Bubble, bubble . . . Where lotuses once blossomed, there's only lake.

Echo Park Lake's luxurious lotus beds were gone, but that didn't seem to keep crowds away from the the neighborhood's annual lakeside festival — although the city and local Chamber of Commerce had to redub the event the Echo Park Community Festival, instead of its traditional moniker, the Lotus Festival. The park was thronged with families and groovers alike who braved the heat to listen to bands and ethnic music troupes, or who wandered through lanes of tents whose vendors sold hand-carved guns or much-needed parasols. The festival is a much more toned-down event compared to its leathered-vested cousin up at Sunset Junction, but at least Echo Park's is free and comes with ducks to feed.

As always, L.A. Daily arrived fully intending to scoff at all the meat-on-a-stick joints — and immediately headed to one and ordered a plate full of skewers and noodels. And, as usual, we were lured by signs reading $6 and $8 — only to be hit with a $10 tab after receving our plate. We'll know better next year!

LA Weekly