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.
For those of you unfamiliar with places of high altitude, allow me to explain the results of finding yourself far above sea level. The first thing you’ll notice is a shortness of breath, when a short walk up the stairs leaves you breathless. Next, you’ll find yourself in a constant quest for water, as the altitude saps the water from your body and leaves you dehydrated. Such is the case in Breckenridge, Colorado, sitting at 9600 feet above sea level. While I had previously thought such altitude issues only applied to humans, a pizza from Giampietro taught me this was just not the case.
EDIT: I haven’t been back since they moved into a real place, but the experience here was so special I’m not sure it’s worth it.
You make a call and show up in a back alley 45 minutes later. When you arrive, your guy comes out carrying about five pounds worth. You hand him your cash, then take your purchase wherever you want and inhale it. If this sounds like a drug deal to you, get your mind out of the gutter. Unless your drug is pizza, in which case you should head to this back alley in West Hollywood immediately. This is the way it works for Hollywood Pies, the sketchiest pizza place in LA you’ve never been to. You may have eaten their pizza, and you may have even picked up their pizza, but you have never been there because there is no “there.”
Given that you are taking the time to read this food post on this meat blog, I’m going to assume that you enjoy eating delicious meals with great company. We all have friends and family members with whom it is an absolute pleasure to share great meals and last night I had the special opportunity to do just that.
My friend Raffi and I bond greatly over very important things like food and football. Last night, he, his co-worker, and I went to a pizza restaurant in Chicago called Bricks. Bricks is located on a stretch on Lincoln Ave. with few other businesses and, as opposed to having a window-front, simply has an arched red awning over a staircase that leads down to the restaurant. Raffi and I are firm believers that you can judge a restaurant by its cover and even though the outside of Bricks is inconspicuous, it calls out at you and makes you think and/or say, “DAMN, this place is going to be GREAT!”
If you saw a pizza place on a corner in LA called The Coop, would you think it was pronounced like scoop without the s or more like co-op? I’m leaning towards co-op, and it probably has something to do with the medical marijuana dispensary, Kind for Cures (KFC), across the street. Besides, what is a coop anyway? Pronunciations aside, I knew The Coop had pizza, and supposedly it was pretty good, so while my buddy and I’s ladies were eating something vegetable-like, we ordered some Coop.
Perhaps one of the most uniquely puzzling marketing campaigns of the last year has been that of Domino’s Pizza. In extolling the virtues of their “new recipe” pizza and remarking on how much it has improved, Domino’s is tacitly admitting that their old pizza was not, for lack of better words, particularly good. Given that we were marketed to relentlessly by Domino’s back when their pizza was “not particularly good,” why should we give our valuable pizza dollars to them now? Even with their new recipe, Domino’s is only marginally better than upper tier oven pizzas. The answer, though, lies in their prices. Their special of three medium pizzas for $5.99 each is unmatched, right? Not so fast.
While there may be 120 Pizza Factories in five different states, the original Pizza Factory has humble roots in the town of Oakhurst, just outside of Yosemite National Park. And after a long day of staring at and walking through giant sequoias, very little sounds better than some greasy pizza. I hoped Pizza Factory would be able to deliver said pizza. Plus, with a tagline like “We Toss ’em, They’re Awesome” it’s hard to go wrong.
As a relatively new city, I haven’t found Phoenix to have their own signature cuisine. Sure, they have some great Mexican food and boast one of the best pizza places in the country, but I haven’t yet found that distinct Phoenician specialty. And to be honest, that’s just fine with me, because I hail from the Midwest and apparently so do a lot of the restaurant owners in Phoenix. On my last visit, I had Coney Dogs that tasted straight out of Detroit, and this time I had myself a taste of Chicago at Oregano’s.
One night a friend decided to meet me for dinner in North Hollywood. Typically I get myself out of that place as fast as I can after work, but on this night I was actually a bit excited to try out a place called Little Toni’s. Little Toni’s is a pizza place that isn’t open for lunch, so I figured this would be one of my rare opportunities to try them out. We walked inside and found the place wasn’t just some pizza joint, but an all-out Italian place that was probably pretty good for families. Nonetheless, we were ready to try their pizza.
Shakey’s Pizza and I have a long history, dating all the way back to when I lived in Japan. I discovered Shakey’s in Kyoto and found it to have the best pizza in Japan, at least at that time. They had a modestly priced buffet and although they still served crazy Japanese-style pizza with mayonnaise and corn, they also had good old fashioned pepperoni and cheese. Plus they had delicious fried potatoes and Melon Fanta. Needless to say, every trip to Kyoto came with a stop at Shakey’s. Little did I know at the time that Shakey’s was not just some Japanese anomaly, but had begun in the US. At one point it was a pretty big deal in the US, but now there are more of them in Asia than in the US. Yet, it wasn’t until I moved to LA that I realized I could enjoy the Shakey’s goodness without a plane trip to Asia. Although I knew of Shakey’s in LA for awhile, I finally got the chance to check it out myself and see if it could live up to my memories.