Taiwanese Treats: Pine & Crane and 85C Bakery

As you all know, I subsist on a strict diet of dumplings (and vodka tonics) and with this diet comes a great deal of responsibility. The responsibility of documenting every dumpling I slide into my mouth and reporting their sexiness to the public. I DID NOT ASK FOR THIS BURDEN, IT WAS SIMPLY PLACED UPON ME. NOW LOOK AT MY PICTURES!!

I went to Pine & Crane in Silverlake with my friend, Amelia because my brother and sister-in-law are avid visitors that claim that this is their favorite Taiwanese food in all of Los Angeles. I may have heard that claim wrong, but that's what I told Amelia to convince her to come here with me.

When God giveth a hoodrat a dumpling, he commands the sun to shine down through the windows and provide them with the most optimal lighting imaginable. Look at how the light hits the Pan Fried Pork Buns in such a way that it makes them look like black sesame seed dusted snow balls from the powdery alps of Taipei. 

These were like a cross between a sheng jian bao and a cha siu bao. If you don't know the difference, 1) YOU BETTER LEARN or 2) KILL YO SELF. "An encyclopedic knowledge of dumplings will take you far in life" is what a very stale wise fortune cookie once told me. Food for thought. 

The Spicy Shrimp Wontons were one of my favorites. They were mercilessly soaked in hot chili oil before I stuffed them in my mouth, so their violent execution turned out to be a pretty delicious experience for me. 

The Dan Dan Noodles were bomb as fuck. I want to say they were handmade noodles? But they too had a nice hot chili oil and peanut sauce bath. I learned something about myself that day and that is that I am most definitely about that Taiwanese hot chili oil life. 

The Three Cup Jidori Chicken was recommended by my brother, who advertised it to me as Taiwanese adobo. Filipino adobo is pretty much chicken or pork in equal parts soy sauce and vinegar. This version had sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. All I know is, all these combinations are very sexy on top of a bed of rice and in between my teeth. 

This could possibly be my favorite beverage on earth. This is the Sea Salt Black Milk Tea, which is a concoction made of whole milk, simply syrup and sea salt cream. That thick creamy saline marine layer on top made a gorgeous moustache on my upper lip, which gave me a refreshing new look.  Actually, Hennessey is my favorite beverage - what the hell am I talking about?

A new bakery opened up down the street from me in the good ol' U-S of Alhambra called 85C Bakery. Being the fat, nosey bastard that I am, I crept up in there with my iPhone and photographed the shit out of all their breads for like an hour.

They keep the carbs trapped in these glass cubbies and it's self serve, so you can just walk around with tongs and grab (and shove them down your pants) as you please. I told this case of Bacon & Cheese bread to stop threatening me with a good time. 

Employees emerge from the kitchen every two minutes or so with a hot tray of bread and scream, "FRESH BREAD!!" and the rest of the staff respond by screaming back "FRESH BREAD!" at the top of their lungs. It was like a chorus of glutenous praise and I was more than happy to join in on the chanting. Sometimes my boyfriend and I scream, "FRESH BREAD!" at each other when we are bored now and we have 85C to thank for that. 

I had a nice mix of sweet and savory breads going on my tray because carb loading is all about balance. 

My curiosity about the calamari bread was killing me, so I ate it while I was still in the store. I was expecting it to be full of tentacles and marinara sauce, but it turns out the bread has squid ink in it and it had an oddly pleasant garlic and cheese thing going on inside. Very peculiar bread, but I liked it. 

The iced coffees shit on most other iced coffees because they are densely blessed with cream and sugar. I too, like my sugar with coffee and cream. 



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