Several weeks ago, a group of friends and I made the drive up to LA to check out Pizzana, a gourmet pizzeria (there are two locations) which was recently awarded one star by Michelin Guide. A friend of ours set up reservations at the West Hollywood location — full disclosure, she’s friends with the chef — and while it was the Brentwood location which garnered the star, we were assured that there is nothing different between the two except for location.
The WeHo location is really cute, but small. The interior seats 10 comfortably, while the outside patio accommodates about 40. Sitting inside means you are right there bearing witness to all the commotion and excitement happening in the kitchen. It is always where I want to be when given a choice.
Since we were a large group, we were able to order a good selection of items from the menu. Caprese di Burrata ($15) is a solid offering featuring blistered cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, a ball of burrata, and sliced wood-fired bread.
My favorite was Broccolo Romano ($13) which sees some of the ingredients from the first appetizer such as blistered cherry tomatoes, but there are also capers, olives, oregano, with wood-fired romesco sauce, interspersed between florets of beautiful Romanesco broccoli. The Calabrian chile oil drizzled on top is so heavenly, its aromas permeating across the table even before I am able to get a bite.
Another stellar salad is Cavoletto di Bruxelles ($15) a mound of shaved Brussels sprouts, lolla rossa lettuce, apple, toasted pistachios, and finished with a caramelized shallot vinaigrette.
On the specials menu, the Scagliozzi ($13) called out to us, and these crispy polenta fries absolutely did not disappoint. They were superb in texture, and even better with a dip of house-made San Marzano ketchup or truffle aioli — I was partial to the latter.
Next, the barrage of pizzas ensued. We had a total of 10 pizzas, but some were doubled due to the sheer number of people.
Margherita ($18) was your standard, traditional San Marzano DOP tomato-based pizza with fior di latte, parmigiano, and basil.
Corbarina ($19) a vegetarian option with San Marzano DOP, squash blossoms, burrata, cherry tomatoes, and gremolata wasn’t my favorite. The squash blossoms were beautiful, and the burrata nice and creamy. What I didn’t care for was the tomatoes, which were cold and tasted like salsa.
Cacio e Pepe ($21) was decadence in every bite. The richness of fior di latte, provoloncino di agerola, and parmigiano crema, was like a warm blanket had enveloped me. The cracked black pepper added a spicy pop with each bite. I enjoyed this tremendously.
However, if you’re looking for a white pizza, the Bianca ($20) was even better. You get fior di latte, and panna, along with fennel sausage AND shaved fennel plus some red onions for good measure. This was my second favorite pizza of the day.
Meat lovers can indulge in Carnivoro ($23) a beautiful pizza topped with San Marzano DOP, fior di latte, and parmigiano, but also, with pepperoni, fennel sausage, AND prosciutto cotto. Savory goodness in every bite.
The biggest surprise was Spinaci ($21), which was featured on the daily specials menu on the day of our visit. This vegetarian pizza pairs spinach with basil pesto, fior di latte, roasted garlic, and parmigiana crema together, and was positively my favorite of the day. In fact, I brought four different slices home for my son and this was also his favorite. I believe Chef Daniele has now agreed to keep Spinaci permanently on the menu.
We also ordered a Pepperoni pizza for the toddler at the table. Of course, the adults dove into it as well. I love how thin the crust is, without the dreaded wet floppy center of most Neapolitan pizzas.
If you have a sweet tooth, there are several desserts to choose from. Torta al Cioccolato ($12) is a very moist dark chocolate olive oil cake served with vanilla ice cream.
Torta di Mele ($12) an apple upside down cake is also decent, drizzled with salted caramel, and served with vanilla ice cream.
The star was definitely Panna Cotta ($12) a vanilla bean panna cotta topped with salted caramel and salty caramelized pretzels. It was so good I had an extra bite.
Pizzana is well worth the drive up to LA for. Plan your trip accordingly as you will most likely have to wait for a table if you don’t get there right when they open.
Pizzana West Hollywood
460 N Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048