triple beam pizza

Triple Beam Pizza, “the place where they weigh the pizza”, is a casual joint in Highland Park serving up classic Roman-style pies. That means you walk in to a mouth-watering view of several slabs of freshly made, thin crust pizza, and show how much you want of each with a simple hand gesture. The guys behind the counter grab the scissors, and cut you just the right amount. Pizza here is weighed by the ounce, so get as much or as little of each kind as your heart desires! I’ve been a few times, and I must say, I truly love this no frills approach. You can also eat it Roman-style (straight from the counter), or get it American-style, so it’s reheated and crisped in the oven for a few minutes. Plus, knowing that Nancy Silverton is the mastermind behind this spot, you know the pizza is going to be totally legit. There’s always a great variety available, from the uniquely delicious acorn squash with honey, to more classic options like margherita or sausage with mushrooms. Yum! The focaccia is also fluffy, chewy, and baked to perfection if you’re wanting a more bready, less cheesy option. I’ve heard they’ll even do a made-to-order vegan pie, so I’ll have to try that out soon as well! Definitely stop by next time you’re in Highland Park!


felix trattoria

Pasta, pasta, pasta! I had been told by many a pasta-finatic that if you’re on the hunt for delicious Italian food in Los Angeles, you head straight to Felix Trattoria. Being that it’s in Venice, it’s not the quickest dinner venture for us (not to mention reservations are hard to come by), but when I was planning a recent date night with friends, I made Felix a top priority. Chef Evan Funke’s take on traditional, regional Italian cuisine enriched with local Cali ingredients is nothing short of spectacular. Pasta and bread are the true standouts, and you can even watch them get made right before your eyes! The pizza bianca (with melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella) and the classic focaccia sfincione are not to be missed. You really can’t go wrong with anything from the handmade pasta menu, which offers various regional specialties from all around Italy. I love an orecchiette, and this one served with sausage, broccoli, peperoncino, and canestrato was delectable down to the last bite! Even the veggies at Felix were memorable: I loved the mint and pesto Siciliano coating the green beans in the fagiolini verdi dish! Also impressive were the branded ice cubes in my negroni- how fancy! Even though we were pretty stuffed by this point, you know I don’t skip dessert. The torta della nonna (a perfectly moist olive oil cake) really hit the spot, and allowed us to finish our meal on a not-too-sweet, but totally satisfied note. Scroll through the slideshow to check out the rest of our meal, and trust me when I say- get there soon! Felix (Latin for “happy” or “lucky”) easily gets my vote for best Italian in LA, and I already cannot wait to return in the new year!


lodge bread co.

I'll just come right out and say it- I'm obsessed with Lodge Bread Company. This bakery and café in west LA focuses on whole grain sourdough bread baking, freshly milled flours, and wood-fired pizzas, and truly impresses in all ways, if you ask me. Every day, Lodge Bread churns out some seriously delish and hearty bread, unique pastries, and both Neapolitan & pan pizzas, not to mention some tasty wood-fired veggie dishes as well. It's truly everything I want in a meal- carbs and sweets! I'd been eyeing the (gigantic!) sourdough cinnamon roll ever since I first saw it on Instagram, and finally indulged on my most recent visit. It's not overly sweet, thanks to a lighter, whipped frosting and that hearty whole grain sourdough, but utterly delicious with the perfect amount of cinnamon flavor! Next on my must-try list is the babka!

I've now gotten to try a good variety of things from the menu, and have yet to be disappointed. Upon first entering the bakery, after checking out the bakers handling the dough with such care , you'll find the beautiful array of pastries baked fresh that day. I highly recommend trying a couple (or five). Other than the cinnamon roll, the pine nut blondie and the carrot olive oil cake are to die for! The wood-fired cauliflower with pickled raisins & chermoula is just bursting with flavor, as are the roasted beets with chicories, cara cara oranges, labne & pepitas. You can't come to Lodge without ordering pizza. Trust me, just do it. My pan pizza was thick and chewy, almost like a slightly crusty sourdough focaccia, piled high with roasted veggies. Our sweet pea pie was the perfect seasonal treat, topped with snap peas, pea tendrils, green garlic & ricotta! I'm now drooling again just thinking about this meal, so looks like a return trip is in my very near future!


tiny boxwoods

I love that my hometown of Houston, Texas has such a great restaurant scene. Living in NYC can sometimes spoil a person, but I'm lucky that I still get to eat plenty of delicious food when I'm back home as well. Tiny Boxwoods is one of my go-to spots, as both the cuisine and atmosphere are right up my alley. Their mission is to "create an experiential bond between food and environment that's contagious to all and forgotten by no one... to prepare good food from good places. Not just from its origins, but from our kitchen". The food here truly speaks to that idea, and the fresh, seasonal ingredients really do make for a memorable meal. Click through the photos for more details about each of our vibrant and flavorful dishes. I'm bummed I missed a photo of our wood-fired pizza, but I can assure you it's perfectly delish! If you do happen to stop by, try to snag one of the beautiful outdoor garden tables, and don't forget to grab a freshly baked cookie to-go on your way out!

16 oz. espresso rubbed dry-aged rib eye // oven roasted yucca, baby heirloom tomatoes, house chimichurri 


double zero

 

It's not hard to find good pizza in New York (hello Paulie Gee's and Roberta's!). But vegan pizza?! Now that's another story. My best friend is a registered dietician and vegan chef, so whenever she comes to town, we hit up all the vegan hotspots. Double Zero, a plant-based pizzeria from esteemed chef Matthew Kenney, was at the top of our list on her most recent trip, and after indulging in quite a few pies, I'm so glad that it was. The organic, veggie-heavy pies are unique in their seasonal flavor profiles, and are cooked to perfection in a traditional wood-burning oven. From their innovative take on a farro-fennel "sausage" pie, to a classic spicy marinara arrabbiata pizza with shiitake "bacon", to a white pie with roasted corn and baby kale, all the pies I tried could easily stand up to their more standard meat-and-cheese counterparts. As a non-vegan myself, one of my favorite things about Double Zero (other than the deliciously charred yet chewy crust!) was their delicious take on cheese. None of that gross, gummy, non-melty "cheese" you typically think of, but rather freshly made nut-based cheeses like smoked almond ricotta, cashew mozzarella, garlic or herb macadamia ricotta, and chili cashew cheese. They were all super flavorful, and lent a nice textural component to each pie. 

Pizza is not the only thing on the menu, however, and I definitely recommend you try some of their fresh salads or pasta dishes, like the farro bolognese with beet-zucchini spaghetti and mint pesto! Desserts were obviously on the agenda as well, and both the tiramisu and bread pudding were creamy and decadent, as they should be. Feel free to scroll through the slideshows to see more of our delicious meal. Even my extremely omnivorous (read: meat lover) husband was satisfied with this meal, which I consider a great success. I look forward to going back to Double Zero again soon for more tasty, yet healthy plant-based cuisine.

 

paulie gee's

 

When a pizza craving hits, you can't do much better than Paulie Gee's. This Greenpoint, Brooklyn institution makes wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pies, served with both classic and unique toppings. Owner Paul Giannone uses locally sourced ingredients when possible, plus fior di latte and Italian tomatoes, of course, creating some of the most mouth-watering pizzas around. Bing cherries, prosciuitto di Parma, baby arugula, orange blossom honey, beef brisket, and kale pesto are all possibilities you'll find on the menu, and Paulie Gee's offers several vegan pies as well.  I love the atmosphere here- you enter through big barn doors, and the interior feels like a rustic cabin. Although the restaurant doesn't take reservations (so get there early), they are in the process of opening a slice joint nearby for all your quick, on-the-go pizza needs, which is super exciting news! Definitely stop by next time you're in Brooklyn!