Hand-stretched dough. Sauce made in store from hand-crushed tomatoes. Locally sourced meats cooked and flavored in house. Natural produce sliced by hand. These components form the foundation of Lucifers Pizza’s pies, which LA Weekly lauded as “devilishly unique.” In addition to cooking up classics such as the margherita and the hawaiian, New Zealanders Adam and Milan Borch bake gourmet pizzas with nontraditional ingredients including roasted pumpkin, lamb, and Thai-style satay chicken. To accommodate dietary restrictions, their pies can also include gluten-free crusts and vegan cheese.
Adam and Milan craft each pizza on a spice rating from zero to blazing, which intrepid diners can combat by drinking the pizzeria’s own mineral-spring water, throwing back Mexican Cokes, or gargling foam from the nearest fire extinguisher. Lucifers Pizza’s tiny storefront evokes that spiciness with orange flames painted on its façade, and its dark and intimate interior echoes the restaurant’s darkly comical concept.
The cultural mélange that characterizes Spice on Hollywood's menu draws inspiration from across the globe, incorporating familiar American, Mexican, and Italian recipes. Regardless of the dish's origin, the chefs demonstrate a commitment to homestyle flavors by making tomato sauces and pico de gallo salsa in-house. Pizzas can arrive decked with any of 14 available toppings—including barbecued chicken, feta cheese, and basil—and savory mushrooms accompany servings of flame-grilled rib-eye steak. These varied cuisines also influence the eatery's menu of breakfast staples, which features huevos rancheros and black beans alongside belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.
The intimately sized dining area creates a cozy, café-like ambiance. Chalkboards with daily specials line a wall behind the front counter, pendant lamps gently illuminate dark wooden tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows flood the room with natural light for diners who prefer to cook their own meals photosynthetically.
The food at Marco's Trattoria found its beginnings in Florence, Italy, where Marco and his mother Franca Capanni were born. Franca came to the U.S. with her husband—a decorated World War II soldier who fought in Italy. She later moved Los Angeles with Marco and his brother and provided for them by working in Italian restaurants. In addition to helping Marco open his trattoria, she has another claim to fame: she appeared as the home cook in Daft Punk's "Revolution 909" video, directed by Roman Coppola.
Sixteen years later, the staff members have changed but the food remains tied to the Capanni legacy. The menu ranges from classic spaghetti with meatballs to a creamy risotto with sirloin tips, bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. You can pair such dishes with libations from an eclectic wine and beer list, which is regularly updated until Prohibition is reinstated.
As soon as Panini's staff members arrive in the morning, they set to work baking the loaves of bread that they will later slice and toast to craft their signature sandwiches. Packed with hearty eggplant parmigiana, meatballs, and pesto chicken, these sandwiches join hand-tossed New York–style pizzas topped with the same coin-size pepperonis that fill Manhattan’s parking meters. All of Panini's menu items—from the flagship sandwiches and pizzas to the pastas brimming with sun-dried tomatoes and creamy pesto—are made with all-natural ingredients.
Pino Piroso dedicated himself to founding a distinctive, Roman-style pizzeria, saying that "after years of hard work, we knew we had built something very special." His chain eventually grew to include franchises in six states as well as two countries outside of the US. Despite their geographic separation, each location has the same stringent standards for their ingredients and their Exit sign locations. No kitchen stores pizza fixings in a freezer—instead, the cooks begin every morning by stirring sauces, kneading dough, and dicing fresh seasonal toppings from local farms. The circular or rectangular pies can support as many as 33 of these familiar and nontraditional toppings, such as goat cheese, sweet corn, and roasted chicken.
Oak Fire serves fresh takes on crust-bound favorites in a laid-back bar and eatery. Stop in for a lunchtime bite such as the chef's special pulled-pork sandwich, coated in a citrus-onion marinade and piled on freshly baked bread ($9). Dinnertime diners can whet appetites and prep palates with starters such as the Jack Daniel's barbecue meatballs lounging by a kiddie pool of dunkable Dijon ($8) before moving on to zesty 'za entrees. Chicago–style deep-dish pies recall a time when mobsters used pizzas for bulletproof vests, or you can sample specialty slices from the toastily tasty confines of the walnut and mesquite wood-burning oven. The cracked-egg pizza tickles taste buds with toppings of prosciutto, fennel sausage, and fontina cheese, all crowned with rise-and-shineable sunny-side up eggs ($16), while thoughtful options like the vegan soy offer soy cheese and soy sausage ($15). A selection of microbrews and wines by the glass are also available.