprise and delight when she e-mailed to say that she’d be in L.A. cooking dinner at a really cool venue called Elysian. I immediately signed us up."

Adam Roberts, March 2012

David Thorne

"In a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in East Los Angeles, artist David Thorne spearheads elysian, an event space and occasional restaurant that began last November with “Night In” dinners. The building is located in Elysian Valley (aka Frogtown), and has recently hosted a benefit for the LA-based nonprofit Machine Project as well as an evening with the food writer Molly Stevens. Here, Thorne—whose background includes farming in Vermont and working with the famed Bread and Puppet Theater—discusses the space, as well as his other recent work."

Lauren O'Neill Butler, March 2012

Out There | Elysian

"Elysian, as the name implies, is a kind of Nirvana, surrounded by charming urban blight. The restaurant shares a dead-end block with a handful of anonymous industrial buildings; facades on both sides of the street have been painted over in a now disintegrating mural of a French village, with Tudor accents and schoolchildren peering out from faux windows. A canopy of bamboo and young trees juts up from behind Elysian’s heavy metal gate. This front garden leads to the gutted skeleton of a two-story structure that was, until last month, being subleased as a letterpress studio."

Kevin McGarry, February 2012