Pavich’s Brick Oven pizza presented so many tiers of obfuscation on this particular Saturday afternoon that I just couldn’t digest all that was presented to me.
San Pedro is a town of beyond history, beyond tradition, beyond blue-collar union workers from the Port of LA/Long Beach. There once was a huge Japanese community here. No shit. There are more “Italian” pizzerias per square mile in San Pedro than anywhere else in LA County – or so I was told. This whole town is a huge WTF. And then there’s Pavich’s.
It’s next to a corner liquor store, and next to a “Baltic” Bakery selling… kid you not, Peruvian alfajores / cookies.
Pavich’s entire store is about as wide as my living room.
The menu presents a Crotian, Italian, AND American combination of pizza toppings.
What. The. F**K?
Someone casually mentioned it was LIKE a Neapolitan pie, but not. And like a New York slice, but not.
OK. Had to give up after the last one. This simply had to be eaten. No one else, not even Chowhounder’s, have scoped out this place. After milling about at the Korean Friendship Bell and checking out the kite-flyers (as well as a wedding? Mexican wedding reception? At the Korean Friendship Bell? Say it with me: W.T.F.!?!), the only right thing to do was eat as the locals. South Alma street isn’t exactly San Pedro’s restaurant row. There’s a laundromat, there’s a corner liquor store, there’s tiny baker, and there’s Pavich’s. All were sandwich between Single Family Homes on a perfectly random residential street. Not a strip mall, nor a parking lot in sight. It’s as if we’re getting pizza in Middle of Nowhere Town, NY, USA.
And then the pie came out. Half was Quattro Gusti (tomato sauce, mozz, ham, mushroom, artichoke), the other was The Croatian (smoked beef, mushrooms, fresh yellow pepper, roasted yellow pepper, feta cheese, onions, olives, fresh tomatoes). It’s definitely NOT a Neapolitan pie, NOT NY style pie, nor Chicago deep dish. Majority of the pie is doughy ala Dominoes, but bottom of the crust is clearly reminescent of a Neapolitan baked on a brick oven. The oughter edge of the crust bubbles like a Neapolitan, but is much dough-ier (is that a word) with a very soft chew. It’s a Croatian pie obfuscation. Don’t know how else to describe it. The Croatian topping combo is spot on. For $18 at 18″, there is no better funk & flavor for the dollar. Unfortunately, the crust just escapes me.
It is necessary to go back for the Croatian dishes, majority of which are baked/cooked in the brick oven. There’s something so traditional and… “authentic” about that…
Pavich’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
someone in someone’s backyard
San Pedro, CA