Kid Hit Menu Items: Breakfast basics are served all day until 3 at Atwater Crossing Kitchen, so pick from two organic eggs cooked any style for five bucks. Add bacon or sausage for $3. Granola and yogurt and/or fruit ($5-8), and other set egg-centric options such as the New York Omelette with smoked salmon, red onion, dill and mascarpone. Various pastries, many of them vegan (the blackberry sage jam cookie for a buck worked out well), are made in-house. I ordered the Provence flatbread ($8), a soft bed of mild dough cooked in the wood-burning oven for me, but the boys wound up each taking a quarter since they were interested in the caramelized onions and goat cheese. The Margherita style flatbread with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and basil won’t scare too many off. Lemon garlic chicken tenderloin skewer ($3) sounds like no-brainer for poultry fans.
Adult Perks: Atwater Crossing Kitchen has a gorgeous La Marzocco machine ready to go, but I’ve yet to try the coffee drinks. (Still too hooked on Cognoscenti Coffee down the street at Proof.) A wall of loose-leaf teas looks pretty and appealing. Lots of flatbread combos and skewers sound worth trying, such as the spiced mint lamb with pomegranate molasses and mint pesto, and the miso sake mirin tofu on a stick. SEE UPDATE BELOW…
Pros: Atwater Crossing Kitchen is at the heart of the groovy creative Atwater Crossing complex, and best of all, nestled right up against the tracks that carry Amtrak, Metrolink, and freight train lines. It’s a kinder, gentler industrial park with organic, seasonal food with very fair prices for the quality. We had TWO Union Pacific double diesel engine spottings while we sat on the modern teak benches at a communal table facing the tracks. (It was probably the same train passing twice in opposite directions, but that didn’t matter to the interested parties. Between this and Carney’s Studio City that afternoon, this was a red letter day.) Currently there’s still major noisy construction happening across Casitas Avenue, which is fun to see and hear for some, a loud drag for others.
Cons: Atwater Kitchen is new, laid back and progressive, and at the moment might be more akin to an ideal dreamy architecture and planning school commissary than fully professional food service operation as it gets its sea legs. Even if counter service generally means a different level of attention, employees should notice when 20 minutes has gone by and customers’ food hasn’t shown up, and THEN take a meal/smoke break. Turned out my order hadn’t been communicated to the chef. Easily fixed.
Changing Station: No
High Chairs: No
Parking and Access: Street parking
Other Tidbits: Anyone with an interest in community development and reuse of L.A.’s quirky built environment will love Atwater Crossing’s mission and that there creative synergy they’ve got going between Glendale and Fletcher. All the better that it includes a restaurant with smart contemporary design and a wood-burning oven. AND trains rush past the site. All that space for kids to play and romp proved to be super useful, too. (I first went to Atwater Crossing for the GOOD LA launch during the day, but the patio and outdoor bar and restaurant make a killer evening private event space.) Anyway, we’ll totally be coming back to sample more from the menu, taste what’s coming from that La Marzocco, and do some more train watching. And if the Kitchen adds home delivery as currently promised, that’ll be a major score for those of us in the area.
UPDATE: ATX Kitchen was sold, and then bit the dust after what seemed like merely a few weeks under new ownership. But no mind, because from the ashes has risen some of the BEST Texas BBQ you can get in L.A. Thanks to a great tip, I’m now selfishly super psyched to have this quality dry rub meat in our area as part of the BBQ wave that’s been making its way through the city of late. I picked up a couple of pounds of brisket and half rack of babybacks (I should have gotten more of the latter), and served it all at home for dinner that night. Still can’t vouch for the sides, though, nor the True and Brave label coffee.
3245 Casitas Avenue, Atwater Village
Cuisine: Eclectic, Cafe, Mediterranean
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dinner and weekend hours coming later in September.