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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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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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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Tel-Aviv Big Love in Paris at Chiche {hummus made with organic ingredients, with products directly imported from israel}

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Who can honestly say they they are sick of hummus? You are most certainly not me if this is the case (and I truly question your taste buds if you said no). As I spoke about in my recent article on Yafo, Hummus has tons of health benefits most of us are very unaware of. So no need to fret on that front. That being said, let me introduce you to a relatively new address in Paris for the most natural, organic and authentic hummus around – Chiche.

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For starters, the owners Marc Ancointe Tallec & Jonathan Sason Cohen are serious about the ingredients and everything that goes from their kitchen to your plate. They use only organic and seasonal ingredients and import their tahini and pitas directly from Israel. It doesn’t get much better than that? Their menu offers many different variations of hummus bowls, ranging from their biggest hit – a mixture of beef and lamb with pickled onions and parsley, to their spicy eggplant bowl. They also feature a seasonal Madjadra Bowl which is a sort of Israeli couscous (a base of bulgar and lentils with pickled onions, Israeli salad and a mix of vegetables). I got to try the special veggie for this one when I stopped by yesterday, it was a fabulous broccoli with sweet cranberries. Sheer deliciousness. Take my word for it and go have a healthy yet very satisfying experience at this awesome spot. Chiche – 29bis rue du Château d’Eau 75010.

LIIFE EAT SMART {food focused on fitness, health and the environment}

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So I’m officially (very naturally) attracted to good food and healthy things. Why? Well – by chance I happened to stumble on a place basically created for people like me and you. Intrigued by their windows decorated with running shoes, fruits and vegetables and a sign that advertised detox juices, açaí bowls and fitness friendly lunch formulas, I decided to check it out.

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Liife Eat Smart’s concept is based on three principles – fitness, health and the environment. This is made extremely clear by their menu that is catered to nutritionally rich ingredients that improve fitness performance and all around well-being. The menu changes seasonally with a host of salad creative salad options with protein rich toppings, warm dishes and vitamin rich desserts. Yesterday, I enjoyed their Quinoline salad – a delicious mixture of quinoa, estragon seasoned pink lentils, rich hummus and a light shallot sauce. I added a lemon ginger infused chicken protein topping to my salad, and was very content and ready to go for my yoga class later that day. Also – their juices are not to be missed. I tasted the « Orange is the new black » aka ginger, curcuma and carrot. Check out their menu below to get a better idea of how things at Liife work.

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Liife likewise sponsors many events around the city that you will find on my Facebook page and their site. They even have a stand at the Midtown Sports Club in the first. Liife is the first healthy restaurant created for athletes in Paris and they have most certainly succeeded in everything that they are doing. Keep checking back on my Insta too to discover other things I’m eating there, cause I’ll be back (and their food is really Instagram-able see below). Liife is located between Grands Boulevards and Montorgueil at the metro Sentier – 33 Rue des Petits Carreaux.

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Deliciously Ella is really just that delicious {the kinda food that is healthy, good for you and super yummy}

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So I touched down in London town yesterday afternoon and I must say it has been a lovely little getaway thus far. Time for repo with my mother has been more than much needed and enjoying it at my favorite places has made it key. That being said, today I got to eat at my favorite healthy institution here in this darling city: Deliciously Ella.

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We arrived at midday hungry and ready to eat. Not only was the staff incredibly friendly and the ambiance immersed by solely good vibes, but the food was just to die for. I did a mixed plate – quinoa perfectly seasoned, smooth and creamy hummus, a incredibly flavorful falafel with curried cauliflower (@jjchase for foodporn). All I can say is wow. This combination was not only a dream, but likewise organic, vegan and gluten free(?) Ella takes all of her recipes seriously, and it shows. Everything is 100% plant based and catered to anyone’s faves (in the healthiest possible way). My mum enjoyed chili with red cabbage and corn bread. Oh la la! Did she leave a happy camper. Not to mention Deliciously Ella spent most of the day with us. I later enjoyed a Fiery Organic Ginger Shot alongside a ROOTS Juice (composed of carrots, apples, beets, lemon and ginger), yum. Mum had a peanut cookie, I DID try and wondered why I didn’t take one too.

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Ella herself has an incredibly story and it makes me feel truly blessed and grateful to enjoy her food and products. Don’t forget that her London restaurants are not her only gig. Ella has a bunch of other incredible products that have the same nutritional value system available in countless markets (for everyday enjoyment). She even has cookbooks. Click below for more info. (P.s. Ella, can you open in Paris soon?)