Echo Deli, a very LA Style Good Vibes café in Paris

I recently sat down with Matthias, owner and creator of Echo Deli in the 2nd arrondissement to learn a little bit more about the Savoir Vivre of this Good Vibes rated café.

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How did a French man come to own a LA restaurant in Paris?

Well, for starters I studied in LA at UCLA 10 years ago. I totally fell in love with the city. Since then, I have gone back at least once a year! The food scene over there is always changing and I was very impressed by what was happening over there. Each and every time I came back to Paris after my trips in LA I was like ahhh I miss that kind of food! It all came together when I went to Gjusta 2 years ago… I was so incredibly blown away by what I tasted. I knew immediately that this is what I needed to create, this is what I needed to bring to Paris. I had already I really want to create my own company and I knew that the coffee scene was changing a lot in here Paris. Yes, there was Holybelly, or Wild & the Moon, two places that I love, but I wanted a place I could please all flavors.

What is your favorite thing about Echo?

The wide variety of the menu and the fact that you have the vast majority of the menu at 9am. I love the emphasis on the savory aspect of it. It’s pretty rare to find a crispy rice bowl in Paris starting at 9 am. This is something we have and something I really love.

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Ideas for expansion?

I do want to expand and I have ideas, but I don’t know where or what I really want to do. I love the all day breakfast thing. So maybe doing something a bit more specific like Mexican food. We are going to open at night on the weekends this fall. We are also going to be open 6 out of 7 days a week!!

Your favorite thing on the current menu?

The Mexican chorizo sandwich. I always love good sandwich for breakfast. It gives you a good kick for the rest of the day.

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The thing you miss the most about LA?

The lifestyle. What I love about LA is that if you want to be out of the world and near the beach or in your own garden you can. But if you want to be in the urban atmosphere you can. Life can be whatever you want it to be. My long-term plan has always been to open a location in LA. But as I didn’t have any experience in hospitality, I started here in Paris.

What inspires you to create your recipes?

I have to hand it to Maelia Weger on this one. She’s from LA so already, she gets it. But she does spend a lot of time on Instagram to see what is going on. For both of us it is very important to offer many different cuisines, like Mexican, Asian, etc. We want the vibe of a lot of different cultural influences.

How often do the recipes change?

Seasonally 25% of the menu changes. This is based on seasonality and seasonal products.

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Why the name “Echo”?

I love Echo Park area in LA. Very creative cool area in LA. We wanted to Echo the LA food scene in Paris. Double sense of the word.

Easy to import Le Croix from the USA?

It was very difficult to get it, so I’m not gonna tell! I wanted a very popular product from LA. People love La Croix there because it is very hot and there is no sugar. I wanted to have something that nobody else had in Paris.

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Why the second arrondissement?

I was looking in the 9th, the Marais, 10th and 2nd arrondissements, but I really just needed a place that was a really good opportunity. This area was and still is changing a lot. When I found the place the Hoxton had just opened so I knew it was the place to be. I wanted it to be near offices where young people are working. I really thought it was the perfect fit to be here. I fell in love with the location with the open piazza and all.

What is the Savoir Vivre of Echo?

For me Echo is a coffee place for the neighborhood. My goal is for it to be the favorite place of the neighborhood, for all day café – a huge community influence. That is why we have a communal table. French people don’t usually like this kind of thing, but I really fought for this to have this. I want Echo to be a place where people and things come together.

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Taglio {the best all in one cafe, restaurant, bar and gourmet shop in milan}

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There is nothing better than a delicious meal in Italy. I mean come on, if you go to the right place, the ingredients are so fresh, everything is homemade and all is just perfect. But finding these places is the difficultly. It is so much easier to stumble upon a tourist trap with mediocre pasta than to find a real gem, like Taglio. Especially in an industrial city like Milan.

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This fabulous cafe, restaurant, bar and gourmet is located by the Canal and offers fabulous service from morning to night. When last in Milan I stopped by for an aperitivo and was taken aback by the quality of ingredients, delicious bites and incredible wine. You can stop by Taglio at any moment of the day, be it for a coffee in the morning, to buy fresh homemade pasta at their grocery at any time of the day, during the day for lunch or in the evening for an aperitf or for dinner. It will all be excellent. I can’t wait to go back to Italy for another round. They use either the highest quality ingredients or ones that are homemade! Taglio – VIA VIGEVANO, 10 20144 MILANO.

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Yotam Ottolenghi {the israeli british chef i live by and best restaurant of london}

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If you’ve never heard the name, shame on you, as this man is a sheer genius. And still, if you haven’t heard the name you’re about to get the low down. As it’s Thursday, I thought I would do a little throw back and talk about the London institution for healthy, good and delicious eating that I hold very close to my heart. If you must go anywhere when you are in London, you must pay a visit to an Ottolenghi restaurant.

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Who is Yotam? Born and raised in Jerusalem, the man has a very very interesting history and life that came before his fooding success. That being said, his fooding endeavour did not start directly with this vision, but early in his career he began working in the industry as a pastry chef for several very known and reputed resaturants. But it all really began in 2002 when he opened Ottolenghi in Notting Hill.

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His dishes quickly sought praise, with a foundation on vegetables, crazy and inventive flavour combinations, and the essential Middle Eastern spices including za’atar, rose water and pomegranate molasses that must are completely unaccustomed to. The business has grown enormously since, and he now has a variety locations including a finer dining restaurant called Nopi. Each restaurant has a calm and “at home” ambiance. It’s always like I never left when I return to Ottolenghi. The only thing missing is, is that he has not opened in Paris (please come to Paris Mr. Otttolenghi). But at least he has published several cookbooks, so we can make our own attempts at home. Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about this incredible chef. The only thing I can really say is that the next time you’re in London, you absolutely MUST visit Ottolenghi. As you can see from the photos, you will leave happy. Check their site for more info.

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Life Juice France {the most accessible, all natural and simply delicious pomegranate juice}

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So the general consensus here in Paris is that fresh, good natural and healthy juices are hard to find. We need to go far away to special places to find these kind of products. While yes, there are special boutiques catered to juice in Paris, I promise one of the best is not far from your door step – it’s called Life Juice. This 100% pure pomegranate juice, without any added sugar is created using pomegranates carefully selected from small farms, picked at maturity and pressed without the bark to minimize the astringency to achieve a taste intense yet refined.

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Life Juice can be found at nearly all Parisian super markets (Monoprix, Franprix, Carrefour, Carrefour City, etc.), making it extremely accessible. The small format is practical (only 120 ml) and the contents within the bottle are so incredibly beneficial to the body. Not only is this berry loaded with Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Potassium but also contains two plant compounds with extremely powerful medicinal properties. One of these compounds, Punicalagins has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. Pomegranates even have anti-inflammatory effects, help fight cancer and help to lower blood pressure and fight arthritis and joint pain. The list goes on and on. This stuff is really magical and Life Juice makes it accessible and easily consumable. Plus – it tastes really good. Check out their site for more information, and stay tuned as you will see more and more about this fabulous product on my social media.

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Look Better and Feel Better {with products from sol semilla superaliments}

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Whether you’re health obsessed, ready to learn more, or don’t really care too much about “health products” and “supplements”, I can assure you that Sol Semilla Superaliments will inspire you. So what are “SUPERALIMENTS”? Well, an aliment itself is a nutrient. Therefore, SUPER aliments are living, natural and organic nutrients that are essential for well-being. Sounds convincing right? Sol Semilla offers a large variety of these products in a permanent search of optimal quality according to 4 criteria: nutrition, flavor and ecology. It sounds really intense, but I promise their products are not only intriguing but really work to make you better inside and out. I started with their Chlorella powder. This incredible nutrient has the power to capture heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic …) and the chemicals found in the body and allow their elimination by natural means, activating and strengthening the intestines. Promise you’ll feel a sort of hippie high after a glass of this stuff.

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Sol’s products are not strictly vitamin based. You can also find raw chocolate, kale chips, acai powder and so much more at Sol Semilla. What rocks, is that the staff is truly passionate about their products. I have spent numerous hours in their shop discussing their different powders and vitamins out of sheer curiosity. If you don’t have the time to visit their store (and restaurant) by the Canal Saint Martin (23, rue des Vinaigriers 75010 Paris), they are also present at the organic market in the sixth on Sunday’s from 9 am to 3 pm and you can even purchase their products online. Why not give it a try? It can’t hurt to feel better.

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Mantra Raw Vegan {the best vegan raw vegetarian spot in milan, and probably all of italy}

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Best healthy address of Milan is HANDS down, Mantra Raw Vegan. This awesome spot is ideal for any and everyone interested in healthy and delicious juices, meals and desserts. I must admit, I have yet to find a spot that compares in Paris. Mantra Raw combines a market, where snacks, seeds, superfoods, cold pressed juices, teas and sweets are available for purchase as well as a fully functioning restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner. I had the pleasure of stopping by for a bite and a juice while in Milan.

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Owner and founder Marina insisted on preparing me their house signature and best seller – TOSTAVO. This delectable is a composition of raw bread, dehydrated for 18 hours, with mashed avocado, cold smoked cherry tomatoes, marinated fennel and edible flowers. It was not only beautiful but supper yummy. Likewise, I tasted and very much enjoyed a coconut tiRAWmisu (ha ha – it’s true though) that Is caffeine free! Perfect for those looking for cut back on their caffeine or that are very sensitive to caffeine in the evening hours (like me). And finally, to drink, the Mantra cold pressed AUMARANCIONE. A juice consisting of carrots, oranges and lemon. Oh la la, incredibly fresh and wonderful.

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I truly do not have enough positive things to say about this wonderful place. It has everything you could ever want or need to feel good and eat right. Its pretty much worth a trip to Milan just to try this raw utopia. Please follow them on Instagram for some serious food porn @mantraw and check out their site for more information.

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