Check out this excerpt from Wonderland, a 1977 Dutch documentary about the LA singer-songwriter scene featuring Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Linda Ronstadt (then-girlfriend of governor-elect Jerry Brown, also governor at the time). In the clip, Zevon pays a visit to Echo Park’s own Burrito King, back when the neighborhood was considered, according to his own lyrics, “the outskirts of town.” Here, he also calls Burrito King’s cuisine “some of the finest Mexican American food in Southern California.” Perhaps that was true 3+ decades ago, but the last burrito I ate from there gave me a horrible stomachache. Maybe I just didn't order right; Zevon recommends the machaca burrito.
Remarkably, the corner of Sunset and Alvarado nowadays appears pretty similar to the way it did then, creepy American Apparel billboard notwithstanding. Burrito King continues to shares the strip mall with a liquor store and a cleaners, though names and precise locations may be different, and Pizza Buono still anchors the southwestern corner. Even Sunset Auto Spa seems to be just a more modern iteration of the business that stood there before. But it’s a bit sad to see, in the clip, the big old houses around the corner from the carwash, knowing that they’d be demolished and replaced by a bunch of ugly lofts.