Design Dish: Tilda Wine Bar


Tilda Wine Bar in Echo Park, designed by Stayner Architects, is the perfect place to catch up with friends over a quick glass of wine and a snack

Europe is full of caves à manger,​ intimate spots that blur the boundaries between restaurant, wine bar and bottle shop, easy places to pop in for quick drink and light snack with friends before heading to another event or home to dinner, a bottle of wine to accompany that meal in hand. Now Tilda Wine Bar brings that concept to Los Angeles.

Photos throughout by Jon Anthony

The slender wine bar and bottle shop, open from lunch til late in the evenings, showcases California’s natural wines. “After tasting so many wonderful natural wines from California over the years, we decided to give them a venue all their own,” says co-owner and Echo Park resident Jason Goldman, “I like to think of our shelves as a drinkable map of California.”

The decision to focus on natural wines from California grew from an interest in supporting local winemakers, as well as the diminutive size of the space. “Focusing in on California natural wines was a perfect fit for us, and a direct reflection of Tilda’s ethos,” said General Manager Carrie Funk, formerly of Ostrich Farm and Bar Calò.

To go along with the changing list of wines, Tilda offers small bits and nibbles, perfect for eating while standing at the bar or at the one of tiny shop’s tables, including charcuterie and cheese boards, a smoked trout dip served with potato chips, skewers of manzanilla olive wrapped with anchovy filet and paired with a pickled guindilla pepper.

The 374 square foot space, tucked inside a bow-truss building, was designed by Tilda’s co-owner, architect Christian Stayner of Stayner Architects. “The space is reminiscent of a studio apartment — compact and contiguous — so we decided to play with that quality,” Stayner says, “We started to think of it as Tilda’s living room, and so wanted to impart the unfussy hospitality of being hosted by a wine-loving friend.”

Custom-built furniture and vintage pieces that Stayner has collected over the past decade from Hans Bergstrom and Louis Kalf are mixed with Alexander Girard’s ‘Superweave’ textiles and abstract paintings. “We were inspired by the design and strong identities of The Esalen Institute, Braniff Airways, and Sunset magazine in the late 1960s and 70s,” says Stayner.

Tilda Wine Bar, 1507 Echo Park Avenue. Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, and Monday from noon to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight.