Update: 2:25 p.m., 8/29. Clusi Batusi PR reps confirm that the restaurant will not open in late August as intended, but instead the grand opening date has been pushed to September 8.
First-time restaurant owner Catherine Keith compares her new venture, Clusi Batusi, to the assembly-line custom concept of 800 Degrees. The 600 square foot pizza joint is set to open on Sawtelle Boulevard in Little Osaka this week. Keith's son Michele Gargani (formerly of Mosto Enoteca), the head chef at Clusi Batusi, went to culinary school in Italy and uses ingredients such as house-made meatballs, octopus, bell peppers, sausage, chicken and asparagus. All the pizzas are one size, nine-and-a-half to 10 inches each. Clusi's favorite is the Pecorino Romano pie with mozzarella, balsamic mushrooms and arugula.
Other items to look for include an Asian-themed pie with squid, bottled cane sugar soda, salads and compostable serving plates and take out boxes. "We're nothing like Slice Truck [located just down the street]. We're more gourmet, closer to Mozza," Keith said. "The pizza is ready in one minute. The oven is set at 1,200 degrees."
Lunch hours are from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and dinner is from 5 p.m. - 12 a.m. Prices range from $7 - $14 per person. Menu items include the Pallino with roasted artichoke, bacon, tomato sauce and mozzarella; the Pollo with grilled chicken breast, grilled asparagus, basil pesto, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella; and the San Gennaro with Italian sausage, peperonata, oregano, tomato sauce and mozzarella.