Community kitchen

Secret whiskey sodas and pork dumplings at speakeasy in Atwater.

A few weeks ago I wrote a story for KCET Food about local food startups using Kickstarter to launch their businesses. One of the highlights was learning about Thank You for Coming, a combination food education center, cooking school, and community kitchen wrapped into a tiny storefront in suddenly hot Atwater Village.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Thank You for Coming that they’re tapping their friends to host “residencies,” from one night stands to week-long runs where they can create high-concept menus, prepare themed meals, or pass along their skills in classes. These are things that are already happening in the LA restaurant world, of course—the insanely popular Ludo Bites pops up in various restaurants, The Oinkster’s recent Burger Week re-created seven fast-food burgers, and Canele, across the street, hosts Closed on Mondays, which I’ve also written about before—but the difference here is that anyone can apply with a creative idea, and Thank you for Coming will make it happen.

Secret honey lavender and bourbon pecan gelato.

The partners invited us over for a little private preview of what’s to come when they soft open this summer, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a restaurant to open. The food was awesome—steamy pork and veggie dumplings prepared on a hot plate al fresco in the garden out back, tangy whiskey sodas, and freshly scooped honey lavender and bourbon butter pecan gelato. But it was even more interesting to see who else came by. These were friends and neighbors who had invested in the restaurant through Kickstarter and in other ways, and each felt like they had a special connection to the restaurant. That, I think, will make Thank You for Coming a success—it already has a built-in community of fans. I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere, but never found the perfect restaurant. I think this is going to be my place.

You can read the story at KCET Food, and RSVP for Thank You for Coming’s Summer Solstice party June 21.

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  • Carren_Jao

    Sounds totally awesome :) I also read that post and it was great! Thanks for the tip!