05 Mar Worth a Drive to Los Feliz to Dine at Atrium
Driving along Vermont Boulevard in Los Feliz, Atrium is not visible from the street. But if you found the Skylight Theater, you are there. Atrium is adjacent to the theater and to enter, you have to walk down a brick alley-way that can double for cozy outside seating (when the weather is warm).
Inside, Atrium is a stunning warehouse with a cool, youthful, sustainable vibe. Exposed brick walls surround the large space and the bow-truss ceiling opens the space even more. Tables and booths are scattered around the room and no matter where you sit, you will have a view of the large bar that lies in the center with an open kitchen behind it. Live trees and plants fill the space, adding a vibrant freshness to the already clean, modern restaurant.
Chef Hunter Pritchett has created a menu that is an eclectic mix of seasonal ingredients and LA flavors inspired by a mix of ethnic cuisines, ranging form Israeli and Middle Eastern to Mexican to Asian flavors.
We started with a bottle of Ca’ Di Rajo Prosecco, Valdobbiadene, Italy.
And then ordered a bottle of Johan 2017 Farmlands Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon to pair with the rest of the meal.
Hamachi Crudo with passion fruit nuoc cham, chiles, onion, viet herbs is a balanced dish of heat and acidity.
The Grilled Focaccia has a crispy crust with honeyed and nutty flavors. Served with kimchi butter topped with a drizzle of buckwheat honey, it is easy to forget this is butter and to use it more like a dip.
Crispy BBQ Dusted Fingerling Potatoes with french onion dip are definitely crispy and the French onion dip tempers the tang of the BBQ dust.
Crispy Oyster Mushrooms with eel sauce glaze, smashed cucumbers, sesame and cilantro are quite addictive! The sweetness of the eel sauce and the spice of the chilies stood up to the tempura battered mushrooms.
Beef Carpaccio Carne Asada with salsa macha, avocado crema, crispy potatoes is a play on a classic dish. Even though the carpaccio is buried under the crunchy potato strings, the flavors stood out.
Honey Roasted Beets with straciatella, pistachio, umeboshi vinaigrette, dandelion greens is a dish for all beet lovers. The beets are sweet and balanced beautifully with the tartness of the pickled plum vinaigrette and creamy straciatella cheese.
The Octopus Al Pastor Tostada is served on a crisp tostada and topped with salsa taquero, charred pineapple and shredded cabbage and each bite was meaty with a little spice and a crunch from the tostada.
The Uni Cacio e Pepe was a definitely favorite with spaghetti, tellicherry peppercorn and pecorino topped with three fresh pieces of Santa Barbara uni. It was a combo of creamy, savory and earthy and the pasta was fresh and delicate.
The Dry Aged 8 ounce prime beef hanger steak is served with a rich, yet spicy, szechuan au poivre sauce, market vegetables and butter fingerling potatoes.
For dessert, we enjoyed a trio of Coconut Mousse with mango sorbet, horchata granita, puffed brown rice, sweet basil vinaigrette and coconut lime foam, White Sesame with tahini sorbet, peanut brittle, candied pistachio, yogurt foam, lemon, brioche and a Sweet Potato Sorbet with granola. What I liked about each of the desserts is that they were not rich or overly sweet, but rather a refreshing balance of savory and sweet flavors.
1816 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA