Set aside your traditional notions of a diner as a dirty greasy spoon establishment, replete with all of the typical diner stereotypes, including sticky menus and tabletops, bad elevator music and unflattering lighting. Kitchen 24 is the hip, younger sibling of the conventional diner of yesteryear. Like most diners are, Kitchen 24 is open 24/7, hence the name and you will find a pleasing clientele present at all hours of the day (or night). The decor is minimalist and contemporary like the lounge or lobby of a chic boutique hotel.
Quirky chandeliers made from burnished cutlery add an element of irony. Natural sunlight streams in through the glass front windows during the day, while the lighting turns ambient at night with a live DJ often spinning eclectic music, or a sporting event playing on one of the many flat screen TV’s. A fully licensed bar serves alcohol until 2 am and even has a Bloody Mary bar where you can customize your own version of the classic. However, don’t write this place off as too tragically hip to serve good food, because the best part of Kitchen 24 is the menu.
Conjure up visions of all of your favorite comfort foods but with a healthy and oftentimes vegetarian twist. The chef strives to prepare everything in-house with fresh, organic ingredients. They even use a Reverse Osmosis Filtration System, which provides the highest level of water filtration available. This translates into superior coffee, cocktails and food. We were treated to a menu tasting of some of the most popular items selected by the very knowledgeable and well-versed manager. Our only request was that the selections be vegetarian. Our server Ryan, was fantastic, a perfect mix of personable and helpful without being pushy or obtrusive. Being the particular diners we are, we had plenty of request for extra condiments, cutlery, drink refills etc, and he was more than happy to oblige us.
All of the food came out around the same time, which was perfect as we decided to taste a bit of everything on small serving plates. As mac and cheese connoisseurs, we were skeptical of their signature dish, ‘Smac and Cheese’. However we had to eat our words as a baked dish of elbow macaroni garnished with herb crusted topping, consisting of Parmesan, breadcrumbs and basil was polished off in a nanosecond. The best part was the gooey three-cheese blend of cheddar, mascarpone and Gruyere, oozing out of each bite of the elbow macaroni. The rest of the meal went just as smoothly. The sweet potato fries served with the K24 Veggie Burger were perfect parts sweet and salty, while the veggie burger itself was hearty and flavorful. An interesting touch on the burger was the veggie bacon, which surprisingly added an authentic smoky burger taste.
The Artichoke Spinach 3 Cheese Dip was creamy and cheesy, sprinkled with thickly shredded Parmesan cheese and served with garlic toast points. We took this home and re-heated it the next day, and it tasted just as great the second time around. The Vegetarian Chili was hearty and flavorful. It was packed with veggies and a ‘ground meat substitute’ and topped with a dollop of sour cream. Slightly spicy, this chili definitely packs a punch. The best part was the warm mini corn bread muffins served with this dish. They were moist with a great cornmeal texture, and paired with a whipped walnut butter spread that was literally heavenly. The Chili Cheese Fries were again served with the veggie chili and topped with melted cheddar. This was another instant crowd pleaser.
We were far too stuffed to eat dessert but managed to slurp down a delicious vanilla bean milk shake that was thick, creamy and bursting with vanilla flavor. We were tempted to grab a cookie or cupcake on our way out from the tantalizing snack bar, but held back knowing we had plenty of leftovers to revisit and remind us of our fantastic dining experience. If you are looking for a low-key, welcoming vibe with V.I.P service and stellar food then look no further than the cozy confines of Kitchen 24. This place makes you feel like you’ve passed through the velvet ropes into a chill oasis, where you are made to feel like a celebrity enjoying the comforts of a home cooked meal.
1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028