Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sycamore Kitchen

Grain bowls are all the rage these days. Once relegated behind the dimly lit doors of  health food stores and vegetarian restaurants, today's trendiest spots (and more mainstream Chipotle) feature rice or quinoa combos even a meat eater can like.
Today I ventured into LA's Sycamore Kitchen, a casual spot run by the Michelin starred couple who brought the tasting menu specialist spot Hatfield's to Los Angeles diners.
I ordered at the counter and settled in for their Jerusalem bowl, a bed of wheat berries, barley and lentils accented with za'atar spiced chicken and roasted green chilis topped with 2 fried eggs. With one bite I thought. . . "Why don't I cook like this at home?"
A simple collage of flavors that could be a really good day at the Whole Foods salad bar, grain bowls -- like Japan's donburi or Korea's BiBimBap -- are a perfect vehicle for leftovers and the components can be prepared in advance. Brought together with a spirited sauce (pesto, tahini, vinaigrette) your collection of grains can be a special dinner or lunch ready in a flash. Avoiding the sprawling bakery counter at Sycamore Kitchen isn't easy but digging into a heathy breakfast on the their pleasant patio is.

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