Where I grew up, pizzerias are a dime a dozen. There were at least 10 in my town alone, and I got used to the similar style they all seemed to have - thin crust, delicious homemade sauce, and simple toppings. It will always be my favorite type of pizza, period.
Now I'm starting to try all sorts of 'new' pizza with multiple flavors/toppings because it's available to me. My favorite go-to spot is ZPizza, a place with multiple southern CA chains and a handful of storefronts in several other states.
Food At ZPizza there is a selection of 12 or so pizza pies to choose from. They are as basic as Napoli (garlic, mozarella, basil, tomatoes, parmesan) or as flavorful as (Chipotle pesto, mozzarella, chicken sausage, red onions, serrano chiles, corn, tomatoes, cilantro). My favorite is the Provence - garlic, capers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes - but I also like California, which is loaded with veggies like tomatoes, red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, black olives.
ZPizza also has a series of pizzas called Rustica - they are oval-shaped and smaller than normal pizzas. They remind me of what other places call "flatbreads". These make really good appetizers because they can be cut into little slices and passed around.
The only other item I've tried at ZPizza is their pasta. They have two kinds - pesto chicken and penne with meatballs. I've only had the latter, and it was decent for a pizzeria chain: chunky tomato sauce with some fresh basil thrown in. I'd recommend it when you're ordering for more than 2 people and you're all REALLY hungry and want a little something more than a pizza.
Substitutions This is the real reason I'm a ZPizza fan: vegetarian/vegan options! They will make anything vegan. They use daiya cheese and will subsitute any meat for veggie crumble. It's not your usual cubes of Gardenburger, either, the crumble has little bits of fennel seed so it acquires the same taste and texture as sausage. I put them on every pizza I get, but I also really like them in the meatball pasta.
Oh, and whatever pizza you get, make sure you ask for it extra crispy! That way it will not be as soft and messy as it usually is.
Service& Ambiance I don't ever eat-in because the location closest to me is just a few tables and chairs, pizzeria-style. Take out is probably your best bet unless you're down for a really casual eating experience.
I'd had some less-than-stellar interactions with the staff there (usually high school students that don't really care about being there) but the last time I went they gave us the wrong pizza and were totally cool when called to tell them. They let us keep the first pizza and gave us the pizza we originally wanted, free of charge. The massive quantity of delicious leftover slices was worth the inconvenient drive back to the restaurant!
Price Not as cheap as I'd like - you pay for high quality ingredients and all of their branding (once I ordered pasta and the takeout container came inside of another container - a mini, colorful pizza box. I was sort of like, "Um, please take this back and recycle this...and give me the extra $2 back that it cost to make this frivolous package design.") Still, you can get an XL pizza for $20-$25. It's a good pizza-spluge every now and again!
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About the reviewer
Melissa Aquino (MelissaAq)
Born and raised in NJ, relocated to Boston, MA to study at Emerson College, transplanted to Hollywood, CA to get my career started on the fairer coast. I love hiking, eating new … more
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zpizza was founded in the art colony of Laguna Beach, California, where creativity and craftsmanship have flourished for almost a century. So it comes as no surprise that our critically acclaimed pizza is a true Laguna original. A passion for great food is why we start with dough made from 100% organic wheat flour prepared fresh every day, hand-thrown and fire-baked until uniquely crisp. Our zest for quality continues when the toppings go on. We combine select ingredients using award-winning skim mozzarella from Wisconsin, certified organic tomato sauce, MSG-free pepperoni, additive-free sausage, and fresh produce. Our gourmet salads and sandwiches are just as delicious. We hope you enjoy our authentic and unique recipes as much as we enjoy making them for you.