February 29, 2012

800 Degrees [Westwood]

Westwood's newest and most anticipated pizzeria opened up on my birthday, but I gave it a few days before I checked it out. (I know, this review is way overdue).

West LA has caught the pizza fever.  From new(ish)bies Stella Rossa, Il Fico, Milo + Olivelate-nite N.Y. & C., and NY-stylers La Rocco's, Lamonica's to reliable veterans Abbott's (bagel crust, what?) and Gjelina and even buffet-style Bella Vista.... everyone's thinking the same thing: pizza, pizza!

This includes Adam Fleischman, owner/ founder of Umami Burger.  They do burgers well, but how do his Neopolitan-style pizzas fare?

Very well, thank you.

The make-your-own, fast-food concept has been done before with burgers and burritos, but this was my first MYO pizza experience.  It all starts with standing in a long line.  Slowly, but surely, the line moves and pretty soon, it's your turn to order. 

Here's what you do: 
  1. Pick a base.  The three standard choices are Pizza Margherita (sweet tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parm cheese, and basil) - $6; Pizza Bianca (no tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, oregano, garlic, olive oil) - $5; or Pizza Marinara (tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, olive oil) - $5.
  2. Add whatever topping(s) your heart desires.  You can choose from a wide range of proteins, veggies, and cheeses.  Most toppings are $1 each, but some premiums are $3 (rock shrimp, prosciutto, truffle cheese).  Oregano, garlic, and chiles are free.
  3. Extra hungry? Add a salad or a "small bites" appetizer to your order.  
  4. While you're standing in line, your thin-crusted pizza will be baking in a wood-fired oven so that by the time you reach the cash register, it'll be out, toasty, and sprinkled with sea salt.  The extra salt can be a bit much, so just ask to pass on salt.
  5. Grab your grub, grab a drink (from their Ferrari soda machine), find a seat (good luck), and munch your way to pizza bliss.
  6. Still hungry?  Round out your meal with L.A. Creamery gelato.

I spy an pre-bakey eggie.

Pizza Margherita with extra garlic - $6

Sausage & Peppers (Italian sausage, peppadews, caramelized onions) + mushrooms - $10

Margherita base with rosemary ham, olives - $8

Caesar Salad - $4

Pollo (white pizza, chicken, caramelized onions) - $8

It was all delicious!
Writing this entry reminded me of how great this place.  I need to go back soon!

800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

cuisine: Italian pizzeria
location: Westwood
hours: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM, EVERDAY!
websites: { 800 | yelp }
attire: Casual
parking: street meters
notes: To avoid a soggy pizza, ask to go easy on the sauce.  Sometimes a little can go a long way.  Also, beverages were limited to fountain drinks, water, and juices, but alcoholic bevs are on their way, if not already being served.
other reviews: Savory Hunter