Tuesday, January 26, 2010

# 20 Kitchen 24

#30 Hollywood Walk of Fame
#29 Yamashiro
#28 Hollywood Billiards
#27 Genghis Cohen
#26 Piano Bar
#25 Shmutzville
# 24 Loteria
# 23 The Griddle
# 22 Proximity
# 21 Hollywood Freeway

#20 Kitchen 24

This one is kind of weird. I'm going to make this one quick. Kitchen 24 is a newish 24 hour diner/bar on that terrible stretch of Cahuenga that makes you want to shoot yourself in the mouth. The décor/ambience is consistent with the poopiness outside. The food is fine but forgettable, the service is terrible, the crowd is barely tolerable. I must really be selling you on the place.

OK, let me start over.

To many people, a neighborhood is defined by its bars. Because so much of your interaction with a particular neighborhood is sitting at a barstool, judging where you live based on what kind of drinks are poured and what kind of music is playing at a bar seems like a fine way to craft an opinion about a given neighborhood. I have no problem with this line of thinking. However, in my own judgment, I have a different criteria for how to judge an area: late night dining.

You may think I'm joking, but, as a career bartender, coming home at one AM, two AM, three AM, even four AM are normal to me. Weekend nights are almost always spent either behind the bar, or spending time with the people I don't get to see during the week. Going out is never THAT important to me. However, eating is. I get off work and I'm hungry. Sometimes I'm just home and due to circumstances ranging from lack of dinner to inhalation of smoke, I may be pretty hungry at an odd hour. This is one of the main reasons I couldn't live in Santa Monica. It is also one of the biggest draws to my new neighborhood. My current neighborhood, however, offers on of the best selections for this type of situation in LA.

Kitchen 24 is both the closest, and probably the most reliable of these places. Their menu is big enough, and despite what I said about it earlier, the experience could be quite enjoyable. Maybe I won't miss the people that much, and maybe the 24 hour dining necessity thing will be easily replaced by the soon-to-be-24-hour café that’s in my new building, but for a year and a half, Kitchen 24 has been my safety net. I have gone through the whole menu, from the breakfasts to the meatball sandwich, usually settling on the veggie chili. I have gotten drunk there, I've seen celebrities, I have been there at 9 AM for breakfast, and it's been a pretty big part of my life. Much like a lot of places back home that might not have been super good, but played a big role in my life, I will miss Kitchen 24.

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