The day had been fairly boring for the majority of morning, until I decided to get lunch.
I was sitting at a table near a window that was letting every ray of sunshine cut into Purgatory Pizza in Los Angeles. It was a hot and beautiful afternoon, and if this was any indication of how the rest of the summer months would be, then it was going to be a typical LA season. As the sunlight made its way into the restaurant on East 1st Street, I sat looking at the interior from each and every wall. A photo of Biggie Smalls was framed to a deep blue wall, while the others supporting the building held relatable phrases every hipster could appreciate. Purgatory Pizza felt a bit rebellious and unruly in comparison to similar shops in areas nearby. While it was clear that they value all types of individuals and families, I loved that it didn’t portray a personality dedicated to that. Instead it stayed true to itself.
As the sun seemed to get a bit closer to the restaurant with a slight breeze the pizzas I ordered were brought to the table. I was a little ambitious with the sizes I asked for as I wanted to see the breadth of the restaurant especially in its size. With that, I had an 18” of the Buffalo Soldier ($23) and an 18” of the Grandpa ($23). Looking at the pies in front of me, ambitious may have been an understatement.
The first of the two that I tried was the Buffalo Soldier. The pizza was made with chicken and bacon, sprinkled with red onions and tomatoes, and buffalo ranch at its base. This pizza was an easy decision while looking at the menu as it combined a majority of ingredients that I love. Even wrapped around cheese and placed on top of dough, the moist chicken was unmistakable. Having pieces of crispy bacon alongside it brought together two meats that were an ideal duo. What really made the pizza one that I would return to have was the way the vegetables and the dressing enhanced the overall flavor. While I thought the meat would be the strongest component, turns out it was everything else. The gentle crunch from the red onions to the warm juice from the tomatoes and the creamy dressing was exactly what I hoped to have.
Following such a flavorful pizza I decided to end the lunch with a simpler style. The Grandpa was a complete opposite as a vegetarian pizza. This oversized and welcome style was made with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, Romano, basil, and garlic and olive oil. Even though I’m a devoted lover of meat, there was so much to value in this pizza. From the soft fragrance that came through from the garlic and olive oil, the velvet-like mozzarella, and the thin and weightless dough I was very pleased at how much I enjoyed this pizza.
What made the initially boring day exciting was discovering Purgatory Pizza. To sit in the self-aware restaurant and find a couple of pizzas that I enjoyed was a great way to turn the day around. To make the evening just as good, was the realization that I had so much pizza to carry me into the night and that it was just as good as the first slice earlier that day.
- Good food
- Friendly staff
- Street parking only