Category Archives: Pizza

Dining Outside at Pizzeria Bianco, Los Angeles

The "Salame'' New York-style slice at Pizzeria Bianco.
The “Salame” New York-style slice at Pizzeria Bianco.

It says it all that during our two days in Los Angeles recently, we high-tailed it to the new Pizzeria Bianco not once, but twice.

Arguably, Chris Bianco has been deemed the country’s best pizza maker, with devotees waiting as long as three hours at his original Phoenix restaurant just to get their fix.

Since opening in Los Angeles in June, this place has been mobbed. And since Los Angeles is a more convenient destination for yours truly, you know that my husband and I put Pizzeria Bianco on our must-stop list no matter what when we traveled to Southern California earlier this month.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to twiddle our thumbs for hours on end when we got to the Row DTLA, the massive 30-acre urban commercial district that was the former site of the American Apparel manufacturing facility, and that’s now home to not only Pizzeria Bianco, but a host of restaurants, boutiques, and offices.

Get ready to get in line here.
Get ready to get in line here.

Instead at 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday, we did have to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we made our way to the walk-up pizza window to place our orders.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 39

The jerk chicken plate from Back A Yard.
The jerk chicken plate from Back A Yard.

Back A Yard, Menlo Park, San Jose, Campbell

There is comfort food. And then, there is comfort food with panache — heady with loads of allspice, ginger, and garlic.

That’s what Back A Yard serves up in spades. And for those still indulging in takeout, you’ll be glad to know this Caribbean fare travels well, too.

The plates come complete with a starchy mash of rice and red beans, and thoroughly addictive sweetly caramelized plaintains. You choose a main or a combo of two. The jerk chicken plate ($10.95) includes three pieces of tender dark-meat poultry, seasoned in a moderately spiced jerk rub redolent of fragrant cloves and allspice. You could also get all-white chicken for $11.95, but why? The dark meat is where it’s at.

Jamaican beef patty with a shatteringly flaky crust.
Jamaican beef patty with a shatteringly flaky crust.

The oxtails ($14.95 for a plate) are fabulous — fall-apart-tender in a sticky, reduced sauce, and with that fatty, meaty unctuousness that can’t be beat. It’s a rendition you’ll be craving anytime the weather turns chilly.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 34

The butternut squash and salsa verde Milan-style pizza from Pizzone.
The delicata squash and salsa verde Milan-style pizza from Pizzone.

Pizzone, Palo Alto

Let’s start by saying that I’ve never paid nearly $70 for one pizza before ($69.90 to be exact).

But Pizzone’s pie is unlike most.

For one thing, it’s a massive 18-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick all around.

It’s also Milan-style, meaning that it’s airy, soft, fluffy, and more like focaccia.

Milan-native Dario Presezzi, founder and CEO of Redwood City’s Biotechforce Corp., put his entrepreneurial skills to use in a different way this summer when he opened this ghost kitchen inside of Palo Alto’s Vina Enoteca.

That means it’s pick-up and delivery only. And if you pick it up yourself, just note that you do so at a side door just to the left of Vina Enoteca’s main entrance.

By the time you get the pizza home, the cheese may have congealed just a bit, so you can rewarm it in the oven or zap it in the microwave for the briefest of seconds.

The whole pie.
The whole pie.

The pizza comes either in a box of two slices ($9.90 to $11.90, depending on the toppings) or as a full pizza (12 slices that will serve 6, starting at $54.90). Because the crust is thick, two slices will definitely fill you up comfortably, too.

There are five vegetarian pizzas to choose from, and four meat ones. The beauty of the whole pizza is that you can choose up to six flavors on one pie, which is what I went with.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 28

Bake Sum's inventive Croissubi.
Bake Sum’s inventive Croissubi.

Bake Sum, Berkeley, Plus San Francisco, Redwood City, and Oakland

Imagine impeccable French Viennoiserie with crisp, buttery layers to get lost in — but flaunting inspired Asian flavors.

That, in sum, is Bake Sum.

This Berkeley pop-up bakery, which has amassed a huge following during the pandemic, was co-founded by local baker, Joyce Tang, who had the wholesale bakery Chinoiserie, and previously supplied pastries to Boba Guys.

Each week, Bake Sum offers one set pastry box ($35) filled with about half a dozen treats, as well as a specialty bun box, Gochujang sourdough loaves, mochi bites, and cookies.

Sign up for its newsletter ahead of time because it drops Monday morning with that week’s offerings. It pays to be quick on the draw because the baked goods, especially the pastry box, sell out quickly. Pick up your order on Fridays or Saturdays at the Bread Project in Berkeley; Fridays at Golden Goat Coffee in San Francisco; Saturdays at Grand Coffee in San Francisco; or Fridays at Red Giant Coffee Roasters in Redwood City.

Yes, with Spam and nori tucked inside, it's like a musubi in croissant form.
Yes, with Spam and nori tucked inside, it’s like a musubi in croissant form.

Last week’s pastry box included a Croissubi, a unique riff on a traditional ham and cheese croissant that paid homage to Spam musubi. Just on its own, this was one beautiful croissant — shattering into deep golden shards upon the first bite. Add in the novelty of thin slices of Spam wrapped in nori, and get ready for your taste buds to take a French-Hawaiian ride. Crispy Parmesan cheese and flecks of togarashi dot the top to add more umami, savoriness and just a hint of spice. It is every inch like a nostalgic ABC Store musubi transformed into a perfect French croissant.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 23

Spicy nduja pizza from Terun.
Spicy nduja pizza from Terun.

Terun, Palo Alto

I know I’m not the only one cheering that “Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy” has been picked up for a second season on CNN, even if every episode has sent me binging on carbs to high heaven.

So, it’s no wonder that after last week’s episode, I found my way to Terun in Palo Alto’s California Ave. Brothers Franco and Maico Campilongo, and their friend, chef Kristyan d’Angelo, all of whom hail from Italy, opened the doors in 2012 to serve authentic Southern Italian fare.

This place takes Neopolitan pizza seriously. In fact, it’s one of the few restaurants in California that is a member of the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, a non-profit that recognizes restaurants outside of Italy that meet strict standards and traditions of Neapolitan pizza making.

Fava beans and broccoli rabe with cheesy crostini hidden below.
Fava beans and broccoli rabe with cheesy crostini hidden below.

At Terun, the pies are cooked over wood in a blistering Marr Forni Neapolitan oven. There are 13 different pizzas available. Plus, you can add extra ingredients to any of them for an additional cost, if you like.

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