I checked Chowhound and there hasn't been a review of The Kitchen in a while. I went for the first time over the weekend, and here's my take:
First, it's a tiny, tiny restaurant on Sunset Blvd near Hollywood, right next door to the (much revered) Pioneer Chicken. The place consists of a rectangular, cramped space, maybe 12-15 tables in a casual/grunge-chic setting. Very "Swingers" (the movie, not coffeeshop).
It was completely packed at 7 on Sat night. Only one waiter for the entire place. Totally harried, hurrying from one end of the place to another without cracking a smile. Poor lady! To her credit, she did tell us it'd take awhile for her to get our order and we were ok with that. And she was never rude, just busy.
The Kitchen serves standard, American food at $8-12 an entree. I had the blackened tuna sandwich, which came on a crusty french roll with avocado slices. Quite good: the plump, fresh tuna was peppery and the avocado gave the sandwich a nice buttery edge. My only beef with the plate was my tuna was almost completely cooked when I had specifically requested it to be seared rare. The tuna was almost entirely white, maybe a small thin line of pink in the middle. What a shame! Still, I enjoyed my sandwich overall though it was not as stellar as it could have been.
A friend had the meatloaf on a bed of mashed potatoes. Good, creamy mashed potatoes. Meatloaf was ok, but the accompanying sauce was too cloying--almost like a barbeque sauce, except not. Another friend had the grilled tofu special. He didn't seem particularly happy with it mainly because the tofu looked like an Altoids box, very dry. Actually, come to think of it, it looked like a big block of feta cheese.
Final consensus? Good neighborhood place, casual atmosphere, at prices I like! The food and service here is better than the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop too. Next time around, I'm gonna check out their breakfast (which I hear is awesome).
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