Up in North Hollywood, the prospect of a new restaurant is always exciting. And when the theme of that new restaurant is pie, the excitement is off the charts. So in honor of Pi Day (March 14th) I ventured out to Republic of Pie with a couple of coworkers to see what they were all about. Republic of Pie has a total coffee shop feel to it, with a few couches here and there, an exposed ceiling industrial look and an iPad in place of an old-fashioned register. The number of people sitting around on their MacBooks drinking tea really helps drive the point home. This is a good thing, because no one wants to feel like they are in North Hollywood and this feels much more like Seattle or Portland.
But the look and feel of the place were not on my mind when I ordered. What was on my mind was something called Mac & Cheese Pot Pie. The moment I heard if this thing, I had to have it. But I also wanted their Banana Coconut Cream Pie and Sencha Tea, so like anyone with the willpower of a toddler, I ordered them all.
To call the Mac & Cheese a pot pie is really being generous. Served in a big mug, this mac had no semblance of a pie crust, save for the miniscule bread crumbles on top. The only thing that made it remotely like a pot pie was the bit of creaminess it had. Yet, while not pie-like, the mac was really pretty good. The top was more congealed than the inside, but it all tasted good when mixed together. Like I said, there was definitely a degree of creaminess to it that is not often found in mac and cheese, and I found this to be a nice touch. It wasn’t particularly revolutionary or special in any way, like I thought a Mac & Cheese Pot Pie would be, but when I got over the naming I was happy with it.
The Banana Coconut Cream Pie turned out exactly how I had hoped. First, I should start by saying that Banana Cream Pie is easily my favorite pie and I love coconut. With that said, I was a little concerned that these two flavors might be locked in a deadly battle for top pie flavor and my taste buds would be in the losing end. This was not the case, and instead the pie was predominantly banana, with mild coconut flavor and shredded coconut sprinkled throughout the pie. It was a well-orchestrated blend that Republic of Pie could truly be proud of.
At last, there was the Sencha Tea. This stuff is a pretty much your typical (non-powder) Japanese Green Tea. In general, I’m a big fan of this stuff and while most people would have been happy with the way Republic of Pie prepared it, I would have liked it to have been steeped more or just generally stronger. Again, most people like their tea light, so I get the reasoning and just know that next time I’ll have to make my order strong.
Ultimately, my time at Republic of Pie was worthwhile. I really like their concept and look forward to the different specials they’ll be serving up. It would have been cool if they had elevated their Mac & Cheese Pot Pie to the next level, but I still left the place a happy man. Happy Pi Day!