Please read this first sentence carefully: “Red Boat is now the Fish Sauce of Umami Burger”. That’s the emperor’s new clothes right there. Now you can stop raving like a lunatic over the Umami burger. Because in order to talk about how tremendous 800 Degrees Pizza is, you need to shut your trap about that fish sauced pile of cow flesh.
The next sentence may be even more important: 800 Degrees Pizza is a game changer. It will change the face of the earth, if earth is just about pizza consumption in Los Angeles. $7 gets you the pizza below (please just ignore the zero calories root beer and the utterly unremarkable beet/arugula salad):
Olio is still lovely as ever, Chef JM is still killing it with his whole wheat, perfectly risen, perfectly crisped pizzas at Stella Rossa. However, if A. Fleishmann happens to be bent over, one oughta kiss his ass. After years of proclaiming the national dominance of Umami, there are still only 7 branches; the hype will probably be over by 2013. 800 Degrees, if executed (and funded) with the typical Fleischman vengeance, will trump Umami’s infamy & obliterate the pizza industry in Los Angeles. Where Fresh & Easy has failed, 800 Degrees will rise as the killer app.
Anthony Bourdain has always touted pho has the exemplary fast food. He hasn’t met the 800 Degrees assembly line. Order to pizza in 5 blistering minutes. FIVE. MINUTES. Four if the over zealous cashiers would just shut up and yield change. Don’t let the ridiculous lines deter you…
… nor let the droning Wilshire bankers ward you away. The other choice is to not bother going until the second branch opens. Why wait in line like the peasants queing for a train ride back to the Chung King? Arrival of the other 800 Degrees outlets won’t be too long.
The 2 closest pies to 800 Degrees (in both newness and taste) are Mother Dough and Settebello. In fact, lower the dough’s pH and raising the temperature of the wood oven at Settebello would essentially churn out the exact 800 Degrees margherita. And that’s not a bad thing. This is a stylish Neapolitan-style pie. Even the soggy center haters wouldn’t protest much. The pies are sliced, the mozzarella properly melted, the crusted leoparded. It’s Naples in LA, for $6 ($1 per topping extra).
** here’s to shill free (January) 2012