I will be the first to admit that I had a West Side bias when I made the move to Pasadena. I figured I would spend a whole lot of time on that side of town for meals out, but over and over again Pasadena has impressed me. Perhaps most impressive of all is the pizza scene, with The Luggage Room and Pizza of Venice already tackled by yours truly, I finally set my sights on Pie Life Pizza.
While the Twin Cities are certainly renowned for the Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy, they are not without other culinary creations. I stumbled upon one of these accidentally when ordering from Broadway Pizza. You see, this is a pizza and sandwich place, but one item on the menu was a combination of the two, calling itself the Pizza Sandwich. My curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.
The LA area isn’t exactly known for its pizza. Yet, while the nation has concentrated its pizza efforts on New York and Chicago, LA has quietly built up some great pizza places. I’ve done my best to review them as they’ve come, and the latest to hop on my radar is The Luggage Room in Pasadena. Based on the name, you might not expect pizza, but you’d be wrong because that’s pretty much all The Luggage Room does.
Once upon a time, a little place called 800 Degrees decided it could redefine fast-food pizza. Needless to say, it was a success. And that success inevitably led to copycats like Blaze Pizza. Surely this is not a bad thing in general because it will ultimately lead to better or more affordable food, but in the short-run I set out to see if Blaze could deliver (figuratively, of course).
LA has never been and will never be known as prime destination in the world of pizza. Sure, there are some great spots for a variety of pies, but there is no such thing as LA-style pizza. Nonetheless, LA does its best to make transplants from other pizza cities happy. Take, for example, Masa of Echo Park, which dishes out some of the deepest dishes this side of Chicago.
Dear New York: Your pizza is overrated. Sincerely, The Unvegan. Yes, that’s right. It’s probably not the most original thing to say, but if New York leads the world in pizza I can only agree in terms of quantity. Yes, there is good stuff there, but the water is a damn myth and I have found plenty of amazing pizza elsewhere, especially in Pittsburgh. Take for example, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room in Downtown Pittsburgh, my most recent pizza experience to continue setting the tone for great pies.
For a long, long time I have heard of the legend of Vincent’s Pizza Park. It’s out in Forest Hills, so not an area that’s easy to get to when you’re in the bubble of Shadyside. Yet, with a little free time available, I made it out with a few guys to get a famed Vinnie Pie. It wasn’t too crowded when we got in, so we took a quick look at the menu, ordered a pitcher of Yuengling and perused the pies.
The city that never sleeps wouldn’t be the city that never sleeps without late-night food. And on the Upper West Side, the late night eating options seem to be pretty limited. Yet, there is Big Nick’s Too (the sequel to Big Nick’s, although the original has since left this earth), a pizza, sandwich, burger and countless other things restaurant. The menu is, in fact kind of dizzying, but we were guided by the bro-in-law and his soon-to-be wife.
Just a couple of weeks ago, a new pizza place opened in Culver City called Wildcraft. Their schtick is the use of sourdough in their pizzas, which is cool with me, but I’m not sure if it entirely qualifies as being wild. Nonetheless, I was eager to try it out and see just how wild and crafty it would be.
EDIT: This Sammy’s is closed, but you can still get their decent pizza around LA and Vegas.
In dire need of portable food while in Studio City, I wandered into Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Apparently Sammy’s has locations throughout Southern California and Nevada, but this was the first I had ever seen or heard of such a place. I took a quick look at the menu and while there were a couple of mildly interesting pizzas, most were pretty basic. Faced with such choices, I went with old faithful: pepperoni.