Best Warehouse Pizza - 2011
Keep chewing. Close your eyes and the scene is clear: You're eating pizza in Bologna, a softly lit neighborhood haunt, where in the corner rests a majestic oven built from the soil of Mount Vesuvius. Open your eyes and the illusion disappears: You're eating at Eatalian Cafe, in a cavernous warehouse in Gardena, white walls and steel mozzarella cheese machines reflecting light back and forth, where the pizza-making operation stands next to an espresso kiosk, a gelato bar and a display case stacked with golden, buttery, baked goods. Who could expect that Antonio, a serious Italian pizzaiolo veteran of Emilia-Romagna, would choose this expansive space to bake pies such as the Speciale? For knife, fork and teeth alike to cut so effortlessly through the dough, a soft, melting, tender thing. For the brightness of the cherry tomatoes and basil to play so elegantly against the rich mozzarella. For the crust to be just done, just brown, exhibiting just a few spots of black, a cut above the jet-black pizza pies coming from the ovens of confused neophytes. So keep those eyes wide open and pay attention: This industrial behemoth is serving the most effortlessly Italian pizzas in the city. 15500 S. Broadway St., Gardena. (310) 532-8880, eataliancafe.com.