The staff went to the Ecuadorian Festival earlier this month on Olvera Street, otherwise known as El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Located across the street from Union Station and a block from Chinatown, this historical monument is one of the oldest places in Los Angeles and a frequent site of Latin American celebrations. The Ecuadorian community has been celebrating their Independence Day in Los Angeles since 1998.
We missed the morning parade unfortunately and found the festival to be quite small. There were a few jewelry and health booths surrounding the plaza area, where singers and bands were playing. There was also a ton of cultural dancing. At the end of the plaza, there were several food booths all essentially selling similar treats, and carnival rides for kids.
It was extremely hot that day so water was a necessity. Luckily it was only $1 for a bottle. However, the rest of the food were extremely expensive. The platter of food on the right cost $10. The carnitas were dry and somewhat flavorless-not quite worth $10. The potato was decent, and I enjoyed some of the cannellini beans, but there were far too many. I also splurged on three delicious empanadas for an extra $5. They were crispy and sugary, and I wish I had just bought more of these instead of the plate.
Overall, the Ecuadorian Festival was very small, and the food was overpriced, so I wouldn’t come back except perhaps for the empanadas, yum. The Pueblo itself though is an interesting area to explore with tons of Latin American vendors selling unique toys, including marionettes, toy guitars, and more. There’s also tons of Mexican food, which is never a bad thing.
Since there were two parades closing down streets in Downtown that day, Steven and I found it difficult to find parking nearby. Your best bet is the lots by Little Tokyo, or perhaps if you’re lucky, you can find a free meter. Stay tuned for our review of the Nisei Parade later this week!