786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza

8879 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Sun Valley, California
818-939-6566
786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza +

Susan Park

786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza Co. opened in June of this year in a strip mall in Sun Valley. Owner Ali Haider quit his job as a spokesmodel for Lamborghini, traveled to Naples, Italy to study pizza-making at Scuola di pizzaiolo professionale, and now makes everything from margherita pizza to Bombay Chicken Tikka Masala pizza, which uses his Indian grandmother's butter-sauce recipe. But why would a pizzaiolo who has obviously taken great pains to achieve authenticity -- he has a $28,000 custom-made wood-burning oven imported from Italy and uses expensive ingredients such as Antimo Caputo 00 flour and fresh mozzarella di bufala -- make a blasphemous fusion pizza like Bombay Tikka Masala? First of all, because it's utterly delicious. Secondly, Haider's parents are Indian and Iraqi. He was raised in Kuwait where he attended an Indian international school. He speaks five languages and has traveled the world. While he honors Italian traditions by making a margherita pizza that's sure to please even the most ardent purist, he loves to be creative. He draws inspiration from his heritage, travels and the diverse city in which he lives. 

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