Sycamore Kitchen Baked Goods Review | LA

Playing the temptation game on La Brea

The baked goods at the new Sycamore Kitchen from Quinn and Karen Hatfield will mock you.

They look friendly enough, sitting pretty on cooling racks behind the counter. But after you order that rye chocolate-chip cookie ($2) or a slice of dark-ale gingerbread ($3) to eat for dessert, sweet shifts to sinister. The denim-apron-wearing waiter brings out your pastry immediately, long before your sandwich or salad arrives. Can you resist for five, 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how slammed the kitchen is, to wait for your savory selections to arrive? Or will it be dessert first?

We succumbed to the rye chocolate-chip cookie, breaking off small bite after small bite, trying to convince ourselves that we'd save half or, well, maybe a third for dessert. None of the cookie, with its dark, nutty flavors, survived.

It happened again when we ordered a salted caramel-pecan babka ($3.50), intending to eat it after our lunch of fresh ricotta, fennel and citrus on toast ($9). Did you know that salted caramel-pecan babkas are excellent appetizers? They are. And you can serve them as such at home (click here for the recipe) or, if you must, eat them for either breakfast or dessert.

The Sycamore Kitchen, 143 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City; 323-939-0151 or