Thursday, March 1, 2012

800 Degrees Pizza -- Best Pizza in Los Angeles

I have to break the silence.

A few months ago, I saw a new pizzeria open up on Lindbrook and Westwood, near UCLA. It was called "800 Degrees" and I passed by it every day on the bus ride to work. Every day I'd say "Oh here we go, with another gimmicky pizza joint. All fluff no substance."

Then, a month ago I gave it a try for myself, and it is nothing short of amazing! What separates this place from other Pizzerias that came before it, even great ones like Lamonica's nearby on Galey Ave., or D'Amore's Pizza Connection literally around the corner?

First of all, their crust is second to none. Even Lamonica's comes out a little thick. This pizzeria is the truest Neapolitan style crust I've seen and tasted in town. As a result, the pizza will come out a little soft, but always ask for it to be crispy and it'll come out wonderfully.

Secondly, the topping selection has the freshest ingredients of the highest quality. Papa John's has long claimed fresher ingredients, but they're still standard grade, typical quality ingredients found in most cheap delivery outlets. 800 Degrees offers the finest pepperoni, the most authentic olives, the freshest sausage, and my favorite, this incredibly crispy yet juicy bacon that I tried last night. All of their toppings are top notch. I almost forgot to mention that the mere fact they use Fresh Mozzarella is a TREMENDOUS selling point. So few pizzerias go this route, and I appreciate fresh mozza whenever I can find it.

Lastly, the service is terrific. 800 Degrees operates akin to a Subway or Chipotle: at each stage of the pizza's construction, items can be added or subtracted as desired. In addition, service is quick, efficient, and surprisingly, the pizza cooks in 5 minutes.

It's been said on other blogs, but 800 Degrees is also one of a rare assortment of restaurants that offers a Coca Cola Freestyle Machine, which offers hundreds of varations of soft drink flavors. It's a tremendous experience from top to bottom. If that's not enough for ya, try their small gelato bar after your meal.

I can't say enough good things about 800 Degrees. Perhaps, their lack of delivery service is a knock for some, but I feel like that would take away from their other fine elements of production. As it stands, 800 Degrees is my favorite pizzeria on the Westside of LA, and that's in a region that features Bravo, Lamonica's, Joe's, Vito's, and a number of wonderful thin-crust pizza restaurants west of La Cienega Blvd.

Hopefully others will agree that 800 Degrees is the best thing to happen to Local Pizza since the Village opened way back when.

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