Gregg Hunter’s Newspace

Youthful Mike Azarian is keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive despite the economy’s negative impact on the restaurant business. Last year he rescued the greasiest spoon of all, the Los Feliz Cafe, which had earned its bad reputation through the decades since it opened way back in 1957. Suddenly the food and service of the American diner improved noticeably and the bold red and white decor was refreshed to become a very inviting casual dining patio at the tee-off golf range. Only the tacky neon EAT sign reminds us of the bad old days.

Having successfully whetted his management instincts, Azarian next acquired the familiar Roosevelt Café, a sort of clubhouse at 2650 Vermont Ave. across from the Greek Theatre in the heart of Griffith Park, another spot that had fallen on diminished popularity. The place and the menu have been spruced up to provide a relaxing spot for breakfast or lunch catering to the active park foot traffic. Azarian emphasizes that “You don’t have to play golf to eat here.” In addition to an all-American menu, The Roosevelt Café serves Armenian Shawarma sandwiches. A tasty ethnic touch from Azarian. It’s a happy hospitality revival.

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