Much like a good man, a good slice is hard to find. . . in Los Angeles. The truth is L.A.’s just better at serving up a tasty taco than a solid slice. But Pizzanista! has been flipping that perception on its head right in the thick of the Arts District.
As soon as you step up, you know you’ve arrived at a neighborhood hang. A group of skateboarders ride out gripping a box of pizza to go, while applause fills the inside as the staff welcomes back a crew of firefighters who abandoned their slices to respond to a call. This is the kind of home you want your pizza to live in and the kind of vibe that somehow makes your pizza taste better.
Pizzanista!’s owners are an unconventional duo with a rebellious streak. Salman Agah is a legendary professional skateboarder with his own signature Vans and a Skater of the Year title casually stuffed in his back pocket. His partner is Price Latimer, a professional art consultant, whose creative eye drives Pizzanista!’s faithful following. Latimer says, “We just wanted to create an environment in which we would want to hang out in and where our friends would want to hang out. We make the food that we want to eat.”
Pizzanista! offers up 20 plus pies like the Sunday Only Special – a Macaroni & Cheese pizza so good it makes you want to repent at the gym for days on end. There’s also the Meat Jesus, packed with the holy trinity: pepperoni, sausage AND bacon. The name’s easy to decipher Agah says with a chuckle, “You’re kinda eating so much meat that you’re gonna die from it and you’re gonna go to heaven and meet Jesus.” But if you’re not digging an early death or simply reject meaty excess, they also offer the vegan version: Seitan Meats Jesus. The bestseller? The pepperoni. Agah credits the smaller pepperoni slices they use, allowing the edges of the meat to curl up forming a crispy bowl you get to break into with each bite.
And even though many describe the pizza as NY style, Latimer says it’s more of a hybrid she calls New York style (traditionally made in a deck oven) meets California fresh ingredients. Then there’s the tasty thin crust serving as the perfect stage for their fresh toppings, “We use a 200-year-old sourdough culture from Ischia, a volcanic island off the coast of Naples,” says Latimer. This flavor profile sets them apart. Well that and the fact that everything is made by hand, in-house, every day.
So if you’re in need of a no-frills, chill place to grab a slice, stop in or simply pick up a couple of cold, day old pizza for a buck. . . yeah they do that.