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PineCrane1

Kid Hit Menu Items: “I can eat this everyday,” my friend said during my introductory lunch at Pine and Crane. She wasn’t kidding. I was practically craving my next meal there before I had even finished my first. Although I was kid-less that day, I immediately scanned the menu for items my not-so-great-eaters would go for. They’re not interested in the light and chewy wood ear mushroom salad, nor the stewed intense 3-cup trumpet mushroom mix. Forget about the silky chili-flecked mapo tofu (with or without pork option). Fine, more for me. With plates of pork dumplings (or “ducklings”) and pancakes, however, they’re off to the races — and that includes my super picky one. He demolished an order to himself, a feat I imagined impossible outside of DTF. Crazy long Dan Dan noodles keep them busy, too. Plates of veggies fresh from the owners’ family farm (and also available for purchase by the pound) and cooked minimally are too beautiful and pristine not to try.

Adult Perks: After a several month-long wait for beer and wine license, Pine and Crane recently offers craft beers on tap and a small wine list. Previously, or main beverage indulgence has been letting the elder child have full-on caffeinated strength milk tea boba. When that happens, WATCH OUT.

Pros: Counter service can be a mixed bag for instantly popular restaurants. But for early diners it’s less of an issue, and we all know that not having to wait for the check is a huge plus. The minimalist stylish dining room has space for strollers, skateboards, or whatever compact wheeled transport you might need to put somewhere. (Just to fit all the neighborhood cliches, I’ve used the bike rack out front.) Speaking of other plusses, Pine and Crane has the added perk of sitting directly behind the Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle pedestrian plaza, so there’s plenty of room to run off some post-meal steam.

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Samantha Barnes is a local mom, chef, and culinary instructor who knows how to get kids interested and engaged in the kitchen. In fact, she’s built an entire business around it with her first venture, Kitchen Kid. Her newest project is Raddish, a beautifully designed meal kit that looks like a fun craft kit but [...]

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