Every city fights its own stereotype. But LA’s battle is a particularly enduring one. We’ve all heard it - we’re a cultureless suburbia full of calorie-counting robots who just skipped your birthday because we scored a free cardio barre class. Something like that. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But let’s remember one thing: LA is home to 4 million people from 180 different countries and all walks of life. But keep stereotyping us.
One thing is clear though, Little Pine doesn’t care about your stereotype. In fact, it’s giving it one giant f*cking bear hug.
Little Pine is the 100% organic vegan bistro in Silverlake owned and operated by Moby (yes, that Moby) where all profits go to animal welfare organizations. This isn’t an SNL short that got cut during dress rehearsal because it was too on the nose. This is a real restaurant in Los Angeles and you’re going to have to deal with it. Why? Because you’ll like it.
The interior is bright, airy, and eccentric. And unlike some of the other big name vegan spots around town, Little Pine feels low-key and authentic to itself. There’s no put-on agenda here or some tableside garbage pep talk about why they’re more important than you. Everyone’s humble, attentive, and simply excited for you to be there.
And the food itself is pretty good. For being a menu that’s clearly plant-based, it’s wide ranging. There’s everything from the broccoli aranchi (a shockingly hefty risotto cake) to a vegetable ravioli that’s way better than it needs to be. Some items are a bit more expected (we meet again, flash-fried cauliflower), but others will surprise you. Don’t ask us what’s in that housemade “sausage”, just find it and order it.
Above all else, Little Pine is a flexible spot that knows its neighborhood and isn’t trying to cater to anyone. Stop in by yourself after a jaunt around the reservoir (it’s lunch situation is currently being revamped, but will be back soon) or come in at night for a relaxed date night that’s far more romantic than you’d think.
Stereotypes or no stereotypes, we’re into restaurants who don’t care what people think. We’re into Little Pine.
Only served at lunch (let’s hope it survives the revamp), this guy won’t jump off the menu at you, but it is easily one of our favorite things here. And it’s all because of you know who - the sausage.
The truth is you can find similar versions of this pretty much anywhere in town. That being said, it’s still pretty good, and the kimchi aioli is addicting.
Wow. We love this dish A LOT. It’s surprisingly filling, but not in the way regular ravioli makes you want to roll over and die. The vegetables aren’t just a slap-on to make up for the lack of meat and cheese either. They’re a stand out.
One could argue that this is basically a bowl of farro with some fun add-ons, and we wouldn’t argue with you. However, we’ll order this every single time based simply on how good it is. The pomegranate seeds sweeten it up, and the balsamic gives it that much needed bite.
This seems to be one of the most popular dishes at Little Pine, but it just doesn’t do it for us as much as everything else. Aside from the romesco aioli on the side, this felt like a regular bowl of cooked potatoes.
Major props to Little Pine for finding a way to make a gluten-free dish truly filling. In fact, it might almost be a little too filling. These dense risotto cakes are meant to be shared and you should take them up on the offer. Otherwise, you’re not making it to dinner.
If you’re a cheesecake fan or a key lime fan, this is heaven. If you’re not a fan of either of those things, you’re already living in your own hell anyways. Bonus: It’s the perfect size to eat by yourself.