My toes touched the carpet as I arose from bed. Immediately, I sensed a difference about the morning. There was a slight nip in the room. Something I haven’t felt for months in sunny, Southern California.
Shivering, I hustled towards the heater. As the air warmed me, my thoughts turned to food.
Colder weather changed the agenda. And today, would be a great day for pie.
I already had the perfect place in mind, LA’s first authentic pie shop, The Pie Hole. With two locations, I chose the one in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District.
Patrons filled the café tables outside and picnic tables inside. The shop’s purchase area was small and became cozier with the short line.
Their display case only held a fraction of the full menu overhead. Seduced by sweet and savory choices, I strayed from my original plan and ordered more items. Individual servings ranged from $5 – $6.75.
That night, I struggled over what to taste first. Yes, there are greater problems in the world, but that was mine.
Eventually, I chose the Maple Custard Pie. The Pie Hole calls it crack pie and I can see why.
It didn’t survive the drive home well. Maybe that’s why I gravitated towards it. Getting a peak at the filling aroused my curiosity. Its richness seemed worthy of a spoon.
I quickly found a utensil and sampled. A thin layer of pie crust supported smooth, maple and brown sugar custard. Its consistency reminded me of pumpkin or sweet potato pie, with a lighter color. However, its flavor was so incredibly different and delicious.
Next up, their Earl Grey Pie. It’s made with Earl Grey, dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate mousse, toasted pistachios, and then topped with whipped cream.
As a specialty of The Pie Hole and a favorite tea, I wasn’t leaving without this one.
Among the ingredients, the creamy mousse was dominant. Even so, the subtle tea spice was in every bite. It overshadowed the fine layer of chocolate ganache. The fresh, whipped cream and toasted nuts, enhanced the filling.
Like before, the flaky pie crust was just in the background to lend support.
For the pièce de résistance, I closed with their Chocolate Crostata. Their pastry dough is filled with dark chocolate and topped with salted caramel.
Normally skeptical about dark chocolate, back at The Pie Hole, instinct said this time would be okay. Glad I listened. Even for a Frosting Fanatic, desserts didn’t get much better than this.
The first nibble began with bold, bittersweet chocolate. Then, the salty caramel quickly restored balance. Allowing me to enjoy the fusion of both flavors.
As I continued, the texture became clearer. The dark chocolate resembled a dense, sumptuous brownie. As I approached the pastry’s edge, more crust filled each bite. It was soft, buttery, and flaky.
By the time I reached the edge, sugar crystals adorned the pastry top. Rather than a brownie pie, I now had a buttery cookie with a brownie filling.
But I could not finish it all. My dessert stomach surrendered in defeat and reserved the Chocolate Crostata ending for another day.
Miserably full, yet satisfied, I give The Pie Hole 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Although I tried their more distinctive creations, something tells me they can make everyday flavors taste special.
I do believe their mission is successful: happiness one slice at a time.
P.S. I also had their Chicken & Cornbread Pot Pie for dinner. Tender chunks of chicken and seasoned cornbread surrounded by a flaky crust. It was delicious!