Little Pine is a new vegan restaurant in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles that was recently opened by long-time vegan and animal activist Moby (who also happens to be an award-winning electronic musician and producer). As soon as it opened (way back in November) I've been DYING to go, and decided that my birthday last weekend was the perfect time to dine at Little Pine.
Though I was very excited to eat there, I had heard mixed reviews on the restaurant, (though all the dishes I had seen shared on social media looked delicious!). I prepared myself by gathering recommendations from friends who had eaten there previously, scouring Instagram for other pointers, and then excitedly headed there for dinner there last Saturday night.
Little Pine Restaurant in Silver Lake
Little Pine has different menus for different meal times - they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as brunch on weekends and a kind of tea time in-between lunch and dinner with pastries, coffee and tea. I really wanted to try their pasta dishes, so that's why I choose to dine there for dinner as opposed to brunch or lunch, though I wouldn't mind trying those menus either! I'm also really intrigued by their pastries, and can imagine killing an hour or so before dinner with a sweet treat and a cup of hot coffee.
Anywho, this Saturday we had reservations for an early dinner there, so metered street parking was plentiful. However, it does get pretty full as the night goes on, so plan accordingly. I believe there may also be some neighborhood parking in the area, but always check the signs posted to make sure you can actually park there (and definitely don't park in the lots for the apartments nearby or you will get towed!).
Little Pine Restaurant dinner menu as of January 2nd, 2016 - the menu
changes according to what is in season/available, so it will vary
depending on when you go.
Once parked, we headed inside the restaurant, which is small but inviting, with white walls, exposed pine beams, and lit by candlelight. It definitely isn't the best light to take photos in, but it certainly creates an intimate, cozy dining experience! The table our party of four sat at had one side comprised of comfy booth seating with lots of squishy pillows, while the other side had stylish wooden chairs. For larger parties up to 8, the alpine booth (featured in many photos of the restaurant) is utilized. They also have a small outdoor patio area in the back of the building.
Our friendly server stopped by to take drink orders and explain the menu to us - she explained that everything is vegan (yay!) and that the plate size of dishes is smaller than most restaurants and that each plate should be treated as a tapa, or a small plate to be shared, like an appetizer. She recommended we order 2 to 3 plates per person. Since I had heard reviews reference the small portion sizes, I was expecting this and actually quite liked the idea, since you are able to sample more of the menu this way.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli Arancini (sorry the photos are
a bit blurry, it was tough to get pics due to the lighting!)
We started off by ordering some Crispy Smashed Potatoes with herbed aioli ($8) and some Broccoli Arancini, or cheesy broccoli risotto cakes ($9). The Crispy Smashed Potatoes were really crispy and seasoned well, but they kinda were like leftover potato crunchies after roasting potatoes. They were good, but I wouldn't order them again. The Broccoli Arancini, on the other hand, was one of my favorite dishes of the night! They were fried to perfection and the insides were a decadent cheesy rice texture that left us wanting a truckload of these golden delights. The whole table agreed that these were phenomenal!
Trio of stuffed shells
Macaroni and cheese
Roasted Tomato Agnolotti
They definitely saved the best for last, as the final dish we had was the Roasted Tomato Agnolotti, with handrolled pasta, truffled cream sauce, and blistered cherry tomatoes ($16). They need to rename this dish HEAVEN because that is exactly what it tasted like! Everyone was drooling over this dish and fighting for the last pieces. The cream sauce was incredible - I grew up on this four cheese pasta my dad used to make, and I was reminded of that creamy richness and complex flavors with these agnolotti. Out of the dinner dishes, this was my absolute favorite!
Little Pine dessert menu as of January 2nd, 2016 - I really want to go back to
try the PB&J Sundae and Cookies and Milk!
Besides the truly stunning food, Little Pine donates ALL of its profits to animal welfare organizations like Mercy for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Sea Shepard, The Humane Society, PETA, and more (source: LAist). How cool is that?! Not to mention, Little Pine is a hotspot for celebrities, if you're into that kinda thing. So far, I've heard that Morrissey has visited, and of course Moby is there frequently as well. The night we dined Crispin Glover was seated at the table next to us, which was pretty cool!
I am already planning my trip back to Little Pine and drooling over the other dishes and desserts I have yet to try, as well as dreaming about having those arancini, shells, agnolotti, and s'mores ganache again!
If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting Little Pine ASAP! It if my new fave place in LA to go!
For more information, including hours, reservations, and full menus, visit Little Pine's site!