143 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
I'm thrilled to welcome Sycamore Kitchen to the neighborhood. Having heard that they serve Stumptown coffee, nothing could get me there soon enough yesterday for their opening day. Quinn and Karen Hatfield (the power couple behind the critically acclaimed Hatfield's) have answered my prayers with the debut of their lunchtime patio cafe. And it is just in time for summer! With a casual vibe and industrial space, it's perfectly tucked away on La Brea Ave. amidst some of LA's coolest vintage boutiques and furniture stores.
The outdoor patio is spacious but sparse, with simple metal tables and chairs seated beneath large white umbrellas. Inside, exposed brick walls with high ceilings dripping in aluminum tubing and rafters create that sought-after, designer loft feeling. Glass windows keep the space feeling bright and airy and if you're in one of your characteristically nice-enough-to-talk-to-a-stranger-moods you can sit at a wooden communal table and make friends. Or just gawk at the glass counter filled with tantalizing (and dare I say it, pretty healthy) pastries, like lemon polenta cake, coconut carrot parsnip bread and quinoa muffins.
As for the menu, the fresh, wholesome ingredients are creatively combined with thoughtfully intended seasonal flavors; which is exactly what I expect from chefs of such genius.
The Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich [$11] was delectable. Sandwiched between two slices of country bread slathered in tangy olive tapenade and sweet meyer lemon confit, the subtle juxtaposition of flavors was magical. With juicy tomato and frissee lettuces, this inconspicuous looking little sandwich will slowly disarm you and quite possibly undress you.
The Chinoix Salad [$12] with shredded chicken, cabbage, apple, almond, puffed rice, and muddled ginger vinaigrette was light and delicious. Any fan of chinese chicken salad will enjoy this leafy delight. The crunch from the puffed rice and the sliced almonds were a lovely substitute to your typical fried wonton and I enjoyed the fresh bite of sliced apples that replaced the more traditional mandarin slices.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad [$12] with dates, toasted hazelnuts, radicchio, kale, blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette is a superb choice for someone craving a more powerful salad. The blue cheese of course brought an intensely sharp and complex creaminess to the salad, and the saltiness of the blue cheese was paired with the sweetness of halved dates and the warm nuttiness of toasted hazelnuts. All the bases were covered here to make a truly tasty salad.
The Double B-LTA [$11] with crispy bacon and braised pork belly, butter lettuce, balsamic tomatoes, and avocado on country bread was a lusciously decadent darling. The pork belly and the avocado were creamy and practically melted into the fresh baked bread. Thank goodness for the balsamic on the tomatoes because they had the acidity needed to wake everything up. And if that doesn't do the trick, a Stumptown cold brew sure will.
Sycamore Kitchen is open for coffee and lunch all day from 8am-5pm. No alcohol is served for now, but a salted caramel pecan bopka roll should take your mind off of that. Sycamore Kitchen has good things unfolding, with breakfast coming soon, and weekend brunch after that. The menu foreshadows such delicacies as rolled buckwheat crepes with strawberries, ricotta, and honey butter and cinnamon brioche french toast with grated apple slaw and creme fraiche. That's right, when the Hatfield's whip out the creme fraiche, the best thing to do is say "YESH".
143 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
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