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53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich

Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A sandwich
Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A sandwich
A. Scattergood

Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich.

Quinn and Karen Hatfield's newish casual place on La Brea, The Sycamore Kitchen, is an exercise in incommensurateness, albeit a very L.A. one. It is a breakfast and lunch place with valet parking. The outdoor patio has an almost picnic-table feel to it, yet there you are on busy La Brea Ave., hardly the most pastoral place in town. You order at the counter and take a number, yet the plate that arrives at your table may be filled with pastries that wouldn't be out of place at the most sedate of Parisian pâtisseries, or a constructed salad that could be equally at home at Hatfield's, the couple's fine dining palace on Melrose -- where the chefs in the open kitchen actually wear toques.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the sandwiches at The Sycamore Kitchen are, well, more than ordinary sandwiches. The BLT is a creation that most of us take for granted on a lunch menu; like an order of omelet-and-hash-browns at a diner, it's there because it should be, a reminder that, despite a turbulent world, the ordinary machinery still works.

The Sycamore Kitchen's BLT, called a Double BLT-A, is also a reminder that, in the hands of excellent chefs, a sandwich can be a very hands-on experience, so to speak -- both for them and for you. The bread is made in Karen Hatfield's excellent pastry kitchen, not a sourdough exactly but a bread built simply with levain and good flour and technique. There is not only bacon, but pork belly -- an ingredient on too many menus in this Era of the Gastropub, but in this case exactly where it should be.

There are slices of avocado and perfectly ripe tomatos -- both in season -- and supple leaves of butter lettuce. There is also a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, which is what puts this sandwich in a different ontological category. Why vinegar? Because Karen Hatfield loves it. Because balsamic vinegar and tomatoes are a sublime combination. And because the vinegar's acidity keeps the utter richness of the other components from becoming overwhelming. Oh, and it looks pretty too. Which is to say that this sandwich is to the ordinary BLT what, perhaps, a Wes Anderson film is to a normal family movie.


Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles

99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1

98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil

97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.

96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche

95: Duck Shawarma at Momed

94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa

93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen

92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

91: Baco Mercat's Bazole

90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame

89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence

88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market

87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane

86: Galbi Jjim at Soban

85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post

84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun

83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co

82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus

81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant

79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan

78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat

77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho

76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure

75: Porcetto at Sotto

74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense

73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses

72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King

70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away

69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ

68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House

67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata

66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh

64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers

63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow

62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill

61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge

60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham

59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar

58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka

57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside

56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food

55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar

54: Taco Sampler at Guisados


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The Sycamore Kitchen

143 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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