Five sauces. Three cheeses. Twenty-three toppings. Jax Pizza provides diners with numerous ways to customize anything from a personal pie to an extra-large pizza for the whole table or the hungry yeti back home. Other familiar classics such as wings, pasta dishes, and meatball sandwiches help round out the pizzeria's selection of family-friendly comfort foods?while a selection of 13 draft beers helps wash it all down. Seated at red booths located beneath crimson-red ductwork, groups can enjoy their meal while keeping an eye on eight HD flat-screen televisions that routinely play the day's biggest basketball, hockey, or football games, while kids can enjoy themselves at the arcade.
Odds are, if it's edible and it'll melt, it's somewhere on the menu at Custom Melt. Centering around inventive twists on classic grilled cheese, the menu offers up a wide variety of sandwiches lined with ingredients like slow-roasted pork, pastrami, or slow-roasted veggies?and, of course, cheese. There are also bowls of pasta and rich mac 'n' cheese, as well as new soups daily and a variety of salads, all complimented by a range of wines and craft beers to wash down bites.
Garlic Jim's menu was hand-crafted with nothing more than a dream and an incredible reserve of pizza-making expertise. To achieve customization without the stress of having to choose, turn to one of the 12 pre-determined specialties. Meat-maul hunger with the Hercules (salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, beef, spicy italian sausage, and bacon), or vindicate vegetables with Jim's Veggie pie (green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions, and black olives). For an additional $3, any medium or large pizza crust can be made gluten-free.
Viva la Pasta's kitchens have been bubbling with pots of authentic Italian pasta for more than 10 years. The eatery's owner, Pippo, curates a menu of more than 400 variations of pasta and gourmet pizza that join a plentiful assortment of traditional Italian dishes and paninis. Every Sunday, an expansive brunch buffet meanders across the dining room; it abounds with platters of smoked fish, shrimp, mussels, and lobster, as well as steaming pans of pasta, eggs, and omelets. The softly lit interior houses white-clothed tables, while the outdoor garden patio features towering white umbrellas that supply ample shade for alfresco dining. While they sup, patrons can soak up the serenading of trickling fountains, chirping wildlife, and the husky French folk songs of lost fur trappers.
Nunzio Donato Ciaraulo and his wife, Cristina, curate a menu of Old World dishes hailing all corner of Italy, from Venetian-style risotto to coils of tomato-kissed Neapolitan pastas. Though the offerings change regularly, diners can count on classics such as pizzas and pastas joined by a revolving assortment of roasted pork, tender veal, cooked-to-order steaks, and simmering seafood. Sweet teeth applaud louder than an ice-cream truck with subwoofers when they see the dessert menu, which lists traditional mealtime denouements including tiramisu, cannoli, and sorbets.
“It's the best pizza I’ve found in Los Angeles,” says comedian and recognized Italian Ray Romano about D'Amore's Ristorante & Pizzeria. He’s not the only star to fall for the authentic slices: owner Joe D’Amore has shipped his pies to destinations across Hollywood, including the set of Two and a Half Men and Jennifer Garner’s house. Whether he’s serving an A-lister or the average hungry citizen, Joe bakes all of his cheesy treats to-order inside a stationary brick oven or an innovative oven on wheels.
D’Amore’s traditional methods and tempting taste are a family legacy. Born and raised in an Italian family in Boston, Joe D’Amore grew up savoring his grandmother Mommanonna's handmade pizzas—a meal he would miss upon moving to California. Joe asked his grandmother to join him out west and show him the secrets to her trade, but when she pulled the pie out of the oven, something wasn't quiet right. Mommanonna immediately knew that the California water was sabotaging her famous thin crust, and urged Joe to bring water from Boston. Today, he takes the practice a step further, importing water from Italy along with olive oil, flour, and pizza wheels carved by Michelangelo.