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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New York Delight

New York Delight
310 S Thomas St

Pomona lacks options for good pizza.  I do like Valentino's, that I reviewed, and liked, 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

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

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

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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Red Devil Pizza-Upland

Red Devil Pizza
907 W Foothill Blvd

Last week David Allen reviewed The Original Red Devil in Upland.  He, mentioned their $5 lunch specials and I decided to give them a try.  But, I had to go to the real original Red Devil in Covina, first.

The Red Devil in Upland is in the Sprouts Shopping Center, the same center as Johnson's Hot Dog, used to be.  Sadly, they closed.  While Johnson's wasn't the best hot dog, the owner was very nice and cared about his customers.

Red Devil is huge!  They must host a ton of little league parties and with Upland High School across the street, I'm sure many post game parties.  Most of the tables are communal picnic tables but they have a few booths near the front entrance.   But, the decor is all black and it's a very ominous feeling. 

I got the mini, 8 in, pizza with mushrooms and a drink for $5.  The pizza is good.  The same exact sauce, crust, and quality toppings as the Covina location.  This is a damn steal for $5! 

What wasn't the same was the service.  I don't say Hi, when I walk into a restaurant.  That's the job of the hostess/workers.  Every retail job I ever had, the number one thing they mentioned was greet the customer!

Well, I walk up to the counter and the girl didn't say anything!  At the Covina location, I was greeted the second I walked into the restaurant.  She barely said anything, except that will be $5.40.

While waiting for the pizza, I went back to my car to drop of their take out menu.  When I walked back, she said your order comes with a drink.  She was just going through the motions.  She wasn't rude or mean, she just needs to work on customer service, the first being, greet the customer!

I then went to the restroom, which are suppose to be renovated, and they really need to some TLC, when I got back a man, who I think is the manager, asks me if I needed help!  So there is somebody who cares about customer service at the Upland location.

I would only go back to the Upland location for their lunch special.  The $5 special for the pizza is a steal!  They just need to train their workers on customer service.

The Covina location is more convenient for me and they made a much better first impression!   The pizza is the same quality at both locations.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Red Devil Pizza-Covina

Red Devil Pizza
116 W Badillo St

The New Diner has been to the Red Devil Pizza in La Verne, and wasn't that impressed.  I knew about the Red Devil Pizza in Covina, but was always under the impression that they were owned by the same people.  I was wrong, the Covina and La Verne location are separate businesses.  So, I finally decided to give the Red Devil in Covina a try!

The sign says serving Covina since 1966, so the must be doing something right.  Located just west of Citrus and Badillo St., Red Devil takes up three spaces of the building.  There is a large banquet room, a dining room and a take out and kitchen area.

I ordered a small (12 inch) mushroom pizza, $11.99.  The mushrooms were fresh, not canned like some places, and very generously spread on the pizza.  There was also a ton of good quality cheese.  The sauce was very good-balanced, one ingredient didn't overpower others.  The crust was soft, crispy on the outside and chewy inside.  I was very impressed and wished I didn't wait so long to give them a try!

Service was very good.  I was greeted when I walked in and the guy was very friendly and helpful.  He  answered the few questions I had.  If you noticed the chairs and yellow tape in front of the store, it's for a Holiday Parade that was scheduled for later that evening.  As I walked around, the lady in the main dining area, greeted me and asked if I needed anything.   I told her I was waiting for my pizza and looking around.  She was very nice and encouraged me to look around.  The banquet room was all set for a party!  There must have been 50 boxes of pizza ready for people!  I know YMMV when it comes to service at any restaurant, I read the reviews from the jerk people on Yelp and one major compliant is the poor service.  I only experienced great customer service!

I would happily go back to Red Devil Pizza in Covina!  What a civic treasure!  Oh, there is a Red Devil in Upland and they are owned by the same people!  Check out the review of the Red Devil Pizza in Upland.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Neptune’s Net

Neptune’s Net
42505 Pacific Coast Hwy

I've always had Neptune's Net on my bucket list of places to try, but never made it out there.  I've been to other seafood places on PCH in Malibu like, Malibu Seafood and Reel Inn.  So, I finally made it to Neptune's Net.

Neptune's Net has basically the same concept like Malibu Seafood.  Communal picnic tables, great views of the oceans, and seafood!  The location says Malibu, but I didn't know Malibu continued in Ventura County!  When driving north on PCH, you see a sign- Entering Ventura County!  It's about a 30 mile drive from Santa Monica!  Neptune's Net draws a very diverse crowd; from the douchebag hipsters, to hikers-lots of hiking trails nearby, surfers, and bikers-more the wannabe Hell's Angels type than the hard core bikers!

Clam chowder, 8oz, $3.95.  Lots of potatoes, but clams were hard to find.  Nice creamy, hearty broth.  Not too impressed with this example of clam chowder.

Fried fish and shrimp, double combo with fries, $13.95.  The fish is wild Alaskan cod.  Two big pieces that had been sitting under heat lamps for awhile.  Nice, crunchy batter.  If I had to bet, I would bet the fish were fresh but I wouldn't be surprised if it was frozen.

I'm pretty sure the shrimp was frozen.  Six butterflied shrimp are nice and crunchy, but again, had been sitting under heat lamps.

I asked for fries to be well done, they weren't, again sitting under heat lamps.  As you can tell, I wasn't that impressed with the food at Neptune's Net. 

Service was good.  The lady who took my order was very nice and well trained.  She knew who kind of fish they used for the fish and chips, and if there was any bacon in the clam chowder; there isn't.  My order came out quickly, another clue it had been sitting under heat lamps.

If Malibu Seafood was a longer drive than Neptune's Net, I would still go to Malibu Seafood, at least for the fried seafood.  Food wise Malibu Seafood is slightly better, but neither are anything great.  Location gives both places are great advantage, but I don't think they are worth the drive.