May 232014
 

Before I left for my trip to China, I was at Target running some last-minute errands and buying stuff to bring back to my family. I saw Pieology in the plaza across the street from Target and thought, “I should probably have pizza before I leave.” Haha.

It was a ridiculously windy day (during the first heat wave here, at the end of April), so I just ducked inside after parking my car. No photo of the outside, sorry.

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The interior is very similar to Project Pie, complete with the quote wall. And guess what? They’re also both customize-your-own-pizza shops. And they opened almost around the same time, I think. Hmm….

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You can create your own pizza, or go with one of their suggestions. There are also salads and “Strips,” which I guess are like breadsticks. I decided to customize my own pizza. I’d seen some customers order theirs with different toppings on each half of the pizza, so I thought that’d be a good way for me to try a couple of things even though I was by myself.

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I chose half Italian sausage and half spicy buffalo chicken for my meat toppings (weird, I know… but I was in the mood for buffalo chicken that day for some reason). Continue reading »

Mar 282014
 

Craft Pizza Company is a fast-casual pizza place that recently opened in UTC Westfield Mall, and Eater San Diego made a really big deal out of it so I had to check it out. S isn’t a huge fan of pizza, but I got my friend J to accompany me for a lunch time excursion one day.

(It turns out that J had already tried Craft Pizza when it first opened, so he gave me some good tips for what to try. Yay!)

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Pizzas on display

Look at that one sad piece of pepperoni pizza left. Well, someone ordered it shortly after I took this picture, and they replaced the pepperoni with another type of pizza – I took a photo of the display case from another angle:

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You order by the slice what you want ($3.49 for cheese, $3.69 for any slice with toppings), and they will fire it up in the oven to heat it up.

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Carnitas: all-natural mozzarella, roasted pork, organic tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, poblano chiles

Carnitas: all-natural mozzarella, roasted pork, organic tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, poblano chiles

I chose two slices, Carnitas and Truffle. Continue reading »

Apr 182013
 

Project Pie is a fast-casual, customize-your-own pizza restaurant. The first location was in Las Vegas, and they recently opened up another shop in Hillcrest. I was really intrigued because many people have called it the Chipotle or Subway of pizza, where you can choose all the toppings you want for pizza. After reading the posts at Pink Candles at Ridgemont High and Serious Eats, I knew I wanted to try it out ASAP. So, when Kirbie of Kirbie’s Cravings and I decided to get together for lunch, we ended up choosing this place. 

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The menu includes several pre-built pizzas and salads, and includes a long list of toppings for building your own pizza. I’m not sure what “Strips” referred to – I know they have a Nutella & Banana dessert pizza, but the others are probably bread stick-like things? 

You start out with a blank slate of rolled-out dough, ready for pizza-building!

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That oven was indeed Really, Really Hot since the pizzas would be ready in two minutes. Two minutes to bake a pizza! I was really impressed.

Custom pizza: Italian sausage, caramelized onions, black olives, and roasted red peppers

Custom pizza: Mozzarella, Italian sausage, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers (white pizza)

Continue reading »

Feb 112013
 

Regents Pizzeria is a pretty low-key-looking, but quite famous little restaurant located in the UTC area. S and I live quite close, but we don’t visit very often for some reason. I’ve ordered their pizza a few times and really enjoyed them, but I’ve actually never dined inside the restaurant until recently.

It’s a pretty small space. You order up at the counter and hope that there’s a seat available (there are maybe 15 seats, at most?). In addition to pizza, they also serve pastas, salads, and sandwiches. The menu is not extensive, but S assures me that everything he has tried was pretty good.

Pig in a Garden (left) and Popeye (right)

Pig in a Garden (left) and Popeye (right)

Continue reading »

Dec 052012
 

Soo it was my birthday a few weeks ago, and since quite a few of my friends here have birthdays around the same time as mine, we decided to go out and celebrate together! It was somewhat of a last-minute planning session, so we looked for a place that would be able to accommodate a large-ish group without a hassle. We ended up choosing Berkeley Pizza, which has been on my bookmarks for a while. Story is, Berkeley Pizza was started by some guys who used to work for Zachary’s, the famous Chicago deep-dish pizza restaurant in Berkeley/Oakland… hence the name. I love Zachary’s, and I was excited to try Berkeley Pizza.

The restaurant is tucked away in the Gaslamp District and not as crowded as I had expected, despite the small interior. We had also called ahead with our pizza orders, so they were ready by the time we arrived.

We ordered three pizzas (2 mediums and 1 large) for 10 people, and it turned out to be just about right (two slices left over).

Sausage, spinach, & mushroom

Signature spinach & mushroom

We were originally planning to get sausage & mushroom, and spinach & mushroom.. but for some reason they also added spinach to the sausage pizza. So these two tasted pretty similar to me.

Pesto & Canadian bacon

(Spoiler: the pesto & Canadian bacon was my favorite.)

My general impressions: I was very umimpressed by the crust. Maybe it’s because we called the pizzas in too early, and they had been sitting for a while, but the crust was almost soggy. It really couldn’t have been that long, though, and anyway I can’t see how this could have been a good crust even if it were served at the prime time. The tomato sauce was quite salty and didn’t quite resemble the tart/sweet flavor combination of Zachary’s tomato sauce. I think that’s why I liked the pesto so much – the pesto sauce helped to lighten up the tomato sauce and add some more flavor.

The mozzerella cheese and toppings were decent – the Italian sausage was quite flavorfu. Really though, they need to fix the crust and tomato sauce first. I was so disappointed that this was just a shadow of Zachary’s awesome deep dish pizzas, and will be continuing my search for a go-to deep dish place in San Diego.

Berkeley Pizza
539 Island Ave, San Diego, CA

http://www.berkeleypizza.net/

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11am-3am

Apr 192012
 

About a week after my visit to URBN, I went to Blind Lady Ale House with some of my labmates.  Like URBN, it features beer and pizzas.  Since I don’t drink beer, my post will be about the food – but my beer-savvy labmates praised the alcoholic offerings all evening, in case you were wondering.

Blind Lady Ale House

Food menu

CMPP’s “Lil’ bowl of organic olives”:

Bowl of organic olives, $4

Delicious.  I love olives.

We split 4 pizzas among six people, which ended up being just about the right amount.

I liked this margherita much better than the one at URBN – not as tart, yet still full of tomato-y goodness.

Egg & bacon (egg, house-made bacon, swiss chard, caramelized onion, pecorino romano, fontina, tomato sauce, truffle oil), $13

Egg on a pizza!  This was my favorite of the night.  Aside from the fact that it has en egg (which should win you over, already), I love every topping on this pizza.  Swiss chard + bacon is probably one of my favorite combos ever; add some truffle oil and it’s perfection.  Oh, and did I mention the egg already?  Eggs pretty much make anything better.

Balistreri salami (local salami, local white onions, pecorino romano, marjorum, roasted pistachios, basil), $16.50

Another very creative pie.  I liked everything except for the pistachios – don’t get me wrong, I love pistachios – but something about them in the midst of everything else felt a bit overdone.

House chorizo (house-made chorizo, poblano chile, fontina, epazote, tomato sauce, contija cheese), $14

The chorizo pizza was probably my second fave, probably because it was spicy.  It is also very messy to eat, probably because the crust is too thin for so much oil and cheese, but I got over my compulsive-not-touching-food-with-bare-hands-disorder and scooped up all the chorizo and chiles that rolled off.  Yep, it was good enough to make me do that.

I had a really fun evening here – it’s always nice when you have great food with great people!  Blind Lady provides a wonderful atmosphere to grab some drinks and bites with friends, and I know I’d love to come back if opportunity arises.

Blind Lady Ale House
3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA
(619) 255-2491
http://www.blindladyalehouse.com/

Hours
Tue-Thu  5pm-12am
Fri-Sun   11:30am-12am

Apr 092012
 

My friend chose URBN as her birthday celebration restaurant since they had great reviews, an extensive whiskey and beer menu, and novelty pizzas – a great combination!  So, we made reservations and headed over to the North Park neighborhood in San Diego.

Restaurant exterior (University Ave.)

We were presented with their cocktail and draft beer menu, and I noticed that cocktails are $6 ($3 cheaper than their regular price), so I chose a Final Countdown, which contained.. well, I don’t really remember :P  I think it had 3 or 4 different types of liquor?  And SK remarked that it was quite a manly drink.  You’ll have to go and judge for yourself, I guess.

The Final Countdown, $6 happy hour/$9 regular price

Onto our food!

We ordered an URBN salad, which was a pretty basic greens mix, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, walnuts, and a tart vinaigrette.  It was a good, appetizing start to our dinner.  There were 12 of us, and we ordered 6 large pizzas (yes, we are that gluttonous).

Mashed potato pizza, $24/large

This was the first to arrive at the table, and one of my favorites of the night.  I’m not normally a fan of potatoes on pizza (such as the ones at the Cheeseboard in Berkeley – starch on starch is just too much), but this was amazing.  The mashed potatoes were super creamy, which made for a nice textural contrast with the ham pieces.  The pizza wasn’t overly salty – one of my biggest problems with most pizzas – and everything just tasted great together.

Barbecue chicken pizza, $27/large

BBQ chicken pizza, another surprising favorite.  I remember how much my friends and I disliked the BBQ chicken pizza at Jupiter’s in Berkeley, so again, I had pretty low expectations.  Again, I was pretty much blown away by this pizza: tender chicken pieces with just the right amount of BBQ sauce, and the best part – caramelized onions.  I will have to re-define my list of good pizza toppings…

Margherita pizza, $28/large

Margherita pizza followed.  While I’m generally a fan of this simple pie, with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, this one didn’t strike me.  I think the tomato sauce was just a bit too tart for me.  I really lost the taste of the basil and mozzarella, which was unfortunate.

Chicken & spinach pizza, $28/large

When this chicken & spinach pizza arrived, I was a bit disappointed.  Just from first appearance, it looked… dry.  And I was right – the chicken wasn’t nearly as tender and juicy as the BBQ chicken pizza, and the spinach was so dried out that it didn’t provide much moisture.  Probably my least favorite of the evening.

Sausage & peppers pizza, $28/large

I’m glad that this sausage & peppers pizza was the one to close out the night.  I was already pretty stuffed at this point, but when I saw the cheesy jalapeno peppers, I knew I had to try it.  The only thing I didn’t like was that each bite felt disconnected from the next – rarely did I get Italian sausage and the pepper in the same bite.  Otherwise, I liked all the flavors and of course the cheese-filled peppers.

As you might guess, the meal was on the expensive side – but we were all very full, and now that we know how large the portions are, there was pretty much no need to order 6 large pizzas for 12 people.  Overall, I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant – but I likely won’t be back until my food budget frees up some more… XD

URBN Coal-Fired Pizza & Bar
3085 University Ave., San Diego, CA
(619) 255-7300

http://urbnnorthpark.com/index.php

Hours
Mon                        4pm-12am
Tue-Wed, Sun    12pm-12am
Thu-Sat                 12pm-2am
Happy Hour       4pm-8pm