Kitchen 24’s second location opened just a few months ago on Santa Monica Boulevard and we were happy to see the diner was filling up as we came in to have dinner on the patio. In our last review “The neighborhood diner steps it up”, we tried some of K24’s revamped classic favorites: Smack n’ Cheese, Monte Cristo, the Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Red Velvet Cupcake for dessert. All were good, but following the history of the original American diner the food was very heavy so tonight I wanted to see if one could enjoy a meal here without the guilt and morning-after scale disappointment.
We also wanted a chance to enjoy dining outdoors now that summer is in full swing. K24 has one of the largest dining patios on the Boulevard, so seating was plentiful. You can opt for a table on the street side for plenty of people watching, or tuck into a quieter corner at the back of the patio near the coffee bar. The patio here is open and a bit municipal; metal seating, acrylic tables and the bordering vegetation is California conservational cacti. Not the patio to impress a first date, but great for a group of friends or casual dining. As the sun was setting we noticed that the patio was a bit short on light, luckily the neon from neighboring stores cast a bit of color and illumination.
K24 has a good menu of solid upscale diner favorites as well as farm fresh salads and in mom and pop diner tradition breakfast can be ordered any time of the day or night.
K24 is clearly targeting the after-hours crowd with carb-loading temptations such as the Disco Fries aka “The Post Party Ritual”. This nightcap consists of seasoned fries, chicken gravy and melted provolone cheese, clearly a dish created as a preemptive strike against a club going hangover.
In my quest for a waistline friendly meal the Disco Fries was clearly not considerable and our waitress suggested the Beet and Goat Cheese salad which can be topped with chicken, tofu or salmon. My partner however, was happy to order a more substantial meal, the Big Baller sandwich. For pre-dinner cocktails we sampled the Spicy Margarita and the Man-Mosa. The Spicy Margarita rimmed in coarse salt was both refreshing and boldly spicy, a good sipping cocktail. The Man-Mosa is freshly squeezed orange juice topped with a Great White beer, a strange combination but better than we anticipated it would be.
Our meal came promptly and the salad was delicious, a large portion of fresh greens, cucumber, golden beets, grape tomato, goat cheese, candied walnuts and giant croutons that were crispy but not jaw-breaking. Tossed in light vinaigrette, it was the perfectly healthy summer salad to enjoy in the open air setting.
The Big Baller sandwich was served on fresh chewy bread, two large tender meatballs covered in sauce and melting cheese and topped with fresh basil. Savory, satisfying and not overly sauced this is a really good meatball sandwich. The sweet potato fries were again just ok, still not as crispy as we would like them.
K24 also houses the K24 Barista Bar where you will find the best latte around. A bold move, as Starbucks is right next door. The barista told us that the beans are roasted at a boutique roaster and the milk used in their coffee is from a northern California farm that produces milk with a higher fat content, giving the steamed milk a sweeter taste and velvety feel in the mouth. The latte we tried was indeed one of the best we’ve ever tasted and was beautifully presented.
K24 will continue to appeal to both the diner looking for that familiar taste of days gone by or the more trend-loving foodie wanting to try new twists on old classics.