Traction Avenue in L.A.’s Arts District has become home to a number of eateries putting a stamp on the way we dine–Wurstkuche did it for the sausage shop, Church & State for the French bistro, and Little Bear for the Belgium café. The Pie Hole, opened just last October, seeks to do the same thing for the bakery. In less than half a year, we’d say they’ve already succeeded.
The Pie Hole bakes everything in-house, from scratch, daily—no exceptions. If that should sound like just another all-too familiar boast of today’s locavore, sustainable eateries, it’s not. The difference here is that it’s also exceptionally good. Every pie delivers the same reliably flaky crust that only a pastry chef with credentials like Adrianna Sullivan (who brought us the famed artisan donuts at Nickel Diner) could provide.
The menu rotates semi-weekly as ingredients come and go from local sources, although certain offerings like the Apple Double Crust have been so popular with customers that they’ve been brought back into rotation. At $5-6 a slice (call in advance to special order a whole pie for yourself), the pies may seem like a splurge of a treat, but tell us where else you can buy a slice of heaven for five bucks. Go on. And if the recession’s effects have still left you with a tiny hole in your pocket, go ahead and make a slice your lunch. You won’t regret it.
You can even make it a savory pie, as The Pie Hole bakes them up in the same numbers as their sweets. The Chilean Hand Pie is an individually sized mini pie that looks like it could be the poster child for the word “rustic.” But on the inside, it’s a mild flavor explosion of sweet cornmeal, pork and turkey, and a hint of olives (with some hard-boiled eggs in the mix just to keep you on your toes). By name, it may not sound like much, but it’s the flavor that counts, and again, that masterfully prepared crust that makes every bite a happy mess of flakes all over your face.
Plan to arrive before the lunch rush hits (around noon on work days), as the space is small and the line can get backed up fairly quickly. And don’t come too late in the day, as they can—and usually do—run out of pies as the afternoon goes on. Order a cup of drip-Joe (from local roasters at Groundwork) to go with your order, have a seat in the barebones dining room, and enjoy shoving it all into your pie hole.
The Pie Hole
714 Traction Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013