Dune Kitchen is a small space without a sign. It’s in the south stretch of Atwater Village, on the west side of Glendale Boulevard near Bon Vivant, Baracoa and Tacos Villa Corona.
The menu’s written on the wall and you order at the counter. There are about eight stools inside, and five or six tables outside on the sidewalk. And on a nice day or evening, it’s delightful to sit outside.
Basically, there are sandwiches, plates and toasts. The plates are hummus, hummus and tabouleh, hummus and lamb, etc. The sandwiches have interesting combinations of ingredients, as do the toasts. Prices are very reasonable. Our check was $21 for two.
Above is the lamb sandwich. The bread has a nice firm body, which serves to keep the whole thing together. The lamb was not sliced like you might get in wraps from other Middle Eastern and Israeli restaurants. Rather, this was ground meat, seasoned then fire grilled. It had a delicious crust, but wasn’t dry at all. And the charring of the outside served to bring out the seasoning quite nicely. The sauces that covered the meat, together with the greens served as a counterweight to the spices in the meat. This was a good sandwich.
Above is the hummus and tabouleh plate. It comes with pickled red onions, a red cabbage salad, diced turnip pickles (like you get in any middle eastern place), the hummus with a nice seasoned chutney in the middle, and a delicious tabouleh that included quinoa. I had never had it with the quinoa, and this gave it a certain airy lightness. It was a very nice interpretation of the traditional dish. Like the sandwich, the bread was firmer than pita, and made a very good scoop for the hummus and tabouli.
On the counter were two sauces (three if you include a bottle of Crystal hot sauce). One was a thick shredded green chile sauce which had a nuance of Hatch chile, but I don’t think it was. The other was a mixture various spices which I thought included cumin, turmeric and others. It had an Indian profile. Both sauces were delicious on everything.
All in all, this was a very good interpretation and update to the traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. It was a flavor bomb compared to the traditional places, but the old flavors and textures are still there.