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What is "Pine & Crane"?

Jeopardy Daily Double:

"The best Chinese restaurant for under $15 outside of San Gabriel Valley"

Yes, it's Pine & Crane. Maybe even without the $15 qualifier, as I think it's right there with Hakkasan.

Killer bowl of zhajiang mian, too.

Good, select selection of loose leaf teas as well.

Pine & Crane
(in the former Cru location in Silver Lake)

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  1. Really? That good?!

    And not far from me at all... Hmm.....

    Happy news, thanks Ipsedixit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: happybaker

      Yes, really.

      And certainly better than anything on this list http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9615... (with the aforementioned *possible* exception of Hakkasan with or without the $15 qualifier).

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Okay Ips - I'm in.

        We have a busy weekend, but I'm going to propose it as a get together place for friends this or next week.


    2. Wow! It's literally a few hundred yards from me. I'll be trying soon.

      Thanks Ipse!

      1. Wish they were open later, at leafs on weekends. Why close at 10 pm when everyone else is open till at least 11 in Silver Lake?

        1 Reply
        1. re: BacoMan

          Gift horse open mouth.

          Bacoman, take a peek.

        2. Ipse, what do you recommend besides the zhajiang main? I wasn't a fan of their dan dan noodles and thought the cold bar was just ok.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jdwdeville

            Of course they were "just ok". It's Silver Lake. For the area, it's pretty darn good. Maybe even really good. For SGV, it would be "where's Shau Mei?"

            As to other items of note, the sweet potato leaves and the minced pork on rice were great, esp. together (and with a drizzle of table-side artisan soy sauce). I am told the pot stickers and the scallion pancakes (not the beef roll) were barely passable. Even for Silver Lake.

          2. I like the beef noodle soup

            1. Going for lunch on Tuesday and will report back.

              1. Thumbs up from both you and ClarissaW. What more can a new restaurant ask for?

                1. I also recommend trying the cold appetizers. I very much enjoyed the pig ears, wood ear mushrooms, and seaweed. Especially with the spicy peanuts.

                    1. I stopped in for a quick lunch here today.

                      The atmosphere has a food friendly Remodelista aesthetic.

                      Service was great, fast and friendly.

                      I order the Zha Jiang Mien noodles.
                      The dish came out quickly and I was staring at a nicely plated bowl of noodles with vibrant colored veggies and a rich brown sauce.

                      The noodles were riding the fence between soft and mushy. I don't know enough about this style of noodle to criticize for this. Is this is typically how they are served or if should they have a firmer bite to them?

                      It would have been more appealing if they were
                      al dente but that's my own personal preference and perhaps not a traditional one for this dish.

                      I think this place will appeal to the more upscale and less adventurous crowd then your typical SGV regular.

                      The broken record review from the SGV crowd will most likely be the prices are to high and portions are too small.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: burntwater

                        You can specify how the noodles are cooked. Noodles made in house, but unfortunately not very well.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Great info thanks.
                          That will help out a lot.

                        2. re: burntwater

                          ipsedixit is the ringleader of the SGV crowd, so this is a ringing endorsement.

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            Which brings up a point worth repeating.

                            P&C is good by non-SGV standards. Don't come here, eat, leave and mutter "should've just drove to Noodle House in RH."

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Is Noodle House the name of an actual place one should go to?

                              Could you give a short list of places to go to get the same dishes at Pine and Crane, but better, in the SGV?

                              I really liked the look of some of the dishes, like the pork with rice, Zha Jiang, and others but not sure where to get the real versions.

                              1. re: BacoMan

                                For you?

                                Probably best to start off at 101 Noodle Express, then try places like Why Thirsty, Taipei Bistro and Old Country Cafe.

                                (And, yes, Noodle House is a real place in Rowland Heights)

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I've been to the SGV 101 Noodle Express a bunch of times actually. Always spectacular.

                                  So if it gets better than that, then I'll be pretty damn happy.

                                  What does the "for you?" refer to out of curiosity?

                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                    What does the "for you?" refer to out of curiosity?

                                    Nothing nefarious, BacoMan.

                                    Your post made it sound like you were a neophyte when it came to SGV so 101 Noodle would've been a good starting point as it offers a nice panoply of popular Taiwanese style eats from noodles to dumplings to beef rolls to rice plates.

                                    But if you were to, say, want pork chop rice or something more specialized like eel rice or sausages then I might suggest you go to Monja or Why Thirsty (for the former) and SinBaLa (for the latter two). Or if you wanted dan dan mian then try No 1 Noodle House.

                                    But if you were totally OG you might want to try Yummy Hero where the oyster omelet is gnarly good and while the stinky tofu itself is nothing to write to folks at Kaohsiung about you can get the tofu fried, on skewers, with all sorts of innards from four-legged hooved animals.

                                    And if you wanted dumplings I might say go to Fortune No 1 Dumplings, Luscious, or few other places that I can't mention.

                                    That's what I meant when I said "for you". Cool?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      I don't think 101 Noodle Express is a Taiwanese eatery, more like a Shandong restaurant

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Or like we asked when ROC opened on Sawtelle, is this worth a drive FROM the San Gabriel Valley, absolutely not. But Pine & Crane is much better than ROC.