Little Pine – a restaurant inspired by organic food, community, veganism, and design.
Like Moby, I’m a fan of Los Angeles’ architecture. Unlike Moby, I’m not a vegan, though I am partial to plant-based cuisine. So, when I learned that the world-famous musician had opened an organic vegan spot called Little Pine in an Art Deco building in Silver Lake, I was intrigued.
Built in 1946, the well-preserved building is characteristic of the Deco era, with stepped forms, geometric cutouts, and sweeping curves. When I visited for dinner one evening, the dining room was dimly lit with candles, yet I could make out its modern, minimalistic interior designed by local firm Studio Hus: wood beams lining the ceiling, tables fronting an L-shaped banquette strewn with throw pillows, and a dining niche wrapped in forest-scene wallpaper, perfect for the large group it was hosting. There’s a heated outdoor dining patio, as well as a small parking lot.
The tapas-style menu offers comfort foods though portions are substantial; meaning four dishes between two diners are plenty. Plates score high on flavor, texture, and satiability, especially the farro walnut salad with butternut squash, panzanella dressed in avocado vinaigrette, and pesto-brushed crostini topped with maitake mushrooms that deliciously tasted of garlic and thyme.
As for drinks, there are vegan wines and beers, sparkling cocktails, and tea-based kombucha made by DTLA’s Better Booch (try the rose flavor). Pastry chef Kelli Nehls creates delicious desserts, especially the s’mores ganache, with a pillowy meringue made from whipped chickpea liquid. On the way out, I purchased a quirky cup from Little Pine’s small shop filled with books, pine-scented candles, and pet-inspired gifts – particularly apropos since 100% of the restaurant and shop’s profits support animal welfare organizations including Farm Sanctuary and PETA.
Little Pine Restaurant
2870 Rowena Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-741-8148
Marina Chetner is a Los Angeles-based Australian freelance writer.