Monday, March 9, 2015


Apparently, it's extremely auspicious in Japanese culture to watch a sunrise within the first three days of the New Year.

Even without this knowledge, my brother and I spontaneously decided to do a sunrise hike at Runyon Canyon on January 3rd, barely making the cut.

We awoke, or rather, I awoke at 5:15am, while my brother struggled to get out of bed by 5:40, as I stood in the doorway of his room, turned the light on, and kept telling him to wake up until he yelled at me to go away.

With screenshotted trail guides in iPhone/hand, we set off. It was 41 degrees, pitch black, and neither of us had ever been on this trail. We also have similarly poor senses of direction. So this was a great idea.

With a measly iPhone flashlight, we attempted to navigate our way through the dark trail. For the first 20 minutes, we wandered aimlessly, obviously lost but unable to match the daytime pictures from the trail guide with what we saw (or rather, couldn't see) in front of us.

We eventually got on the right path after much confusion and slight terror. All I'm going to say is, I'm not a morning person - at all - but a sunrise hike overlooking all of Los Angeles is a sight to see, and definitely worth whatever misdirection, cold weather, or fear you may experience along the way.

Though I wanted to complete the 3+ mile loop, Logan was over it after we saw the sunrise and (surprise!) starting complaining about how he was hungry.

Eventually, I gave in and we drove 10 minutes down to The Sycamore Kitchen, arriving just as it opened at 8:00am.

With the two of us on health grinds, we both opted for the stone-ground oatmeal, even though our hearts yearned for something more indulgent.

We had both wanted to try the blintz, Logan wanted a Croque Madame, and we were both tempted by the dozens of freshly-baked pastries in the glass case...BUT THAT NEW YEARS RESOLUTION TO REMAIN HEALTHY!!!

I'm obviously exaggerating. Eating a blintz, or a pastry, would not have killed me, or even done anything significant to my health. I quite enjoyed my oatmeal, thank you very much.

But I will be back for the blintz. And all the pastries I wanted to try.

Their oatmeal was unique in that it was actually a blend of barley and quinoa, rather than oats. This resulted in a more savory taste, for which Logan was unprepared, but ultimately coped with. It was topped with a cinnamon-date syrup, which was a nice alternative to the traditional maple syrup. Logan also ordered breakfast potatoes, which he seemed to enjoy. I don't know. We were both pretty tired, so we didn't talk much.

After eating our meals and still feeling the pull of the pastry selection, we went back for seconds.

To be fair, we purchased two pastries to TAKE HOME  - a babka roll/sticky bun hybrid, and a sour cherry buttermilk scone.

Actually, we split half of the scone, so maybe I can't fully defend myself here...

On second thought, I can defend myself. That scone was AMAZING. It was perfectly flaky and sweet, just incredible. My mom and I are still wondering how they baked a scone so perfect...

(But seriously. We sat at the table and just looked at the scone, wondering what techniques and ingredients could possibly contribute to such greatness.)

My dad, mom, and little sister, who all split the remaining scone as well as the sticky bun/babka roll, were equally impressed.

In my second order, I also got a Tuscan latte, which is a drink I had never heard about, but enjoyed immensely. It had hints of rosemary and caramel, but was perfectly balanced, and not too strong on either of the flavors. Very good.

The Sycamore Kitchen prides itself in its locally-sourced, wholesome dishes. The interior is primarily brick, wood, and iron, with a warm atmosphere. They offer a diverse menu and gave us the hearty meal we needed after that sunrise hike. Check it out, and let me know how their other pastries are, so I can go back and get more!

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