What the Chef at NYC's Roberta's Pizza Learned About L.A. During Its Residency
Roberta's, the new pizza darling of Brooklyn, has been making appearances in L.A. since November. After one-night stints at a couple of restaurants around the city, the cult pizza shop moved on to treating Angelenos to some New York pizza at its long-term residency at Platform in Culver City. What was originally supposed to be a December/January pop-up bled into February, leading pizza fans to cautiously hope for a future brick-and-mortar Roberta’s of L.A.’s very own.
But try as we might to get to the bottom of the rumors of a Roberta’s West Coast location, the pizza purveyors have remained tight-lipped about the whole situation. But they did share with us some new insights they gained about slinging pizza on the Best Coast.
1. Making their signature dough isn’t as easy as pie in L.A.
Water is a huge part of the way the dough reacts and tastes. Some people even attribute part of New York’s great pizza scene to that NYC water. But we have a whole different thing going on here in SoCal and that influences how Roberta’s makes pies. “The pH balance of the water here has to be taken into consideration,” head pizza maker Carlo Mirarchi told L.A. Weekly about making dough.
2. A perfect pie is a balanced pie.
When asked what he looks for in the perfect pie, Mirarchi answered, “Balance. A nice wood char while still retaining the yeasty flavor of the dough and a soft, chewy, slightly crisp texture.”
3. New York and L.A. want different things from their pie.
It’s no news that America’s two polar metropolises have some opposing views on what culinary greatness looks like. Turns out that's even true for Roberta’s pies. The top-selling pizzas in L.A. don’t match New York. “Surprisingly, [in L.A. it’s] the Bee Sting. It's popular in New York but very rarely is it a top seller,” Mirarchi said.
4. If L.A. were a pizza, it would be an In-N-Out pizza.
When asked what Los Angeles would be covered with if it were a pizza, instead of listing some esoteric veggies from Santa Monica Farmers Market, Mirarchi simply said: “Hopefully In-N-Out.”
5. Truffle oil is murder! (At least for pizza)
If there is one thing the culinary world can dial it back on, it’s truffle oil. Besides being a mark upon far too many menus across the nation, Mirarchi has confirmed to the Weekly that truffle oil is also the worst possible thing you can ever do to a pizza. It is pizza murder. And it should be punishable.
6. Adam Perry Lang is the tour guide we all wish we had.
Thanks to barbecue master Adam Perry Lang, Mirarchi is leaving L.A. with a newfound appreciation for our fresh uni and a new favorite dish in the city. “Adam Perry Lang was kind enough to take me out to Quality Seafood in Redondo Beach. The live sea urchin was just spectacular, so sweet with amazing texture and natural salinity.”
7. L.A. has some of the most enviable food (and weather) of the nation.
“I'll miss the weather for sure!” Mirarachi said about heading back to Brooklyn. “I'll miss the SGV a lot, In-N-Out, motorcycling on Mulholland, Parks BBQ, the omelet at Petit Trois, and all of the wonderful people and fabulous guests who have made this such a great experience for us." Hopefully he'll miss it enough to come back for that brick-and-mortar.
Roberta's will return to L.A. on Feb. 20, at the Rose in Venice; reservations are full but they will try to accommodate walk-ins..
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