Monday, August 6, 2018

Even Hipsters Love Taiwanese Food at Pine & Crane

Has anyone ever thought Taiwanese food can appeal to the masses?

Neither did I if I think hard. I was thrilled with the fact that Kato have re-create some of the most popular far East Asian dishes with local farm to table ingredients. Still.... I am somewhat skeptical on how this cuisine that is more geared towards street food and home cooking can succeed to the general masses that only looked at the dishes with greasy food impressions.

I am a huge fan of any type of interpretation of Taiwanese food, just not a fan of Silverlake area. Yet, I just couldn't pass up a chance to visit one of my favorite Taiwanese joints in all of LA, which is in the heart of the hipster zone.

Press Play to see the interior

A few years back, I visited Pine & Crane due to my shopping excursion in that area for some hard to find indie label that was considered hip and dope. You are not going to find it at some mall or even upscale boutique store. This area always fit the bill for the people living there with the nonchalant and nonconforming attitude of what's cool with no care in the world.

Which shocked me to no end on how some entrepreneur wants to open up a Taiwanese joint in the middle of that bloated arrogant zone... and succeeded in convincing the populace in that Taiwanese food are the bombdigitty meal that they have been missing out. Maybe it's not that it's neither popular or cool, but the reverse psychology of the not so trendy cuisine make it cool.

Potstickers - Kurobuta Pork with Cabbage

I'm somewhat stunned that this place looked like any other cafe style restaurants can have a great aesthetics. Even more shocking, in a town that serves tons of crafted drinks, abet mixed with Taiwanese alcoholic beverage can worked as well. There were many soda drinks imported such as the popular sarsaparilla HeySong and a few of the Taiwanese beer brands were available on this spot.

A very straight forward place where you placed an order in the register, then being shown to an open seating area (a lot of long communal table and a few open tables by the wall) with high ceiling and good open window facing the main street of Sunset Blvd. Perfect lighting brightens out the room during day time with nighttime scene emulating from the street at night.

Chili Wontons

As in for the food, it was the most cleanest Taiwanese dishes I have ever seen. You'll find it funny that people will order pig's ear to cold cucumber to seaweed can be had. Tea smoked egg can be had as well as they rotate the small plates of cold appetitizers on the counter next to the cash register.

Pretty much of the standard noodles, dumplings, green onion pancakes, to rice dishes you grew up can be had here. What probably stand out is the chili won tons that is popular among the local crowd here in Silverlake. They can't stop raving about this. It's actually funny to me.

Green Onion Layered Pork Pancake

We also gotten the famous beef roll onion cake they have, except... they replaced with kurobuta pork. Maybe the strip of weird parts of cow might be a turn off for this disconcerted crowd who prefer the presence of Berkshire graded pork. This was the first time I have the beef roll becoming a pork roll. Subtle change, but I still immensely enjoy this.

Let me preface by saying that even though I hate coming to Silverlake for various reasons (hard to navigate, lousy parking situation, traffic can be a mess on a busy street, etc etc.), the only saving grace was this Taiwanese restaurant that catered to let's just say residence of this northeast side LaBeau. For all the clean presentation, I still think it captured the essence of Taiwanese food. Not every dish needs to be stylish, but they can presented beautifully and still have that eclectic taste.

Do I still think Taiwanese food appeal to the masses? Just as I writing this blog post, I found out that the owner of this establishment opened up a 2nd different Taiwanese joint not far from here. Heck, there is even another Taiwanese food restaurant might open up in Silverlake as well.

I am lost at words at that tidbit, but let's keep Taiwanese food train rolling. Shall we?

Pine & Crane
1521 Griffith Park Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Pine & Crane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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