Friday, March 4, 2011

Foodie Fridays: The Kitchen at The Dime

I’m not going to lie, I thought I misheard when I was first told that The Dime had begun serving food. While one can’t take away its ability to draw in thirsty crowds, the divey Fairfax bar is perhaps best known as the infamous site of Spencer “Crystals” Pratt’s bar brawl on MTV’s trashy hit, The Hills. Heck, we even spotted Andy Dick here with our own eyes, being—well—a dick. So it seems the tiny watering hole has a knack for attracting some of the less-desirable celebrity types.

Regardless, The Dime is indeed serving grub now (it has been since September), and some pretty finger-lickin’ good stuff we must say. The Kitchen is helmed by Kevin Luzande, Brandon Alegria, and Shanna-Lynn Milazzo, who met while working at John Sedlar’s Rivera in downtown, and are now all at the recently-opened Playa Rivera (Kevin is the chef de cuisine, Brandon on the line, and Shana a server).

Shanna and Kevin.

When they’re not working at the new restaurant on Beverly, the group of friends is just a few blocks away, busy putting their creative juices to use coming up with inventive bites in the tight quarters Kitchen at The Dime.

Don’t come here expecting foie gras or filet mignon. The menu—which changes weekly and is only available Sunday and Monday evenings—offers basic bar bites, often with unique and mouthwatering spins. Take for example the grilled cheese mac and cheese sandwich, a creation of Shanna’s which consisted of creamy elbow macaroni smothered between two slices of cheese and bread, then grilled to perfection.

On another visit, we got to try the zucchini sticks, a greasy spoon staple, which was taken up a notch with Kevin’s tartar sauce made of homemade mayo, capers, garlic, scallions, green olives, red pepper flakes, and cornichons.

The batter on these deep-friend wands of goodness was delightfully crunchy and paired nicely with the cool and freshly prepared sauce. Below, Abby graces us with a smile and dons her signature pose. Has zucchini ever looked so good?

Also on the menu that week was the chicken parmesan sub, which was hearty and had a great consistency. Oozing out of the sandwich, the mozzarella cheese was quite indulgent.

Once again, the Kitchen at The Dime went the extra mile, this time adding basil to the classic bar snack. Here I am, biting in... CHOMP!

The final option for this particular week was the buffalo chicken wrap, stuffed with Caesar salad, housemade dressing, and white meat coated with sauce so tangy and spicy you’d think you were diving into a basket of hot wings. To order any selection, simply mark off the quantity you want on the concise menu and take it up to the bar.

Since the fare changes weekly, it might be a while before The Kitchen serves the same offerings we got to sample. But check their Facebook page for other past dishes and a mouthwatering preview of what’s to come. Take our advice, skip the packed-house Friday and Saturday boozefests at The Dime and mosey on in on a Sunday or Monday evening to take a bite out of the talented trio’s delectable creations.

The Kitchen at the Dime, 442 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323.651.4421, MAP.

Photos by Aurora Tang.

NEXT TIME on Foodie Fridays: We're heading downtown to give you the scoop on Aburiya Toranoko, the new restaurant from Lazy Ox mastermind Michael Cardenas.

Mail to: foodiefridays at foundtrack dot com


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