Well, smart thinking on the part of Ryan Handel, Andy Paxson, and (baker) Carrie Cusack, the trio who hope to debut simplethings on 3rd Street this coming Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday -- because according to the New York Times, cupcakes are out and pie is the new "it" dessert. Eater popped by the finished space to see a clean, unadorned cafe boasting a subtle white, gray, and yellow color scheme from simplethings' awning, to seat cushions, to banquettes. So, how did this all come to be?
Basically Ryan and Andy worked together at the Daily Grill but wanted to open their own place. They were both intrigued by sandwiches and pie, but didn't really think that there were many great places to grab pie around town. For their own concept they were also looking for a signature dessert, something quick and easy that a diner could hold in his/her hands. Like a cupcake...but not. From there the idea was born to open a sandwich and pie place. So, simplethings offers mini pies called cutiepies, about two inches in diameter, simple pies, five inches in diameter, and finally traditional larger pies nine inches in diameter, but these bigger boys need to be ordered in advance (they won't just be hanging around that refrigerated case). And while the main forcus here is obviously pie, simplethings offers one other sweet, whoopie pies. Because, hey, the word pie is involved.
While the idea is to serve a bevy of 20 rotating pie flavors, Carrie will also offer seasonal selections. Once simplethings opens, some holiday specials include sweet potato pie, pumpkin bourbon pie, pecan pie, but if you have a specific recipe or flavor of pie you can't find, give the restaurant 24 hours notice and they will whip it together for you.
As for savory items, look for pot pies like barbecue pulled pork, chicken curry, and baby portobello, served with a side of pickled green beans and sweeter pickled carrots. In addition to the pies expect salads and some a la carte sides, plus American-style sandwiches. All meats are roasted in-house and hand-carved, mayo is made in-house, and the restaurant's pork, chicken, and beef is sourced from right outside LA. Bread comes from Dolce Forno, the bakery operated by Celestino Drago, plus coffee from Intelligentsia. There's also artisanal sodas in glass bottles and house-filtered water.
simplethings plans to open for Saturday and Sunday brunch probably during their second week of business, and down the line they hope to acquire a beer and wine license. The restaurant will also offer curbside pickup for those in a hurry, just call the eatery to place an order then drive into the back alley to scoop the goods.
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