Pretty much every holiday provides its celebrants multiple paths to honor the occasion, and while traditions hold fast, people very often find quirky and individual ways to mark the moment.
But March 14's two traditions could not be more disparate, at first glance. On the one hand you have those merrymakers clutching chalk or pencils with erasers while the other holidayists hold a fork. That's because the 14th day of the third month is Pi Day -- as in, 3/14, or the first three numbers found in pi, "the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter."
You can spend March 14 writing out all of the numbers of pi, which is a very scholarly away to approach the day, or you can celebrate by eating pie, because now the holiday has transformed, cheekily, into a party for the other pie, the one with the "e" on the end. (The mathematical constant pi assuredly does not have an "e" on the end, being famously as long as forever.)
People wielding both chalk and fork on March 14? We salute you. And while we're fairly sure you'll know where to find the nearest chalkboard or piece of paper to math-it-up, merrily, you may want to go for a slice of pie later at a SoCal favorite like...
Magnolia Bakery: The West Third Street cupcakery-and-more will pay homage to the mathily delicious day with caramel apple hand pies. The price? They're $3.50 each, which is pretty close to $3.14, and you get the added benefit of bragging all day that you ate a hand pie. Because? Hand pie sounds so much more saucy than just pie-pie. (Love you, pie-pie.)
Simple Things Restaurant: It's nearly Magnolia's neighbor on West Third, with two other locations -- hello Burbank and Westwood -- and it knows pies ("pie shop" is actually in the boutique chain's very name). The Tortoise Pie with the pretzel cookie crust is a charmer, as are the savory pies like steak & lager. Oh, yes, and chicken, too.
The Pie Hole: Pasadena's pie-cool spot (which has an outpost at LAX) is known for its offbeat flavors, or, if they're not offbeat, bet you won't find them in too many spots. Earl Grey pie and a Chorizo Breakfast hand pie are two sweet-to-savory stand-outs. Wouldn't Earl Grey pie just hit the spot before a flight? Yes, it would, if you're used to tea on the run.