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Grand Entrance

BY Krista Simmons | February 20, 2019 | Feature Features National

Atrium's bold, global flavors spice up the Los Feliz dining scene.
Atrium owner Beau Laughlin

Los Feliz, with its charming storefronts and historic hillside architecture, is home to some of the most coveted real estate in Los Angeles. But there’s been a real dearth of restaurant options for its well-heeled residents, especially considering how the rest of the city’s dining scene has expanded in the past 10 years. Which is why the opening of Atrium, the gorgeous new restaurant by the team behind Silver Lake dining destinations Sawyer, Kettle Black and Scout, has been welcomed with open arms.

The entrance to Atrium is an unassuming corridor that leads to an expansive dining room with a beautiful bow trussed ceiling. The space is warm and adorned with a plethora of lush indoor plants that’d make Jungalow-founder Justina Blakeney envious. There are green velvet tufted banquettes, and a horseshoe bar whose backdrop is an entirely glass-enclosed kitchen. More than just a tactic to encourage chefs to keep their stations tidy, the fishbowl effect is a gentle nod for those sipping cocktails at the bar to also engage in what’s going on in the kitchen.

And they should. For the project, owners Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken tapped executive chef-partner Hunter Pritchett (formerly of Son of a Gun and Melody), who spent his childhood living in London, Malaysia and the Philippines. Pritchett’s food is inspired by his international upbringing as well as the diversity of Los Angeles—he seamlessly weaves flavors from Hispanic, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Armenian and Middle Eastern kitchens into his cooking, without making it seem like forced fusion.

To start, there’s a well-balanced hamachi crudo dressed with passion fruit-spiked nuoc cham, a dipping sauce typically made with lime, chile, fish sauce and sugar that you’ll often find alongside egg rolls at Vietnamese spots. The colorful crudo comes with chiles, onion and a smattering of herbs, and makes for a perfect palate-awakening starter or even a main if you’re keeping it light.

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