Whole Life Magazine

February / March 2016

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Page 17 of 43

"T here are two versions of Los Angeles," says sing- er-songwriter Moby, "the L.A. of palm trees and the L.A. of pine trees. I fi nd myself relating more to the L.A. of pine trees." Add to that, "I like putting the word 'little' in front of things. There's a sense of humility to it." And that's how Moby's already popu- lar new Silverlake restaurant got named. little pine is indeed an intimate space with an L-shaped room and an al- most kitschy craft boutique that wouldn't be out of place in a piney mountain town. The décor is simple with light wood accents, including a carved deer bust. A softly lit mural of lush conifers in a snowy forest surrounds a cush- ioned nook that can com- fortably seat eight. The ambience here is more pine forest than palm grove— all that's missing on a chilly evening is a roaring fi re—but little pine's Med- iterranean-inspired all-or- ganic vegan fare would be welcome in either place. We began with a bread and three-spread board (Moby says he's "big on bread," and argu- ably purveyor Clark Street's is the best), including complex, almost creamy on- ion, tapenade and house-made cashew cheese with a texture and fl avor similar to a cow or goat brie… but don't count on this scumptious se- lection when you go; it changes regularly. Broccoli arancini were excellent and addictive, with just the right toothy crunch enrobing a cheesy middle. And watermelon radishes, carrots and tangy mustard vinaigrette made butter let- tuce salad fresh and fl avorful. Roasted tomato agnolotti—hand-rolled homemade pasta in truffl ed cream sauce accented by blistered tomatoes—was light and totally delicious. But my favorite dish was Brussels sprouts prepared with fennel, apple and apple cider gastrique. Seitan Italian sausage is made in house as well, and brings such a meaty texture to the well-seasoned cassoulet that most car- nivores would be hard-pressed to detect the difference. When it comes to dessert, I'm an easy mark for citrus, and lime cheesecake with candied marcona almonds is swoon-worthy. S'mores ganache, with its creamy texture and toasted meringue topping, is sure to please chocoholics. There's a fabulous selection of loose teas, as well as kombu- cha, juices and strawberry and chocolate milks. The beer se- lection is limited but a number of organic wines are on offer, although surprisingly, many are imported. Sunlight pours in through a row of windows along the long wall of the L in daytime, and there's a sweet little patio out back. Diners will appreciate the reasonable prices, especially when they learn that 100 percent of little pine's proceeds will be do- nated to animal welfare organizations. The restaurant is a labor of love. Asked if he sees little pine as more of an every day or weekly dining spot for locals, Moby suggested daily for daytime, week- ly for dinner. But I can tell you this: if it were in my neighbor- hood, I'd happily eat little pine's Brussels sprouts and arancini every day of the week. Weekend brunch, lunch & dinner daily, 2870 Rowena Ave., L.A. 90039, 323.741.8148, www.littlepinerestaurant.com/ eat here now By Genie Davis Moby's vegan eatery with a big vision LITTLE PINE 18 wholelifetimes.com

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