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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vinny's Pizza

Vinny's Pizza is a cool bar/restaurant in a quaint little area in downtown El Segundo. It has a great outside patio with TVs and a good beer selection. It also has pizza. Which according to their name, they are known for. So I ordered a large 16 inch pizza for 12 dollars, way cheaper than Stuft Pizza.

It is a pretty good looking pizza. It is pretty good tasting too. A thin and crispy crust. Not so crispy on the bottom, but definitely on the outer edge. It was a little dry too, maybe due to the over cooking of the crust. The cheese and sauce were put on generously and in good ratio to each other. The sauce was a heavily spicy sauce. The cheese was decent but had a real salty and oily flavor and after taste.
I'd say overall the pizza is definitely a pizza I'd be happy with if I was drinking at the bar. Though it has some issues that doesn't make it near the best. It is definitely the best in El Segundo, in my opinion. In the close area there are 3 other places Stuft Pizza, Justa Pizza, and Hanks Pizza.

Vinny's Pizza
310 Grand Ave. El Segundo 90245
310-322-5464
Price: $
Overall:

Vinny's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Stuft Pizza

A quaint little area in downtown El Segundo brings many different eateries. Including a great cheese steak place and 2 pizza places. Down the street from Vinny's Pizza is place called Stuft Pizza. They had slices sitting on a rotating display case, so regretfully I bought one. After you see this pizza, you can guess it is a franchise. They have 6 or so places all over the Southern CA area.
A large Pizza is 16 dollars, but the size is only 14 inches. So a bit overpriced. The slices on the other hand are only a dollar. Though they are small and as you can see not that exciting.
Not a whole lot to say about this place. It is generic pizza. The crust is thick and doughy. The sauce is dry. It has decent flavor but nothing extraordinary. It just is pizza, with no inspiration. Similar to Domino's but with less oil, butter and fat no doubt. So I guess it is probably relatively healthier but doesn't have the same addictive taste. Though I didn't feel sick after eating it either so I guess I'll give it a point for that.

Though it seems, Mondays are the day to go. 1$ beers which is always good and 1$ pizza which isn't always good. On normal days, when you order a large pizza, not a good deal or meal.

Stuft Pizza
400 Main St. El Segundo 90245
310-322-2667
Price: $$
Overall:


Stuft-Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 4, 2010

Golden Mean Vegan Cafe

I don't eat vegan, I don't know what vegan pizza means and I really don't even know what a vegan is. So instead of trying to explain a pizza I don't know, I have recruited a friend of mine, Lily Milkovic-Jakal, who is more in tune with the Vegan world.
So listen to what she says.

As a new Vegan on the scene pizza has been my biggest challenge because I HEART cheese! I woke up last Saturday with a mean pizza hankering and decided to make a day of it. For lunch I headed to Golden Mean Vegan Cafe in Santa Monica. Golden Mean isn't strictly a pizza joint, but they do have a "Pizza of the Day" on the menu featuring a rustic fibonacci cornmeal crust. My pizza came topped with tomato sauce, plum tomatoes, spinach and Daiya vegan cheese which is the best "fake" cheese I've tasted to date. Daiya does not contain many of the common allergens including; Soy, Dairy (Casein or Lactose) Gluten, Egg, Wheat, Barley, Whey, and Nuts and its free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones & antibiotics. But that's not the best part about Daiya cheese! It actually TASTES like cheese, stretches, melts, and when baked it gets golden. So, Daiya cheese is a MUST HAVE for a vegan pizza if you miss the real deal as much as I do! The pizza as a whole wasn't exactly what I expected, but it was good in its own right. The cornmeal crust and veggie toppings gave this pizza a very earthy taste and it didn't leave me feeling weighed down or oily. While I can appreciate GOLDEN MEAN's healthy approach to pizza-making, if you are looking for that classic pizza experience - this isn't your place.

A few hours after lunch at the GOLDEN MEAN VEGAN CAFE, I still needed to satiate my pizza craving so I headed to PIZZA FUSION in Santa Monica, CA for some din-din. Pizza Fusion offers an array of tasty organic pizza options and even has a few vegan..... for more click here

1028 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica 90401
310-393-6500
Price: $
Overall:

Golden Mean Vegan Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Slice Truck


I remember a not so distant day when a food truck meant tacos. Taco Hunt.com But lately there has been a flooding of food trucks all over, from Korean BBQ to grilled cheese and now of course pizza too. It all amounts to just more traffic on the highways. It is actually hard to go driving around and not see one. Maybe a food truck will make me something while we are sitting in traffic on the freeway together, now that'd be something great.


Well I finally tracked down the slice truck. I hit them up twice in a week. The first time was at a Silverlake music festival. Then I though I would try them again in their natural environment. Their usual spot is down by USC. Pizza for the kids. Don't know what else USC has in the way of good pizza so it is probably a pretty profitable spot for them.
I just got a slice this time, usually I go with a full large pizza but I figured it is called Slice Truck so if the slices aren't good what's the point.
I have to say it was a pretty enjoyable pizza. I didn't notice any difference from the festival slice to the regular slice. I guess I managed to get fresh slices each time.
The pizza is thin crust NY style, but the crust is a hair thicker than your typical thin crust. It is semi crispy crust, but not charred or crunchy in any way. It has a good tough and chewy consistency and it is not too dry or stale. The sauce and cheese are both put on very generously. Though are in pretty good balance with each other. The sauce doesn't stand out all that much. It is a sweet sauce with a light oregano flavoring. There is an also generous covering of parmesan cheese and basil on top.
The basil and parmesan help disguise the pizza as being a bit more complex than it actually is. I think the pizza is pretty basic and balances on a line between genuine NY style and generic Middle American style. This may sound like an insult, it's not. I just try to classify pizza for the sake of you people and blog. The point is I really enjoyed the pizza, I think it had good flavor and texture and would get it again if it was near by.

The slice truck like most other food trucks has many different outlets on the internet, from Facebook and twitter to a blog of their own. Their blog is filled with random stuff you can read while you eat a slice. They also post reviews by costumers of their place, pulled randomly from yelp, which can be pretty entertaining.
Here is an interesting article on their blog that talks about the geometry of pizza.

Jefferson Blvd and McClintock Ave (but also, everywhere)
Price: $
Overall:

L.O.V.E. Pizza

I love Pizza too. That doesn't mean I would name my restaurant that. It seems that LOVE stands for something, hence the dots in between the letters, though there is no mention of what it might be.
This is a place on Melrose Blvd that has replaced Enzo's another pizza place, which had replaced a pizza place before them called Alberto's. Alberto's, I was told was possibly the best pizza in town at the time, unfortunately it left before I had the chance to try it. Since then the pizza in the spot has deteriorated with each new owner.
Now it is LOVE Pizza. A slice place that pulls out a "fresh" slice from the back for 3 dollars.

It has been awhile since I have had Enzo's, but I'm pretty sure this is the exact same pizza. An average slice with an unnatural amount of grease dripping out the back. The strong flavor of Oregano carries the sauce. Though the sauce is a little lacking and definitely overpowered by the cheese and grease. The crust is generic and dry with a cake-y texture. Not light or airy, nor packed with flavor. It is a little crispy but thats about it. Enzo's wasn't worth going to, and I don't think this place is any better.
They are open "late" they say. This means 12.

L.O.V.E. Pizza
7261 Melrose Ave. 90046
323-936-3696
Price: $
Overall:
L.O.V.E. Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 14, 2010

Portion Pad

Say goodbye to the fights you used to have over who gets the bigger slice. The newest Pizza Invention is here. It is called the Portion Pad. Helps place like Domino's that churn out a million pies a second cut pizzas evenly at a high rate. It also helps you cut pizzas if you are a small pizza place that only does one pizza per hour. This way the one guy working, can be stoned and not have to think about cutting the pizza into equal slices.


SO a pretty cool invention, probably not necessary but cool none the less.

If you have time to read more, the details are below...

or go to their site. http://www.portionpadl.com/


New Invention Increases Pizza Business Profits


NuVo Grand, LLC crated the patent pending Portion PadL. Designed using a simple but effective concept, this unique cutting board, makes it easy to cut equal pizza slices.


See Video Demonstration: www.youtube.com/thePortionPadL


Greg Getzinger, pizza business owner and inventor of the Portion PadL, developed the distinctive cutting board to meet the needs of his business accounts. “It became clear that pizzas sliced in unequal portions caused unique challenges for businesses, school accounts and pizza-by-the-slice fundraisers,” says Getzinger.


“There was food waste and loss of profit due unequal pizza slices. For instance, concessionaires at school sporting events were hesitant to sell the smaller, unequal slices of pizza and people didn’t want to pay the same price for a smaller slice as for a larger slice, even if it was only a slight size difference,” notes Getzinger.


After an exhaustive search for a reasonably-priced, easy to use device that cut equal pizza slices every time, Getzinger came up short. This void in the pizza industry was the catalyst for the invention of the Portion PadL.


The Portion PadL can be customized to fit up to four or more pizza sizes per board. The high quality cutting board is made of NSF approved Richlite®, is heat resistant to 350° and is 100% food safe.


“There isn’t another cutting board on the market that is as versatile or can be as easily customized as the Portion PadL,” says Andrew Spriegel, patent attorney and co-founder of NuVo Grand, LLC. “In addition to traditional pizzerias interested in improving pizza consistency, pizza-by-the-slice operations like schools, hospitals, pizza buffet restaurants, convenience stores and foodservice management companies will benefit from the Portion PadL's equal slices,” adds Spriegel.


A video demonstration of the PortionPadL can be viewed at www.youtube.com/thePortionPadL. For inquiries and more information about the Portion PadL, including individual and volume pricing go to www.PortionPadL.com.


Advantages


Less waste and more profit because small pizza slices that are typically thrown away are eliminated; No more complaints about unequal size slices; Meets school and institutional pizza equal slice size specifications; Speeds up the food line because no one has to pick between the various size slices; Even new employees can utilize the board easily; No longer have to use your best personnel to cut the pizzas into equal slices; Speeds up the cutting process, thereby increasing profits; Better visual presentation of the pizza and/or food; Easy to calculate the nutritional values of each slice because the slices are equal sizes; Numbers printed on the board indicate the number of slices that are cut with that board; Composition material is food safe Richlite, NSF approved; Richlite does not harbor bacteria and heat resistant up to 350 degrees;
Board is rugged, durable and won't chip; Doesn't dull knives and cutting tools.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Good Pizza

Pizza place by night, Coffee house by day. A brilliant way to run a business in this economy. Brick House Kitchen serves coffee and other related things till about 11am and then the pizza crew comes in and takes over till the kids go to sleep.
It is a small place with a few outside tables, that serves up a good slice tucked away in the middle of a residential neighborhood, near Loyola College. The reason we went there in the first place, other than my obsession with pizza was the pizza topped with french fries. Which also had BBQ chicken on it. Thats what we came for, we stayed fro the Margherita and Pesto slices.
We also got a medley of artichokes, ham, pepperoni and mushrooms and a veggie pizza with eggplant. All slices were pretty good. I could do without the BBQ chicken and fries one but thats just me, I don't like BBQ chicken on pizza. Everything tasted fresh. The slices were very crispy and thin. The dough had a good organic taste. The sauce was light and sweet and there wasn't too much cheese overpowering anything. The pizza dried out pretty quick though. Especially the dough, which got stale as it cooled down. But other than that a pretty good pizza made the way it should be.

I can't move on with out mentioning their cannoli's. I don't have a picture but they were home made and out of this world. They had a shell lined with chocolate and a cream with slices of candied orange stuffed in. The best cannoli I have had in LA, that wasn't from Ferrara's.

7929 Emerson Ave. West Chester 90045
310-215-1883
446 Pacific Coast Hwy. Hermosa Beach 90254
310-374-4040
Price: $
Overall:


The Good Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vinolio

This is a dark little bar in downtown Hollywood on Cahuenga. It is a place that I think Vampire's would hang out in, which seems to be the general theme of a lot of places in Hollywood these days. I say that as a good thing. It has good ambience that you can feel very comfortable in, candle lit with a good selection of beer and small menu. Though the specials the waitress gave was longer than the menu itself.

They have a few pizza selections. We got one margherita, with buffalo mozzarella. Then one of the specials, that was a Italian sausage pizza with red bell peppers and onions, and I think cheese though I don't see any in the picture. They are both a generous 12 inches. I can't remember the price exactly, the Italian sausage was close to 20. The Margherita was prob around $15, I think $17 for the buffalo mozz. So a little pricey. But worth it.

I don't think the sausage pizza comes across in my pictures. But I assure you the sausage was excellent. The flavors were spot on and all around it was an amazing pizza. The only problem was the weight of all that sausage made the crust soggy and limp on the bottom. Though the crust was crispy on the top and initially had been crisp on the bottom too.

The Margherita was extremely crisp. In fact it was a little over cooked, which I have to say in this town was the first time that happened. It was completely black on the bottom and each bite gave you a little too much char taste. I have had this pizza before and that is not the usual.
Here is their oven. A big open oven, though don't be fooled, it is electric gas powered.
The crust is usually cooked perfectly. It is crispy with a little char, doughy and chewy inside, thin and crispy on the outside. The tomato sauce has a great pure tomato tasting flavor, and the cheese is simply great. The pizza is all around a pretty simple dish here. They don't go above and beyond what a pizza is to try and impress, they take the bare essentials and (usually) cook it right. This is what I like about it. There could have been more cheese, their could have been more basil. The tomato sauce could have been thicker so it wouldn't dry out so much. There are some improvements that could be made, but overall a pretty decent pizza, for a late, trendy, saturday night.

1634 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, 90028
(323) 856-0888
Price: $$
Overall:

Vinolio on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ciccero's Pizza


This is your standard pizza, at least around here. All over are small chains that have cheap pizza. Cheap in price and in quality. They all have similar tastes in the sauce and similar textures in the crust. They all can probably be compared to Domino's/PizzaHut/PapaJohn's because of price and availability. Though I'm sure the owner will disagree.


Though the owner should know, I feel this is one of the better pizza's in this category that I have had.

On a side note, Ciccero's gives you 2 large 14'' pizzas for about $18. It's the classic buy 1 pizza get a second free deal. I hate that deal almost more than I hate the big slice. It is just another example of a business getting you to drop more money on something you don't need. If there is a party where you need two pizza's it is great deal I admit. But if there is just a couple people and you only need one pie, you can't get it. I ordered one pizza not knowing they had this deal, I showed up and they gave me two. I told them I only ordered one but they said they don't make just one. At that point they already had made it so I took it and gave it away. If I had gotten just one which is what I wanted, I would have paid 18 dollars and that is a big time rip off.
Anyway, back to the pizza. Yes it was cheap. The crust was dense and cake-y with a slight crisp on the outside. The sauce and cheese were a lower quality grade. However the sauce had a tasty, pure tomato flavor. Slightly sweet with faintest taste of spices. There was a lot of cheese on it as you can expect from a place like this, but there was also a lot of sauce to compete with the cheese. So at the same time that it was excessive it was balanced, if that makes any sense. They actually took the pizza out mid cook to put more cheese on the sparse spots. As well as push the bubbling crust down, which I didn't understand.
It wasn't a great pizza. But when you walk into a place like this you kind of have to expect what you are getting and for what you are getting it is satisfying and cheap as long as there are 4 plus people joining in.

Ciccero's Pizza
1536 S. La Cienega Blvd. (reviewed loc.)
11651 W. Pico Blvd.
Price: 1 pizza $$$ 2 pizza's $
Overall:

Ciccero's Pizza on UrbanspoonCiccero's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coachella 2010 Pizza

Dead Weather
Well it's festival time again. My usual weekend is Coachella, it is becoming a tradition. Though a tradition that I'm thinking, I won't be able to sustain for my whole life.

Every year it is exciting to hear some awesome music, see all the crazy people and see what pizza options they will have. This year it was all about the hats.
There were 3 pizza places I found. One was an old standard. I (heart) Spicy Pie. It isn't that great, but it's filling and you can have jalapenos on it. So really thats all you need. People aren't really there for the food. Music first, drugs second, saying you were there, third and maybe food is fourth.
There were 2 new ones this year. One which was a wood burning one that Im excited about and will get to in a second.
The other was called Rock N Roll Pizza. It was in the beer garden on the far side of the festival. It seems to have taken the place of what was last years place called Pie for the People. Which is too bad because that place was great. I walked through to check it out but found it was 7 dollars for a regular sized slice. I wasn't that hungry so I didn't feel like getting ripped off. It actually didn't look to bad, it might have even had a chance to be good, but for the price I just couldn't justify it. Looking back at last year I realize that Pie For the People was also 7$ a slice. I'd like to think that it was a bigger slice but most likely it was the same. I guess I had a few beers and just wanted a slice. Both, no matter how good a pizza are ripping you off. Anyway, Rock N Roll Pizza didn't look like anything special that I was missing out on, so I passed.

The excitement came from the VIP area. Very important people need very important pizza. A place called Full of Life Flatbread Pizza which had a hand made stone, wood fired oven.
It looked amazing. The pizza and the oven. They had a menu of several different toppings. The pizza was 10$ for a little personal round pie. This of course was even more than the 7$ slice. Again it's a rip off, but unfortunately you come to expect overpaying at festivals. At least with this place you were getting probably 2 slices worth and a much higher quality pizza.
The pizza tasted great. It was a light crispy thin crust that was cooked perfectly. It was a wheat crust which I wouldnt normally order, but tasted pretty good and was lighter than usual. The one I ordered was a 3 cheese. I'm not 100% on this but I think it was mozzarella, parmesan and something that started with an 'S' like stracciatella or sappada or something. IT was good cheese, perhaps a little too much because I found it hard to taste the sauce. But for the most part the flavor was spot on. It was real quality pizza, which I think I'd be happy to eat outside a festival setting.
They have a place just north of Santa Barbara as well as frozen cooked pizzas that they sell in Whole Foods. So check them out. Full of Life Foods

For past Coachella reviews:

I'm all ready for next year. Excited to see what the newest trends in fashion and pizza might be.

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