photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Pine & Crane review image

Pine & Crane DTLA


1120 S. Grand Ave. Unit 101, Los Angeles
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Let’s just get this out in the open: the second location of Pine & Crane is the rare sequel that’s even better than the original. It’s an all-day cafe, market, and cocktail destination all wrapped up in a massive space that's easy on the eyes. In a perfect world, we’d probably come to this DTLA spot every week. And if you regularly sleep, work, or hang out near DTLA, please live out this dream for us.

For years now, Pine & Crane in Silver Lake has been that reliable LA spot for beef rolls and dan dan noodles on days when you can't make the trip to the San Gabriel Valley. They also branched out to Highland Park with Joy On York, serving an expanded menu of soups, buns, and scallion bread sandwiches to a new subset of clog-wearing NELA couples and their four-month-old babies. With this location of Pine & Crane, the team brought together the best elements of those two other spots—plus the Taiwanese breakfast items from their former Chinatown pop-up Today Starts Here—under one roof.

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Pine & Crane DTLA is the rare fast-casual spot where you'll actually want to have a sit-down meal. The open-air dining space is impressive enough for a birthday bash or rehearsal dinner, but communal tables and a mini-mart near the entrance keep it from feeling stuffy. The servers make jokes and high-five you for ordering a tequila sour at lunch, and even though you're on the ground floor of a luxury high-rise, you'll be surrounded by natural light and plants. But our favorite part of the restaurant is the covered patio. It’s one of the most pleasant places to eat outside in DTLA, which is why you might have to weave between a few big group brunches to find a table on weekends.

Pine & Crane's Taiwanese street food should be the first thing that pops into your head at the start of your lunch break or when you're looking for a quick dinner spot to break things off with a summer fling that went on too long. No dish on the menu here costs more than $15, plus most of the items are easy to share. Before 11am, they only serve a couple of options, like plump fan tuan and pan-fried pork buns, but we recommend getting the thousand-layer pancakes. Each one is filled with fluffy egg, gooey cheese, and Thai basil, all wrapped up in a browned and flaky scallion pancake that has more layers than a Kardashian-Jenner's makeup routine. At lunch and dinner, prioritize the beef roll. Between the thinly-sliced meat, chopped cucumbers, and salty-sweet hoisin sauce, the textures of this dish remind us why we were so excited about the original location when it first opened.

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Dishes tend to come out of the kitchen here in a matter of minutes, so hypothetically you could be in and out of Pine & Crane within the hour. But it’s also perfect for lazy lunches, first dates, and all other meetups with ambiguous end times. The beauty of this all-day restaurant is that it isn’t some tiny dining room where people anxiously scramble for the next available table, but rather a gathering spot where you can eat, drink, and peruse at your own pace. In fact, it’s the best version of a sequel—one that manages to top its predecessors by bringing its all-time favorite dishes to an all-around fantastic space.

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Food Rundown

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Pan Fried Pork Buns

The pork buns here are on the doughier side, with a wonderfully crispy brown bottom coated in sesame seeds. They’re about the size of your fist and taste especially good dipped in a shallow bath of soy sauce and vinegar.

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Thousand Layer Pancakes

Plucked from the menu at Joy on York, this circular scallion pancake wrap has almost as many layers as Brittney Spears does cryptic social media posts. The crispy layers are stuffed with eggs, cheese, and the perfect amount of chili sauce, making it a slightly chewy, portable snack. This is the best breakfast option on the menu.

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Beef Roll

Pine & Crane’s take on this classic Taiwanese street food dish is the perfect combo of tender meat and buttery dough. Slices of braised beef are wrapped in a crispy, flaky scallion pancake, and filled with just enough crisp cilantro and salty-sweet hoisin sauce to keep things from getting too dry.

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Instead of using minced beef or ground pork, the vegan mapo tofu at Pine & Crane omits meat entirely. But what this bright red tofu dish lacks in protein, it makes up for in garlic and fermented funk. It comes with a side of white or brown rice, though we always like to eat it with a crispy scallion pancake on the side.

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Wonton Noodle Soup

The chicken-pork broth in this dish will instantly clear your head cold. It’s served with a bunch of chewy housemade noodles, crunchy bok choy, and lots of plump shrimp wontons. In other words, this is a perfectly simple soup to eat by yourself when you need some comfort.

Pine & Crane review image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Fried Daikon Rice Cakes

Traditionally eaten at dim sum or with breakfast in Taiwan, this bowl of crispy, savory fritters is the perfect snack to pair with a morning meal at Pine & Crane. Each order comes with a handful of toothpicks so you can share them with friends. We especially like them for dipping in our noodle soup or eating with a highball on the patio.


The cocktail menu at Pine & Crane involves lots of herbs, but everything we've tried was refreshing and subtle. For "Walking On A Mountain Path In Spring" they add some chrysanthemum in the mix for a floral twist on a grapefruit margarita. While "Sun Moon Lake" tastes like the black tea-infused cousin of a classic whiskey sour. If you prefer to keep it simple, choose a whisky, bourbon, or rye from the spirits section and they'll turn it into a highball for no additional charge.

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