Olio

8075 W 3rd St. Ste 100 Los Angeles, CA 90048(323) 930-9490 pizzeriaolio.com

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Food markets such as the Grand Central Food Market seem to be all the rage as of late, and I must admit I’ve taken the bait just as much as the next lemming. They’re sort of like a UN of cuisine. But giving myself a modicum of credit, I don’t love them simply because of the gimmick. They still have to live up to my high standards, regardless of the fact that they are housed in a cool, modern-day bazaar, with great energy. So no favoritism and no slack here. You either bring it or I pan it.

So as much as I would like to pan the pizza here, I found myself pleasantly surprised, especially in light of the fact that great LA pizza is about as rare as meeting a waiter who isn’t also an actor.

In descending order of greatness, at the top of the totem pole sits the spicy sausage and hot peppers. Obviously if you’re a vegetarian, vegan or just don’t like the thrill of fireworks in your mouth, then this pie should be a pass. But I have to say, it’s your loss, because it’s everything a pizza was meant to be and more.

But don’t lose hope just yet, because their roasted veggie pie (pictured) is also very good. Letting the quality of their ingredients shine, this pie is full of flavor and topped with a nice, peppery arugula. It’s a little more basic for sure, but it’s bangin’ basic. As is the mushroom and speck, which is a slight dial away from the usual mushroom and pepperoni. And a tasty dial it is.

The only pie that didn’t quite make the grade, however, was the old classic margherita. It was significantly lacking in flavor compared to the others, which perhaps points to a greater weakness in the sauce and the crust. After all, that’s the true measure of a pie and why LA pies never truly measures up to New York standards, because they always seem to have to cheat their way to the top via toppings. And to be fair, I honestly don’t mind it, because toppings have their place too (on top). But a strong foundation is everything and it’s also what’s holding LA back from ever being a real contender in the pizza game. That goes for you too Mozza.

3 teeth

Frankies 457

457 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11231Phone number (718) 403-0033frankiesspuntino.com

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The knives are almost entirely for the Blue Crab pasta which was actually worth 5 knives. Unfortunately, the rest of the meal brought it down for me- with the exception of the sparkling rosé, but that’s not something they actually make, so I can only give so many kudos there.

As for the meatballs, while good, I think they pale by comparison to the balls at Ciano and Little Owl.

The crostinis, of which we had several were also just okay. The speck and ricotta being the best of the lot. Followed by the mushroom. The honey ricotta crostini at Eatery 112 Minneapolis puts these to shame.

But dessert was where things really went off the rails. The ricotta cheesecake was a complete waste of calories and did a grave disservice to every other cheesecake in existence that shares its name. It was so dry and flavorless I literally only had a single bite.

But WOW, was that pasta good. So was the service. And the decor, simple and somewhat quaint. Nothing too worthy of note. Granted we didn’t eat in the barn, which I hear is nice.

So, 457… I give you a 3… in knives. Not out of 10. That would be too harsh even for me.

3 teeth