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Scene Setter: K2 in Silver Lake

Alfredo Diaz spices up the old Eat Well space with a new brunch destination. Catfish and eggs, please.

October 11, 2010|By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times

Louisiana hot sauce and a large cardboard container of sea salt sit on every table at Silver Lake's new Cajun-influenced restaurant K2. Owned by Alfredo Diaz, the restaurant serves as the second location to Diaz's popular Kokomo Café, which recently moved from its longtime spot at the Original Farmers Market to the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Martel Avenue.

Like its predecessor, K2 traffics in fresh, healthful, modern American food with a dash of bayou spice. The house specialty is catfish and eggs, which at first glance seems like an odd pairing. But it's actually quite nice, largely because the farm-raised catfish used at K2 is coated in a light, flavorful mixture of cornmeal and cayenne pepper and crisped in a manner that leaves no trace of grease.

Order your eggs over easy and rejoice as the mellow, cage-free yolk mingles with the warm, tender-centered fish. Push a pile of finely chopped potatoes into the mix, sprinkle a touch of that sea salt and add a liberal dribble of hot sauce and you'll find that you have a plateful of morning sunshine.

And morning sunshine is what Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake is all about these days as the neighborhood solidifies its place as one of the most populated brunch destinations in the city. K2 is an essential addition to this hard-eating milieu as it occupies the space once taken by Eat Well — an early adopter of the brunch scene.

For three years the once-packed restaurant, with its prime sidewalk seating sat empty, reminding passersby of the early aughts when Silver Lake was more Bud Light and leather, less ergonomic baby stroller and scientifically manufactured coffee. A time when a little wiener dog named Bingo that belonged to the boutique Pull My Daisy would trot proudly down the street to Eat Well for table scraps.

Now that the restaurant is open, a sentimental neighborhood is flocking. With a largely gray-and-white color scheme with dashes of purple thrown in for effect, the restaurant is an exercise in clean, Swedish-style modernity. Polished concrete floors, exposed venting, raftered ceilings, particle-board-like accents, plush booths, simple chairs and a long snow-white counter with diner seating provide the setting for a bustling lunch and breakfast scene. Dinner service will commence in a few weeks.

"I think people have just been waiting for it and waiting for it," says Diaz of the restaurant's opening, adding that he is working to keep the restaurant as green as possible and hopes to eventually install solar panels.

In addition, all the seafood is sustainable and the meats vegetarian fed, humanely treated and hormone free. The menu offers a variety of egg dishes and scrambles, as well as farmers market fresh salads, burgers and sandwiches, including a decadent, pressed Cuban, a tangy buffalo chicken and a classic BLT with salty, thick-cut bacon.

Now if only a side of that addictive catfish came with everything.

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

K2

Where: 3916 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A.

When: Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Eggs and breakfast items $5.95 to $11.25; sandwiches, burgers and salads $9 to $14. Dinner coming soon with main courses $16 to $19.

Contact: (323) 662-7698; http://www.kokomo.com

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