Put me down as being a fan of this kind of variant puzzle. The diagonal symmetry and the kite image was quite a refreshing break! The theme fill seemed adequately dense, and I loved the way it herringboned. The other fill was, I'd say, above average, especially for a Tuesday. There was a point when I saw "LA_" meeting up with "AMI_," and I sighed and looked for the clues "First name in tyranny" and "Office setup," but got instead 25D: Surrounded by (AMID) and 33A: Young chap (LAD). It's a small thing, perhaps, but it made me happy.
On a slightly larger scale, you've got such quality (every time I write the word "quality" I have to suppress the urge to spell it "kwality") fill as PHENOMS (34D: Sports wonders, say), RAVISHED (2D: Enraptured), SENSEI (49A: Martial arts instructor), and QUELLS (30A: Silences).
It was tough getting started up in the NW, as neither DRDOOM (1A: Archenemy of the Fantastic Four) nor JARULE (12A: Rapper with the 2002 #1 hit "Always on Time") came without a few crosses. All in all, though, I'm quite happy with it.