Most fast-casual restaurants aren't nearly as inspired as the Mighty, Quinn and Karen Hatfield’s new venture in the original Pitfire Pizza location downtown. The redecorated interior feels fresh and new, matching the menu of salads, Mary’s chickens, house-made pastas and a California beer and wine list — and Karen Hatfield's show-stopping desserts.

She is one of L.A.'s most beloved bakers of sweet and savory alike, and for the Mighty she has created a perfect focaccia. In the same way that country bread is a specialty at sister restaurant Sycamore Kitchen, the Mighty's focaccia is integral to many dishes here — accompanying a few starters, bookending the sandwiches and topping the salads in crouton form.

The focaccia is used to greatest effect in the Mighty sandwich, featuring both porchetta and fennel sausage, harissa aioli and fennel onion jam between two slices of the Italian flatbread.

The kale salad is a refreshing take on a now-tired standard, adding pesto quinoa to roasted vegetables and pine nuts, grapes and tomatoes. Spinach fattoush, a butter lettuce and rotisserie chicken mix, and Napa cabbage slaw also put the focus on stellar local produce.

The pasta dishes, like the candele with chicken Bolognese, roasted pumpkin and fried sage, tagliatelle with pesto and cured egg yolk, and rigatoni with tomato passata are created with house-made noodles, a particular point of pride for the restaurant.

Then, of course, there’s the rotating pastry case, which contains an assortment of flavor duos everywhere you look. Layer cakes combine coffee and mascarpone or chocolate and Nutella. The assortment of cookies (peanut butter caramel, chocolate chip rye and so on), are perfect for that sweet little grab-and-go.

In its soft-opening phase, the Mighty is open daily 5 to 10 p.m., with plans to expand into lunch hours shortly.

108 W. Second St., downtown; (213) 278-0025,

Credit: Esther Tseng

Credit: Esther Tseng

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