La Brea: Sycamore Kitchen
Ever since I was 10 years old, I've been a salad freak. Where other kids might order chicken fingers and fries at T.G.I. Friday's, I'd order French onion soup and Caesar salad. (Mom, thank you for this weirdly over-developed child's palate.)
So it's only natural that when I want a great lunch, that means salad. And not just any puny salad-- we're talking hearty, textured, sweet, salty, crunchy salads. Mixtures that will leave you stuffed for hours. Lettuce nachos that don't fuck around.
The Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea is exactly where you can find said salads. Tucked away in a deep-set, brick-enclosed room, a fully loaded bakery case welcomes you as if to say, "You think you know what you came here for, but you have no idea."
When you pull your eyes from fennel butter cookies and chocolate cherry tarts, you find a menu stacked with sandwiches, eggs, soups, roasted vegetables and, you guessed it, salads.
My go-tos are the Mediterranean Gem (gem lettuce, chicken, dates, bleu cheese, hazelnuts, radicchio, grapes and red wine vinaigrette) and the Italian Chop Salad (radicchio, kale, cabbage, tomatoes, almonds, chicken, golden beets, Parmesan and lemon vinaigrette). Sit on the patio with one of these and watch the kids, dogs, families and workout queens alike truly enjoy what's in front of them as well.
Once you've disheveled greens from a bowl big enough to mix two batches of cookie dough at once, there's only one thing left to do.
Go back inside. Revisit the bakery case. Leave with a chocolate chip rye cookie. Relish in this cookie in the comfort of your own home (or in L.A.'s case, car ride on the way home).
OVERALL: It's approachable, easy, healthy and delicious. You can't go wrong with anything you order here. Staff is incredibly kind and helpful as well.
GO: On the weekend when you want to catch up with a girlfriend you're most comfortable with (you'll be eating salad, and we KNOW what that face looks like).