Lunch at Pine and Crane with Jean
Jean and I have been hearing a lot of buzz about a Taiwanese restaurant out in the Silver Lake area. You may wonder why we would go to Silver Lake to eat Taiwanese food when we live in the SGV area; the answer to that is that curiosity is a hell of a motivator.
When we got there, we ended up parking up on top of a hill behind the restaurant because parking in the area is typically street parking. If you're lucky enough to find parking on Sunset Blvd., then count yourself lucky. If you can't find parking on Sunset, then prepare yourself to trek up some hills as much of Silver Lake is hilly.
Because we went on a Saturday afternoon, the Silver Lake farmers market was going on. We were able to catch the tail end of the farmers market but there weren't that many vendors there to begin with. Pine and Crane is tucked in in the triangle of Sunset Blvd., Griffith Park Blvd., and Edgecliffe Dr. It's a bit hard to see from the road because it's not directly on Sunset. Look for Chinese characters on the wall to make things easier.
The restaurant itself was very clean and bright, which was probably the most noticeable difference from many of the SGV Taiwanese restaurants. It was closer in feeling to Green Zone. The restaurant is set up so that you order from a counter and then are seated to wait for your food. It's a good concept for casual Taiwanese dining but I can imagine it becoming a headache when the line gets long. There was a pretty good mix of Asians and non-Asians eating there if that's a testament to their reach.
Pine and Crane had a pretty large menu of milk teas and milk tea variants and also a large selection of loose leaf teas. Jean and I decided to try their milk tea and taro milk tea, both with boba. Their taro milk tea is made with real taro, which made Jean happy.
Because the two of us are piggies and because it was unlikely we'd be coming back to this restaurant regularly, we decided to order a lot. We ended up ordering the three items cold appetizer plate, the layered pork pancake, dan dan noodles, beef noodle soup, and the Taiwanese sticky rice. The drinks and food were both very light. The milk teas were bordering on bland but if you don't like sweet milk teas, these would be right up your alley. The food was also average with the Taiwanese sticky rice being the stand out item for me (although it's hard to go wrong with this dish).
Overall, this restaurant is a great addition to the Silver Lake community. It's clean, it's fairly priced (for the area), and it's a good entry point for people who are new to Taiwanese food that are intimidated by the restaurants in SGV. I would recommend trying it once if you're in the area and crave Taiwanese food or if you find the Taiwanese food in SGV to be too salty, oily, or sweet.
Pine & Crane, 1521 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States