Tuesday, March 11, 2014

800 Degrees

Last night, my husband and I went to UCLA to hear Mark Burnett speak about his new movie, Son of God, his reality shows, his production experience, etc.  We saw a friend of ours there and all decided to go out to dinner afterwards, partly to catch up and partly to wait out the horrible traffic on the 405.

We met for dinner nearby at a pizzeria called 800 Degrees.  My husband and I had never eaten there before, so this counted as our new restaurant to try for the month of March.  (Our New Year’s resolution is to eat at a restaurant in the L.A. area that we’ve never eaten at before at least once a month.)

It was about 8pm on a Monday night, and the line was to the door.  It was mainly packed with college students, as you’d expect being so close to campus.

The concept of this place is kind of like Subway but with pizza.  They have Specialty Pizzas, and they have make-your-own pizzas.  They also have salads and sandwiches.  The pizzas are cut into 6 slices and are about the size of a CPK pizza. They’re probably meant to serve one person, but they’re really big enough for two.  Between the 3 of us, we decided to order 2 pizzas to share.  They make the pizzas in front of you as you walk down the line.

We ordered two Specialty Pizzas, paid, got our drinks (help-yourself soda fountain and water), silverware, pizza servers and napkins and found a table.  Then we waited for our number to be called.

I like the vibe of the place.  It’s kind of rustic décor but with a chandelier hanging from the ceiling.  Also, there are crosses on the railing that separates the seating from the line to order.  I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not.  Maybe this space used to be a church at one time?

It didn’t take long for our order to be ready. 

The first pizza out was the Carni, which is topped with salsiccia, pepperoni, meatballs, and rosemary ham.  It was definitely a meat pizza, which is always good, but I’ve had better meat lovers pizzas. 

The next pizza up was the Zucca, which is topped with butternut squash, caramelized onions, bacon, and rosemary oil (no sauce).  I was really excited about trying butternut squash on a pizza.  It did not disappoint.  I will totally be making a version of this pizza at home.  The squash went really well with the caramelized onions and bacon.  If I made it myself, I’d probably add ricotta and maybe pesto for the sauce.

Now my list of negatives:  On both pizzas, the crust was a little undercooked, very thin in the center and thick on the edge.  It was hard to pick up a piece of pizza without the toppings falling off.  The crust was very chewy, and not in a good way.  I had to really try in order to bite through it.  The pizzas weren’t cut very well.  We basically had to recut them with the available butter knife, which wasn’t ideal.  Also, the toppings weren’t spread on the pizzas evenly. 

All in all, it was fun to catch up with a friend, but I wouldn’t eat at 800 Degrees again.  I’d rather have $5 pizza from Little Caesar’s, or if I’m going to pay about $10 for a small pizza, I’d rather go to CPK where the crust isn’t undercooked or chewy.

Happy eating!

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