Dinner at Little Pine, Los Angeles

When I was at my favourite vegan cafe in Bath, Beyond the Kale, Ayshea (one of the owners – it’s her and her husband Mark) asked me where I’d love to go next. Without a doubt, I said it would be Los Angeles to head to Moby’s vegan restaurant, Little Pine. I’d been obsessing over it since it opened, crying over how delicious their brunch looks, sending Ming updates of their Instagram posts. Once we planned to go to LA, there was no compromising on this one stop.

I’d initially been dying to check out their brunch, but when we checked, they were only doing it on the weekends at that moment. Even though I was a little gutted (vegan pop tarts and pastries we will meet someday), we booked ourselves in for dinner and that was that. I was so excited. I had a hot date with some delicious food coming my way.

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The menu works on a sharing basis, which was great because that’s what my family live for, plus I wanted to try everything.

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You can imagine how nuts I was going over this menu. Especially when I spotted all the different kombucha they do.

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AND TEA. LOOK AT THAT TEA MENU.

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Green tea for daaaaaayysssss.

I also love how all their profits go to animal welfare organisations. My heart. I’m in love.

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Ming went for one of their many teas. Don’t bother asking which one. If you even care.

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Dad had a beer. I also do not know which one.

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I had CHOCOLATE MILK. I love chocolate milk. My obsessions have been all chocolate (hot chocolate, chocolate milk, chocolate chip cookies). Currently I’m on the chocolate chip cookie one, but my love for chocolate milk never dies.

A great dairy free chocolate milk is always a gem to find, and this was definitely one of them.

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I don’t even look at it as vegan food. It’s all just INCREDIBLE tasting food that happens to be cruelty free. What whaaaaat.

First, Broccoli Arancini – cheesy broccoli risotto cakes with pesto.

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That pesto sauce was incredible, as was the entire dish (it might be a time saver to say everything was fantastic).

Next, Broccolini with hazelnuts, avocado mousse and red onion. Om nom nom.

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Fried Cauliflower with kimchi aioli was next. Holy crap, it was RIDICULOUSLY good. That aioli. MMMMMMM.

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My biggest surprise of the evening might have been the Sausage & Polenta. Homemade sausage, herbed polenta, tomatoes and basil marinara. I wasn’t actually going to order it until the waitress recommended it.

I still dream about that basil marinara. What a dish.

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I felt bad that the Mushroom Bourguignon had to try to follow it up, but it was also very good. Crimini mushrooms, pearl onions, carrots, cotes du rhone, mashed potatoes.

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We were getting very full at this point. So that’s why I didn’t mind to much when the Macaroni & Cheese (gluten free pasta, housemade cheese sauce, toasted gluten free breadcrumbs) didn’t meet my high expectations. It was good, but I’ve had better vegan mac & cheese.

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Okay, I’m bursting full at this point, probably in a bit of a food coma. That’s why I don’t really remember these Brussel Sprouts with apple, fennel and apple cider gastrique. I think I might of had one.

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Okay. That’s it. I waved the white flag of shame. I took one glance of the Spring Risotto with asparagus, peas, mint, pine nuts and lemon zest, and looked away. Mum tucked in, but I knew it would be rich (as risotto is) and knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

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After we’d conquered our meal (I took lead on the first two thirds and the others had to carry the last hurrah), we sat back and sighed with full satisfaction. Then we opened our eyes to the dessert menu.

Shit, dessert. I wanted to curl up and sleep off my bloated stomach (you know the feeling), but also…. dessert. SHIT.

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Of course we all started off by saying we didn’t want any. Then there was a point where we were going to order 4 dishes. But we reined it in and got the two that we couldn’t say no to. Ming’s kyrptonite is Baked Alaska, and this one was vanilla cake, strawberry ice cream, hot frudge, candied rice krispies and meringue.

Oh, yes.

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I so wanted to try that s’mores ganache. Even the apple berry crumble was calling out to me. But my chocolate chip cookie obsession was in full force, and the words “Cookies & Milk, please” came out of my mouth. It was like a moth to a flame.

It’s a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies, and a choice of housemade milk – either vanilla, strawberry or chocolate. Damn, if I’d known this was going to happen I wouldn’t have ordered my chocolate milk earlier. I went for vanilla since I thought it’d be the most refreshing with the cookies (I was right, SO good).

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JUST LOOK AT THESE COOKIES.

They were warm, ooey gooey delicious perfect holy crap. One of the best cookies I’ve ever had, vegan and not vegan. The center of the cookies were just a giant chunk of chocolate. Almost too much chocolate. I SAID ALMOST.

I wasn’t lying when I said I was FAF (full as, you know). I’m just a greedy little shit and had to taste it. I offered small pieces of cookie number one, and after it was demolished, I was now really, reallllllyyy done. There was no way cookie number two was going to waste though, so we asked for a takeout box and the rest was history.

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Look at that face of pure joy/a little too much sugar/trying to smile whilst the jeans buttons are secretly undone.

I had the second cookie for breakfast the next day. I did not share.

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