A new family friendly restaurant opened in Los Angeles offering a playhouse patio with a small play structure on the back patio, and lots of board games for parents and their kids to play together. Piencone is an ideal spot for mom and dad to sit back and enjoy good food with a beer or cocktail, while their kids play and scream with joy, while playing with other kids.
Opening Piencone is a dream come true for owners and parents Corey and Michelle Wilton. Michelle graduated from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy (CCA), and moved to Los Angeles to work in the pastry kitchens at L’Orangerie and Patina. After years in other chef’s kitchens, Michelle developed her own business as a private chef. Almost ten years ago, she and her husband, Corey opened an Eagle Rock favorite – Four Cafe just down the street from Piencone.
Corey’s background is in music and as a Beatles fan, he appreciated how the “Fab Four” changed letters around to make something iconic. Corey thought Pinecone was a whimsical play on the words “Pie” for pizza and “Cone” for ice cream.
Now parents, this couple dreamed of opening a family-friendly, wood fired pizza concept serving craft beer on tap, and artisanal ice cream. When this spot became available, their dream finally came true.
Pinecone offers five spacious dining areas offering five different vibes. Walking inside, our server Emily led us on a tour to see where we might like to sit. Walking by the kitchen and ice cream counter, my friend Cyndey and I noticed the front dining room was light and bright with beautiful wood floors, white booths, round globe lighting and shelves with art and green plants displayed.
Down the hallway is a dark and cozy adult friendly Bar 1954, offering a long bar top with padded bar stools and wooden booths. Emily introduced us to partner and bar manager Herb Gualpa. He told us he always has over 10 beers on tap and Whalebird Kombucha Passion Green Tea on tap. “We are the only place in LA serving this on tap right now,” Gualpa said.
Next we walked out to the Playhouse patio and noticed families sitting on picnic tables, while a few kids were playing in the low wood fenced area, near a table filled with Chutes & Ladders, Boggle, Trouble and Sorry! Emily told us “This has become a popular weekday lunch playdate venue, and on weekends it’s also a great birthday party destination.” I bet after the kids go home at night, this space transforms into a millennial beer garden and game night spot.
Looking over the menu, we started with a small bowl of anchovy stuffed fried olives to snack on with a glass of wine and kombucha on tap. Next we ordered the Escarole salad with Kishu tangerines This orange citrus grows on dwarf trees and are about the size of a golf ball. There was a sprinkle of manchego cheese and chopped almonds on top of a pleasing citrus rosemary vinaigrette.
Emily brought us a round white plate topped with wood roasted cauliflower. This vegan dish was sweetened with currants, and spiced with a serrano aioli and curried vinaigrette.
At the table next to me, the couple ordered the wild boar stuffed aranacini that arrived in two large fried spheres with a lemon parmesan sauce on top. They remarked it was delicious.
Looking over the pizza column, we ordered two of the most popular pizzas – The Honey Pot and the Green Thumb. What makes these pizzas unique is the naturally leavened dough made with a sourdough starter using 100% organic flour. The sauce is made with organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes and the chopped greens are procured from a local organic farm named Country Fresh.
The Honey Pot was topped with salami Americano, spigarello (Italian broccoli rabe), Sicillian oregano, sheep’s cheese, and a drizzle of fermented aleppo honey. My friend Cydney really liked the Green Thumb pizza with shaved garlic medallions, oregano, dill, tomatoes, sorrel and semi-soft cheese sheep’s milk cacio de roma. Kitchen shears are served with the pizzas for diners to cut wide or thin slices to their liking.
We saved room for the pasteurized organic ice cream made on premise. Looking at the eight flavors available that include vanilla bean, maple with brown sugar pop tart, brown butter lavender, mint chip, chocolate hazelnut, sesame caramel, coconut passion fruit sorbet and Mexican hot chocolate, we ordered a scoop of sesame caramel and Mexican hot chocolate. Emily asked if we wanted our ice cream on a cone or in a cup. Since they make and roll their own waffle style crunchy cones, we both said cone. Looking around the room while licking our ice cream, we noticed we weren’t the only diners holding ice cream cones after enjoying a delicious dinner.
Next time you are in the mood for a beer, salad, pizza and ice cream, head on over to Piencone. The restaurant is open 7 days a week. On weekdays it’s open from 4 to 11 p.m. On weekends it opens at 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. $$ 1958 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles (323)274-4728.