Updated: Aug 27
Welcome to my "pizza palooza" post. The term "palooza" comes from the word "lollapalooza" which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as: "one that is extraordinarily impressive." I love pizza and the three restaurants below make some extraordinarily impressive ones, in my opinion.
State Flour Pizza Company
First on the list is State Flour Pizza Company located in Berkeley, California's Elmwood neighborhood. State Flour Pizza was started by Chef Derek Lau who is not only an extraordinary chef, but he and his family are also my friends. Prior to opening State Flour, Chef Lau worked at award-winning, San Francisco, restaurants including Benu, Saison, PizzaHacker and Biergarten. The East Bay is fortunate to have him and his pizza prowess.
Burrata, Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Basil, Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic Confit, Pine Nuts, Aji Verde Sauce, Mozzarella, Provolone, Grana Padano, Parsley
Old Fashioned and Shredded Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Pickled Onions, Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Grana Padano, and Oregano
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Kensington Honey, Lime, and Blueberries
If you have not yet been to State Flour Pizza, stop in for what is sure to be a great meal. And if you have, go back for more.
Pizzeria Mozza which opened in Los Angeles in 2006, was originally the creation of chefs Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali. Since it's opening, Batali stepped aside and Chef Silverton now presides over the pizzeria and her Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza next door. In addition to her star, Silverton has also clinched the award for Outstanding Chef at the James Beard Awards.
Mozzarella Di Bufala, Tomato, Basil
Silverton's talent comes through in the food at both Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza. The pizzas at Mozza are built beautifully, but what stood out to me the most was the crust. No surprise, as Nancy Silverton is also the co-founder of the famous La Brea Bakery which she launched in Los Angeles on La Brea Avenue in the 1980s.
Mozzarella di Bufala with 24-month Prosciutto di Parma, Pesto and Fried Ceci Beans
If you visit, be sure to try her burrata which makes a regular appearance on the menu with mouthwatering accompaniments like EVOO, prosciutto and more.
Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana
Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana was founded by Chef Sandro Nardone. Chef Nardone did not set out to invent anything new, rather he wanted to serve authentic, high-quality, Neopolitan style pizza as it was made in Italy in the 15 and 1600's. I would say he succeeded, as you can find Angelina's on the list of the top 50 pizzerias in the United States according to USA Today. You can sample Nardone's pizzas at the original Angelina's location in Irvine, California or just down the coast in Dana Point. Chef Nardone also opened the Michelin-rated restaurant Bello, located in Newport Beach, which also serves his excellent pizza and more. I will be writing more about Bello in a future post.
Mixed Baby Greens, Avocado, Red Onion, Lemon Vinaigrette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
Mozzarella de Bufala, Prosciutto di Parma, Truffle Oil, Arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
San Marzano DOP Pomodoro sauce, Mozzarella di Bufala, Cherry Tomatoes, Speck, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil