Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Train Runs Through It: Atwater Crossing Kitchen

What I miss the most from my old neighborhood is the Farmer's Market.  It offered this amazing space where you could be around people as you had a meal, but were also totally anonymous.  There was no table service, there was plenty of seating, you were in an airy environment that kind of even felt outdoor.  Once you got your food, you were pretty much on your own -- bring a couple magazines or a crossword puzzle and hang out all day if you wanted to.  I lived half a block away, and I miss it bad.

I'm surrounded by restaurants in Los Feliz (and the nearby neighborhoods), but sometimes nothing hits that sweet spot of casual, easy, anonymous, delicious.  Enter Atwater Crossing Kitchen.  Order your food at the counter, then hang out undisturbed in their summery courtyard dining area.

Atwater Crossing is a strange and wonderful place -- 2 blocks of industrial buildings house creative offices, artisanal manufacturing facilities, locations for photography and film shoots, and theaters, and the events there are eclectic and funky.  The area surrounding the Kitchen portion includes a small screening/performance room, a wine and beer bar, and that courtyard dining area with a couple communal tables, as well as a bunch of single-party ones. 
no train...

Oh! And said dining area is situated right next to a railroad track. So, every once in a while, a train chugs by right next to you! It's the coolest thing ever.
The food isn't bad, but it still needs some tweaks.  They capitalize on a wood-burning oven for flatbread pizzas that often have a Middle Eastern bent.  I had a sujuk pizza that had tons of flavor, but it was greasy and soggy in the middle, and the fresh arugula on top should have been picked through for yellow leaves.  The menu's a little weird, too:  on weekends they serve breakfast until 3, which is awesome, but you can't get anything off the lunch/dinner menu (say for example, a salad) other than pizza until after 3.  It's kind of a bummer to sit in the sunny courtyard, and not be able to enjoy a fresh, light lunch. (UPDATE:  The kind folks at Atwater Crossing itself commented below to note that lunch is in fact served before 3 now.  Awesome!)
yes, that's my finger.  hi.
Overall, though, I'm totally stoked that this place exists.  The courtyard is perfect for lunch on a sunny day, but now that the days are getting longer, I can't wait to go there for an evening glass of wine.  I know I started off singing the praises of the place's anonymity, but I just changed my mind.  Atwater Crossing Kitchen is actually totally awesome and neighborhoody; of course I want to be its friend!

Atwater Crossing Kitchen is at 3245 Casitas Ave.


  1. Love your title "A Train Runs Through It"! We just named our stage The Platform in honor of our ever present and loved trains. Lunch starts way before three now so come and try the flatbreads or trio of the day. We would love to see you back in the neighborhood.

  2. that strangest pizza .... haha ... beautiful environment .. very nice ...
    the statue of the Centaur is awesome .... is very good ..
    very interesting article ..
    greetings ..

  3. this place looks great! I'll definitely have to check it out. Thanks Tannaz!

  4. ATX: Hi, and thanks for clarifying! I updated the post to reflect your new information.

    Sofi, I agree -- the centaur statue is awesome!

    and Lauren, summer is coming soon. If you ever want to swing by for a glass of wine after work.. just say the word! =)

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