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Eating at Pine & Crane LA
05/29/2014 (rev. 06/01/2014) by
Food, , ,


Pine & Crane hasn’t been around for very long and is located in the Silverlake area on Sunset where a plethora of restaurants sits.  It’s generally difficult to find decent Chinese restaurants, let alone Taiwanese, outside of the San Gabriel Valley.  So I thought I would trek here to see what the hype is about.

This is #21 of 52 of my 2014 LA food expedition.  I’m almost half way there.


When you arrive at the restaurant, you go to the cashier to place your order.  They give you a number, and you place it on your table.  I actually like this approach instead of waiting to order at a table because it makes things quicker for turning around tables.  The place is rather small, although spacious.  It could probably hold a few more tables, but that’s ok.  The tables turn around quick enough where, despite the long lines, you will have a place to sit eventually.


Traditional Cold Appetizers.  I ordered seaweed salad and pickled daikon.  The seaweed salad was pretty good, although I felt they put a little too much salt in there.  The pickled daikon was also decent.  I was hoping they’d have some of the other Taiwanese cold appetizers that I typically like such as tea eggs, shredded bean curd with celery, or pig ears.  These 2 cold appetizers, understandably, would be more accessible for people unfamiliar with this type of cuisine.


Mapo Tofu.  If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically just tofu with ground pork and spicy chili sauce.  It pairs very well with white rice.  As a kid, I ate this a lot.  This place makes this dish pretty authentic although it’s relatively easy to make at home as well.  It reminded me of the home style cooking that I grew up on, and it also had a good spicy kick to it.


Beef Noodle Soup.  Surprisingly, I thought this was pretty authentic to what I’ve had before at home and in the SGV.  The noodles were nice and chewy.  It’s very similar to the hand cut noodles that you can buy at 99 Ranch Market in the tofu section.  The soy sauce broth was slightly thick but had nice flavor to it.  It’s similar to Mandarin Kitchen in the valley (close to Reseda/Nordhoff).  The meat was very tender and full of it.  There was no fat here, although I like tendons in mine.  All in all, I’d say this was pretty good.  One bowl of this would have satisfied me easy for my beef noodle craving if I didn’t want to trek to the SGV.


Beef Roll.  This is typically made with the dough similar to a scallion pancake and wraps around braised beef with green onion stalks and hoysin sauce.  The pancake dough that wraps the beef was decent although a bit thin for me.  It was also interesting to see they used cucumber slits instead of green onion stalks.  At most other restaurants, they typically stuff this like a burrito, but this definitely was not packed as tight.  All in all, it’s acceptable, but I think 101 Noodle is much better than this.


Taiwanese Sausage.  This is sweet sausage that’s been pan fried on a skillet.  It’s pretty good as well, granted you can buy this and make it at home.

All in all, I found the restaurant to be pretty authentic and true to form although with a spin of accessibility to it.  It’s pretty good for what it is and is a nice alternative if you live around the area, don’t want to cook, or don’t want to trek to the SGV.  The prices obviously will be a bit higher than anything in the SGV, but by all means it’s pretty reasonable for LA pricing.

Visit: Pine & Crane, Silverlake, LA
#21 of 52 2014 LA food expedition