What’s a great way to annoy me: stuff my mailbox with flyers. If I had a hit list, Penny Saver would be at the top of it. However, if your flyer just happens to have images of delicious food and even a freebie, then my annoyance will turn into excitement. Last week I got a flyer for Pizza of Venice in Altadena. It had pictures of their top dishes, raves by top papers, and best of all a free cheese pizza offer! That was all I needed to get my foot in the door.
Once inside the restaurant, my eyes (and gut) juggled between the many options of what I could order. They serve wings, salads, and signature pizza. Yes a salad would be a healthy option, and wings would be delicious, but I had to get pizza! Placing my order with the owner, Jamie, was perfect because he helped me find the style that would be best for me. Since the flyer came with a free cheese pizza, it was a clear order. But I couldn’t just keep it original; I added ham to it making it the Ham & Cheese pizza ($9). And I couldn’t order just one pizza. Jaimie explained that their top pizza is the Braised Lamb pizza ($16). Done deal. Finally, I got the Limeade ($3) to complete the meal.
While waiting for my pizza, I checked out the restaurant. It’s a cozy space with rows of tables that sit customers close to one another, which is a great way to encourage interaction. Making the location feel warm and like home is the art hung on walls. Pieces that highlight Venice, Altadena, individual stills, and reviews from major publications decorate the interior. And you know I snuck into the kitchen. Ok, I asked to go back there and Jaime was nice enough to bring me into the heart of his ship. Stoves were bustling and ovens were cooking, all while Jamie and his cooks were getting orders out. It was great to see everyone in action, because it showed how hard they work to make customers happy.
All of the restaurant’s pizzas are handmade, thin crust, and run about 10-12 inches in size. When I got the ham and cheese pizza, I was delightfully surprised to see that it wasn’t as simple as it could have been. It’s made with mozzarella and ham cooked in habanero sauce and brown sugar. I repeat, habanero sauce and brown sugar. The pizza has a subtle kick of spiciness underneath a sweet tone. The braised lamb pizza was such an eye catcher! It’s made with mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, light olives, Tzatziki, and pieces of lamb leg braised in red wine. This pizza is beautiful, colorful, and it’s full of large chunks of lamb.
I enjoyed both pizzas but if I had to choose one to have for the rest of my life, I would pick the ham and cheese pizza. I know what you’re thinking: why choose a simple pizza over one that’s elaborately made? The Braised Lamb pie was very good and unique, but I liked the way Jaime and his cooks were able to take a simple pizza and make it delicious. That’s a true testament of his talent. But please know, I will eat both pizzas if given to me!
Address: 2545 N Fair Oaks Ave, Altadena, CA 91001
Phone: (626) 765-9636
Hours: Monday to Thursday – 12:00pm to 8:30pm, Friday – Sunday 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Food tastes great
- Great staff
- Lots of parking