Before a performance in May of the avant-garde, Hurricane Katrina–themed opera Crescent City at the Atwater Crossing complex's AT1 space, the experience of eating at communal tables in the open-air courtyard at the adjoining, Mediterranean-tinged Atwater Crossing Kitchen enhanced the experience like few other pre-theater dinners. It was easy to feel at one with your fellow diners — we are all here, eating spiced lamb flatbread, drinking Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale, about to see this weird new thing, together. During intermission, the drinks continued to flow, with legendary composer John Adams among the revelers. The complex hosts concerts, readings, comedy open-mic nights, offices and studios and, along with the new Atwater Village Theatre next door, has forged an offbeat arts district in this unlikely stretch of warehouses in front of train tracks. 3245-3191 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. (323) 522-3488,

—Zachary Pincus-Roth

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.