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The Diner Done Better: Kitchen 24

The Neighborhood Spot

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Kitchen 24Either you love diner food or you don't; usually, there's no in between.

Those who do, love not only the retro-décor, but also the fact that they have a multi-paged menu full of dishes to choose from , even if all they get are their favorites. Those who don't may believe that, typically speaking, any restaurant boasting such a wide variety of food items cannot possibly do any one of them truly well.

The emergence of Hollywood's Kitchen 24, may be changing all this. In an area already populated with high end restaurants, Kitchen 24 has an affordable menu that boasts the usual diner comfort foods, using only the freshest of ingredients, like cage free eggs, and making most everything from scratch (as opposed to frozen), thus giving most dishes the taste of gourmet.

Co-owner David Dickerson's goal was initially to open a "neighborhood diner" where residents could come back regularly, developing actual friendly relationships to the people who serve them their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. "It's a utilitarian restaurant," Dickerson told me. "Our menu was designed to create a low priced point option in the neighborhood for dining. We have people who live right around the corner and eat here twice a day or a couple days a week. We knew our late night business was going to be good because of the amount of bars in the area and it has actually exceeded our initial expectations. Still, our lunches are just as busy as our late nights." Referring to the eatery's chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry color scheme decorating it's tables, chairs, and walls, David told me how, "Even the interior design is a re-conceptualization of the diner."

In addition to the tried and true diner hits like the Chicken Club, the Monte Cristo, and Meatloaf (presented in a pastry wrap as a unique twist), Kitchen 24 offers a great Mediterranean Tofu Scramble that has become one of their most popular items, along with their vegetarian chili and other more health conscious items. Upon hearing that the Kitchen 24 house burger won Los Angeles Magazine's Best Burger Award last year I was almost tempted to lift my personal ban of eating red meat, but instead opted for the incredibly tasty veggie burger made with garbanzo beans (as opposed to how most are made with soy or tofu) with onions, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes, and mayo on a brioche bun.

The resident pastry chef/baker, Daisy, makes all the cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and other desserts, as with everything in Kitchen 24, from scratch right in the back. There's also a fully stocked bar for those who like an alcoholic drink with their meal.

Dickerson stated that there may be future plans to create another Kitchen 24 further west of Hollywood or downtown as well as possibly in Chicago, New York and D.C. But for now he says he'll continue to enjoy, "Being able to come here and watch football on Sunday morning with my neighbors."

Kitchen 24 is located at 1608 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Telephone: 323-465-2424