Just two years since Samantha Bryan, a native Australian, opened up The Bronzed Aussie, the city’s first Australian hand-pie shop is already LA-famous, and addictively good.
“It started because I just really wanted a pie,” Bryan says, who’s lived in the states for nearly a decade, “and there’s not a single place in this country to get a pie!”
Pies in Australia are like burritos in Los Angeles. You can find them at restaurants, on street corners, at gas stations. You eat them with your hands. In the car, on the bus, at your desk. Pies are practical, easy comfort food, and you have to try one (we won’t tell the burrito you’re cheating).
The ground beef pie is the traditional—eat it with ketchup, because that’s the way to do it, but if you’re looking for something on the more sophisticated side, the roast lamb pie is what you’re after. It’s like your mother’s best lamb roast, but in a pie, so maybe even better.
Yes, there are vegetarian options. The ratatouille pie with eggplant, tomato, and basil—is savory and satisfying. For the adventurous, there’s the vegan curry pie, a yellow curry pie with peas, carrots, and tofu.
Bryan was a vegetarian for seventeen years, so these pies were initially made for her. But when she opened the shop, she figured she had to taste the meat pies too—and then she couldn’t stop eating them. If you also can’t get enough, you can take frozen pies to bake off at home, but come early—sometimes they’re gone by afternoon. After all, in LA, it’s nice to be able to stock up on something comforting and familiar.
“We have all these people come in,” Bryan says, “from Australia, from New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, all over, and they all the same thing: this tastes like home.”