Before each home game this season, ClipperBlog will run “ClipperBlog Eats,” a restaurant recommendation from its resident restaurant reviewer, Ben Mesirow. Below is today’s suggestion:
Is your neighborhood slice joint a little too buttoned-up? Do you wish your waiter had one or two more sleeve tattoos, or that the guy behind the register had just a little more sass? Then let us introduce you to the pizzeria you’ve been looking for all along – Pizzanista, the tiny punk-rock pizza shop attached to Tony’s Saloon in the Arts District.
The mood is celebratory whether you come at 5 on Tuesday or 10 on Friday, skater kids and downtown businessmen filling the inside and spilling out onto the sidewalk, immaculately scruffy artists on Tinder dates with gorgeous nose-ringed hipster girls standing around, checking out the beer selection, waiting for the dude working the room to run around shouting their name, his hands full of scalding-hot slices.
Pizzanista is set up like a New York spot – they do make whole pies, but the emphasis is clearly on slices. About nine pizzas sit behind glass just in from the register, waiting to be pulled into eighths and thrown into the giant oven for a quick minute or two. When they arrive they are excellent, piping hot with a thin crust that is just the right side of crispy. The sauce is sharp and acidic, brighter than most around town, and the crust is substantial, with a subtle sourdough tang. The toppings, most notably the meats, are a highlight – especially the firm, well-seasoned pepperoni and densely meaty sausage.
Because this is a forward-thinking eco-conscious LA-based (hyphen-friendly) type of skater-punk operation, the vegan options are great and plentiful, almost any pie can be made gluten free, and there are some solid craft beers and fun, weird sodas. Are there day-old slices tucked in the bottom of the drink fridge and available for just a buck? Only if you’re lucky. 2019 E 7th St, Los Angeles 90021; www.pizzanista.com