Saturday, September 24, 2005

It Feels Like Just Yesterday: Village Pizzeria

Five years ago, I was still in my twenties. Five years ago, I had a lot more energy; I went out a lot more, and went to bed a little later at night. Five years ago, I had pretty much just started going out with the love of my life. And five years ago I feel like I was a lot more naive and a lot less responsible. Tonight, I took a trip down a more recent memory lane and indulged in two of my favorite "five years ago" activities: shopping at
Forever 21 and going for pizza in my old Larchmont/ Hancock Park neighborhood.

I won't bore you with the details of my I-need-to-update-my-wardrobe-but-in-a-cheap-way shopping trip, so I'll move on to the pizza. I've got emotional attachments to pizza in lots of different ways. It was, most definitely, my favorite "treat" food as a kid. Forget the burgers or ice cream; pizza was my poison as a little tyke. Some of my favorite family outings were our Sunday afternoon trips in the late 70's to this pizza joint in Pleasant Hill's Sunvalley Mall. My grandma used to use her leftover Chinese pastry dough to make her own version of pizza for her Americanized grandkids: ketchup or spaghetti sauce, cut up hot dogs or Chinese sausage and American cheese baked atop her lovingly made "pizza crust." My adolescent and college years were fueled by Bay Area pizza slices, namely from
Blondies or Fat Slice, the cheapest, tastiest and most convenient food I could get while rushing from bus to Bart in whatever mischief I was up to at the time.

And thanks to Larchmont's Village Pizzeria, my saga with pizza continues. My first experience with Village Pizzeria was actually via delivery when I moved into the Hancock Park place I was renting at the time, when I had first moved back to LA after not being able to stand the chilling Bay Area anymore. Isaac and I had ordered a pizza after a long day of moving, so we didn't know if we fell in love with Village Pizzeria because we were starving or if it was because they actually made good food. After a few more visits and deliveries, we discovered that it was indeed the latter, and soon enough we were returning to this very neighborhoody pizza joint on a regular basis.

I hate listening to the whole "New York vs. Chicago" pizza debate, so it's great that this place has both thin and thick crust pizzas so that everyone's happy and keeps their yaps shut. I am personally more of a fan of the thicker crust kind (though I do tend to crave a thinner, crispier crust at times), so I usually go for their Sicilian crust pizzas. You can get them whole or by the slice with whatever toppings you desire, and while some people think the crust on these is a little dough-y, I think the thickness goes well with the generous amount of toppings the restaurant gives each of its pies. Isaac's Sicilian slices with pepperoni and sausage were the perfect junk food--loaded with ooey-gooey cheese and sinful meats. I went a tad more healthy tonight and ordered the Sicilian pizza with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes, which was comforting as ever with its warm crust, fluffy on the inside but crispy on the bottom. I just wish the sun dried tomatoes hadn't been as tart as they were. Oh well, nothing several shakes of dried parmesan cheese can't take care of.

Meat-za, meat-za!

Yummy-nummy pizza loaded with toppings

Village Pizzeria's non-pizza food deserves mention as well. I'm also a fan of their Italian style heroes, particularly the meatball and the chicken parm. They're always served on a warm, chewy roll with the perfect amount of mozzarella and marinara and come with a refreshing house salad on the side--not bad for a little over six bucks. We decided to forgo the hero sandwich in lieu of pizza tonight, but we did split a small chef's salad which, for a small, was a huge mound of ham, salami, chicken breast, mozzarella, mushrooms, peppers, onions, lettuce and tomatoes. It was definitely tasty--Village Pizzeria's house vinaigrette is a slightly creamy concoction with a slight bite to it--my only peeve being that I wish they'd chop the ingredients up a little more. Those chicken chunks were huge!

A chunky, but refreshing chef's salad

Isaac and I spent a perfect evening sitting in their small sidewalk area enjoying the comfortable LA night air, people watching and talking shit while munching on our pizza and salad. It felt just like five years ago. But do I wish I could go back? Nah. I liked life five years ago, but I like it alot better today. I'll just pick this pizza memory upand carry it with me well into my thirties.

Village Pizzeria
131 N. Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 465-5566


Bandini said...

broccoli on pizza?! how dare you!

LACheesemonger said...

What, you mean you weren't invited as one of hundreds of guests at the big fat Korean wedding this weekend (DL's sis)? :-(

Pam said:

"Isaac and I spent a perfect evening sitting in their small sidewalk area enjoying the comfortable LA night air, people watching and talking shit"

LOL, Pam; I guess no one will ever confuse your blog as being 'Disney-isk', like that anon did to Sarah on DL (but I'm wondering if that anon poster had been ingesting a certain kind of mushrooms, as anyone who reads DL knows it ladened with a potty PG-13 food pr0n vibe).

While I would not consider myself a pie connoisseur, I tend to go towards more simplistic, traditional (earlier incarnations) styles. But honestly lop chong should never, ever; be put on a pizza..eek!, grandma is too 'Americanized' I think/fear ;-).

So what you did not go (I know, both you and DL don't post entries the necessarily represent that actual time period at hand) to the LA 18 TV's 10th annual Harvest Moon Fest Sept 18th, and go for the raffle of the Volvo S40, Chandra's Thai food, Korean BBQ, Egg rolls & dumpling making booth? Ah well, I was not good either; got stuck in MP/San Gabriel ordering multiple take-out Dim Sum lunch/dinners... no it's not FOCD, I can quit anytime I want (hmm, that tummy bulge is saying otherwise ;-)... I wasn't invited to the W-day either so I can be a piggy then ). Then I got stuck sampling sale priced mooncakes at the Rosemead Asian supermkt, on Valley Blvd; then must have had 200+ boxes of 4 packs of various brands of mooncakes (some locally made, some imported tins from China). I know there's a famous HK bakery at Valley & Del Mar, but they hit you up big for $7 a cake in August. Next year, cheesy LA 18 TV's HMFest. Darned I missed LA18TV's Mandarin weather gal, Jing Jing doing her pop numbers... hehe, not exactly Fei Wang/Faye Wong; but nice voice, who would have thought! Next year, I promise myself.

On the pizza front, DL's kind of you 'style' of pizza also I think, what with the concoctions they do at Abbot's. And neither Issac or you ever had a late night orgasmic pizza up in the Bay Area---see the comments in the link I provided for that place on DL? Hmm, there must be more variations of 'Sicilian' pizzas than any other around the world, with most not being served in least not those kinds ;-). See my long comment at DL, and what do you think... Issac & me in the speedo's, is he game, lol? Dagwood's

Daily Gluttony said...


I know, I know. It was the California girl in me that made me do it. Veggies can be good--even on pizza!

La Cheeeeeze...

Sampling mooncakes and speedos...hmm, I dunno.

BoLA said...

Mmm...I love pizza and I love Larchmont. I'm still living it up. ;) Great post as always!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

pam, nicely written. that makes 2 props for this pizzeria. i'm never around that area except for thursdays. kristy you know where i'm at! haha.

have you guys tried Abbot's in Venice (abbot kinney blvd) or Greco's on Hollywood/Cahuenga? Until i try Village Pizzeria, those 2 are my favorites. mmmmm...

will i get slapped on the hand if i said Costco's pizza isn't bad?