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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Italiano's Pizza


Italiano’s Pizza
6500 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles
323-255-0016

When I reviewed Town Pizza a few weeks ago, I was reminded that I have not reviewed Italiano's Pizza.  Town Pizza took over the old Italiano's location on York Blvd. in Highland Park.  But, their location on Figueroa is still open. 

 Italiano's is basically built onto a house.  The kitchen is the back part of a house and the dining area is the patio, where there are about 8 tables!  The dining area needs a good cleaning!   Not an appealing place to walk into.

But, the kitchen area is clean.




Medium mushrooms and jalapenos, $12.53.  The crust is nice and firm, holding the topping very well.  It maybe a bit dry, but I like the firmness, nothing worse than your toppings falling off the pizza because the crust fell apart.  The sauce is a very mild sauce and there is plenty of it.  The cheese is also plentiful.  The jalapenos were plentiful, but the mushrooms were a bit lacking.  But, both were fresh.  They also have a 28in pizza that is just huge!  Once, I saw the delivery driver put four of the 28in pizza in his car! 

Service is good.  The lady taking my order was nice and helpful.

Despite the dirty dining area, I like Italiano's Pizza.  Is it the best pizza in Highland Park?  No.  But, it is a good value and will satisfy your pizza craving. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Donut Man

The Donut Man
915 E Route 66
Glendora
626-335-9111

I reviewed The Donut Man in 2008, when their famous strawberry donuts were out of season!  So, I went back after seeing a TV show that strawberry donuts are back! According to the owner of Donut Man, strawberries are in season from about Feb to September.  Peaches-the other fresh fruit donuts, are usually in season around July.



Bear claw, $2.  I always saw bear claws on the menu board but never on the racks.  One day I asked about them and here is the story.  Since bear claws take so much time to make, they are only made once a day, about 2 am!  Yes, that's 2 in the MORNING.  They are usually gone by about 8am that morning.  You can order them in advance.  So I placed an order for some bear claws.

This huge donut is filled with apple, that isn't as overpowering as the apple filled donuts I had in my first visit.  There are also some raisins mixed in with the apples.  The donut itself is very dense, moist and topped with a frosting, with peanuts, that has just the right amount of sweetness.  I liked this donut and it's well worth the $2 price tag.


Tiger Tail, $1.75. A long glazed donut with chocolate stripe, this is one of my favorite donuts from Donut Man.  Pretty simple, yet so good. 



Strawberry donut, $4.  Now, the world famous strawberry donut is packed with fresh strawberries in a nice sauce.  It's good, but not my favorite.  But, worth the time in line and drive, if you never had one before.

Service.  The day I went, service was good.  People were nice and friendly.  Now, if you go at night, service can be lacking.  I'm not talking about the long lines.  During strawberry donut season, long lines are the norm.  Hell, even when strawberry donuts aren't in season, lines can be long around 8pm, because Tiger tails are just coming out, hot and fresh!!  One night I dropped by and I was the only person there.  I walked up and the workers clearly saw me through the window.  I watched as they were making the strawberry donuts.  But, when I got to the window, it took about 5 minutes before anybody said anything to me.  Now, remind you, this is after making eye contact with the worker making the donuts.  They were too busy talking about the NFL playoffs.  When the guy finally came, he kept talking about football, that even though I ordered two donuts, a tiger tail and a chocolate with nuts, he kept forgetting which donut I wanted.  Maybe, if he concentrated on helping the customer, instead of saying the Seahawks are going to win the Super Bowl, he would have been done in about a minute, instead of the 3-4 minutes it took to finally get my order of TWO donuts, right.

A couple weeks later, I called and the owner happened to answer the phone.  To the credit of the owner, I told him the story and he said he would talk to his night manager and staff.  I hope he followed through!

If you're a foodie, Donut Man has to be on your bucket list!



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fish-O-Licious



Fish-O-Licious
4200 Chino Hills Pkwy
Chino Hills.
909-393-3888

Chino Hills already has Pacific Fish Grill, and now they have some competition.  Fish-O-Licious was reviewed by David Allen, and I decided to give them a try.  Fish-O-Licious, is a new chain, with locations in Commerce and Corona.  A Long Beach location is suppose to open soon. 

Fish-O-Licious has a fairly big sized dining area with nice neutral colors, that makes for a nice pleasing dining experience.  You don't feel like you're at a fast food restaurant or cafeteria.

Every Tuesday, they have a $1 fish taco special, so I decided to drop in.  I go there about noon and surprisingly, there were only five people in line.  I expected the lines to be out the door. 


Battered fish taco, $1 on Tuesday, regular price, $2.75. Sole.  On their menu, sole is listed as sole (basa).  Well sole and basa are two different type of fish.  Sole is generally more expensive.  So, if I had to guess this battered fish taco is made with basa fish.  It was pretty good.  The light crunchy batter was very good and hot.  This came right out of the fryer!  The fish had good flavor.  Cabbage, red onions, cilantro, and tomatoes were all fresh.  The flour tortilla was nice and warm.  The only thing I didn't like is the small size of the fish.  But, at  $1, it's a decent size piece of fish.  I hope the fish is bigger at the regular price!




Grilled fish taco, $1 on Tuesday, regular price, $2.75.  They use salmon and sole (basa) for their grilled fish tacos.  While I didn't see much salmon, the fish was well seasoned and well cooked.  The veggies were fresh.  If I had to choose, I think the battered fish taco was better, but both were good.


Calamari plate, with fries and cole slaw, $7.95.  The roll is a sourdough roll from a package.  The fries are standard frozen fries, nothing bad or great about them.  The calamari was clearly from a frozen bag.  They were very chewy and not fresh.  I wasn't impressed.

Service was very good, though my order seemed to take a bit longer than it should.  Nice friendly people who know the menu.

Both Pacific Fish Grill and Fish-O-Licious have their good and bad points.  I would say Pacific Fish Grill has the better deal on the fish tacos, because there is more fish in the tacos during their $1 special.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New York Delight

New York Delight
310 S Thomas St
Pomona
909-868-6518

Pomona lacks options for good pizza.  I do like Valentino's, that I reviewed in 2010.  Otherwise you're limited to the chains.  So, I was really happy when I heard about New York Delight!

New York Delight is tucked away in the Arts District section of downtown Pomona.  There are nightclubs and a middle and high school nearby.

The building is long and narrow with a few tables with bench seating along one wall and a lone table along the other wall.  The walls are pretty barren expect for a few framed photos of New York City.

I understand they started as a sandwich shop and later added New York style thin crust pizza to their menu. 




Large mushroom pizza, $6.53 tax included.  The first thing you notice is the great crust-lightly cripsy with a nice chewy texture, and very thin.  While the amount of mushrooms was lacking, the mushrooms were fresh and tasty.  The cheese was lightly piled, they could add a little more, but they use a good quality cheese!  This is a very good example of New York style thin crust pizza!  They also have a $20 specialty pizza that is about 18 or 20 inches and piled high with toppings.

Service is good.  The people are nice and helpful.  Be sure to call before dropping in.  When I first found out about New York Delight, they were only open from about 11am to 2pm Mon-Fri.  On Friday and Saturday, they would reopen at about 8pm and stay open to about 4am, yes to serve the late night party people!

I would go back to New York Delight anytime.  This is not only the best pizza in Pomona, but is the best New York style thin crust pizza, in the Inland Valley.  Yes, they beat out the old standard,  San Biagio's Pizza!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jay’s Pizza



Jay’s Pizza
2412 S Garfield Ave Ste A
Monterey Park
323-724-4324

Happy New Year!  2015 is the year Dr. Brown and Marty McFly visited in Back to the Future 2.  No, you drunk idiot cub fans, their prediction of the cubs winning the World Series will NOT come true this year.  The only Cubs fan who deserves to see the Cubs win the World Series, is Steve Bartman.  He did NOTHING wrong, it was the loser cubs who blew the lead in Game 6 AND Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS!  I would love to see either the Chicago White Sox or the Miami Marlins win the 2015 World Series, it would be the ultimate insult to those drunk idiot cub fans!

So, I decided to get into a flying DeLorean, or is it a hoverboard, and go back to the future, when I found about about Jay's Pizza in Monterey Park.  Jay's Pizza used to be Joe's Pizza, a restaurant I reviewed back in 2007.  I don't know if Jay's and Joe's are owned by the same owners, I honestly can't remember how their pizza tasted, so I can't compare the two.

Jay's is a small restaurant with about four tables and a huge TV on the north wall.  They have a great special every Wednesday and Sunday, a jumbo, 18 in. pizza with one topping for $12 tax included. 



Jumbo, 18 in, with mushrooms.  The crust is crisp at the bottom and soft and chewy in the middle.  The sauce was a slightly sweet, mild spiced sauce. There is a very healthy amount of cheese on the pizza, that made for a gooey mess-which I love on a pizza.  The amount of fresh mushrooms were a bit lacking, but for $12, I can understand why.   I liked the pizza and would certainly order it again.

Service was below average.  They had two kids working, who were more concerned about the Cowboys-Lions playoff game, than helping customers.  The guy who took my order never bothered to say thank you after I paid for my pizza.

I would come back to Jay's Pizza, but service does need to improve!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Town Pizza



Town Pizza
5101 York Blvd
Los Angeles
323-344-8696

Town Pizza is a very popular pizza restaurant in Highland Park, that has been open for about a year now.  It's mainly a take-out location, though there are a few tables outside and a counter inside.  Soon, they will open their dining area.  When they first opened they only served slices.  Recently, they added whole pies, medium and large sizes, to their menu.  They do not have air conditioning, so during the summer it is hot in there!

As you can see from the above photo, it used to be Italiano's Pizza, a long time Highland Park pizza restaurant, they still have their other restaurant on Figueroa.  Town took over and painted the building red, but left the Italiano sign!  Maybe when the dining area opens, they will change the sign?


I ordered two cheese slices, $2.75 each.  The crust is usually very good, light and flaky, but anytime you order slices, you're at the mercy of how they the pie has been sitting on the counter.  The slices pictured above, I can tell that pie had been there for a long time.  The crust was too crispy.  But, the sauce is very good-light and balanced; no flavor overpowers one another, and there is a good amount of cheese.  Now, I've only had cheese slices here, but I noticed they used canned tomatoes and corn.  You can see their stockroom and they have their cans stored on a special rack.  That may bother some people.  Overall, these two slices weren't as good as other slices I've had before.  But, I like Town Pizza and now that they serve whole pies, I'll order a fresh baked pie and give an updated review.

Service is good.  I was greeted when I walked in, they were nice and friendly, and I got my slices quickly.

I'm a Town Pizza fan and I think it's much better than Maximiliano and Folliero Pizza & Italian Food, the other two Highland Park pizza restaurants I've reviewed. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria


800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
2 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA
626-993-6455

800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria opened their first location in Westwood.  Then they opened up other locations in Santa Monica and LAX.  They moved away from the snotty westside and opened their Pasadena location, in Old Town Pasadena.  This is another addition to the wood fire pizza places in Pasadena, that includes the already reviewed the chain- Blaze Pizza, Luggage Room and Settebello.

800 Degrees took the place of Louise's Trattoria.  This is a design your own pizza or order one of their own designer pizza.  The narrow dining room is separated from the kitchen area, but the wall makes it hard to hear them calling your number when your pizza is ready.



800 Degree has a daily special on Instagram.  The Pizza of the Day for 50% off.  There are no substitutions or deletions for the Pizza of the Day, you must get it as prepared.   The day I went it was a marinara pizza, crushed tomatoes, garlic, oregano, olive oil, with shrimp and capers, $4.05.  Listed price for the marinara is $5.55, rock shrimp-$3, and capers $1.25. 

This combo didn't would have been better with cheese.  But, the major thing is that the sauce is lacking in flavor and depth.  They could make this bolder.  The shrimp was cooked very nicely and there was a good amount.  The capers added a very nice flavor.  

But, the best part is the nice, soft, chewy dough.  Now, some parts of the pizza are burnt or chard, which I don't like and doesn't need to be there if the pizzas are rotated. 


I also designed my own pizza.  I got the margherita, $6.95, crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil, and basil, with mushrooms-$1.25.  Again the sauce lacks flavor and the crust is great-though this pizza had a few more burned parts.  The toppings were fresh and flavor and the fresh mozzarella made this a very good pizza.

The main difference between 800 Degrees and Blaze is that 800 Degrees charges you for every topping, including cheese.  They do use slightly higher quality ingredients. 

Service was very good.  The people are all helpful and friendly. 

I had heard many good things about 800 Degrees.  It was good, but it wasn't the best pizza I've ever had.  I would go back, if I'm in the area but won't rush back.