Author: Noel Hemphill
Brunch is the king of meals. It combines everything to love about breakfast and lunch into one stupendous plate comprised of all kinds of flavor dimensions, with sweet and savory uniting in heavenly harmony. In Old Town Pasadena, KTCHN has mastered brunch for daily delight.
Instead of filling their plates with fake syrups and sad excuses for vegetables, KTCHN makes each meal fresh and vibrant. Though prices at KTCHN are somewhat high ($12-16 entreés), the food is worthwhile and portions are sizable. Reviews of this eatery deem it a bona fide hotspot, with the L.A. Weekly naming it one of the best brunch spots in town and Zagat surveys give it a hearty recommendation. Even the notoriously difficult-to-please reviewers of Yelp have given KTCHN positive reviews.
As a part of the conglomerate of boutique foodie locales such as bar/restaurant Picnik, coffee stand Zona Rosa and Bulagrini Gelato, KTCHN is a friendly, full-service addition to Colorado Boulevard. The restaurant is tucked into an artful, zen-like space where a relaxing trickling fountain greets patrons. With large umbrellas for outside seating, the restaurant is perfect for those who refuse to dine without their dogs.
Inside seating is stunning; as walls painted calming shades of blue, grey and green surround diners, with hip details like a hanging neon orange painted branch and a far wall printed with an enormous digitized flower. A chic bar that would fit in easily at a Mexican resort is set in the back, away from the main dining area. Comfortable couches with hardwood tables replace typical restaurant booths. Chairs are minimalist and won’t squeak when you sit down. Even the plates and glasses are pretty.
The food, meanwhile, is far from flying under the radar. A tidy menu offers favorites with a gourmet twist. Brie with grits, a yogurt berry parfait, apple fritters and a pistachio marscapone cherry scone are suggested as starters, and look like deserts you only dream of. Entreé items are heavy on the eggs and leafy greens, filling up customers with good proteins and all your vitamins. Bacon is not just fried up; instead, there are thick slices of salted pork belly sautéed to perfection. French toast is soaked in a tres leches mixture and browned to perfection. Everything here has been taken from basic to out of this world, as each bite allows spices and seasonings to dance on the diner’s tongue.
A diverse drink menu complements the food offerings. Cheekily named cocktails with fruity flavors reign supreme, though mimosas and Bloody Marys can also be found. Fresh juices are made here, too: The apple, pineapple and cucumber green goo of “Get Out of My Facial” is delicious and refreshing. While otherwise having to go elsewhere for a specialty coffee drink, KTCHN makes up for it with two sizes of freshly brewed french-press coffee.
KTCHN is less than fifteen minutes away from campus by car. By bus on a Saturday morning, take the 84/68 route from the stop by Jack in the Box at Eagle Rock Boulevard and Avenue 45. Once the bus reaches the Eagle Rock Plaza via Downtown L.A. stop, take the 180/181 towards North Lake/Altadena. Hop off at the Colorado/De Lacey stop, and KTCHN will be right ahead of you.KTCHN is located at 501 S. Spring St. Hours are Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
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