zpizza: The “Z” Stands for Zowie!

zpizza: quality ingredients, fresh and flavorful

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | 2:11 pm

 

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

I know what you’re thinking: “another pizza joint.” And in a way you’d be right, zpizza does sell pizza and it is a joint of sorts. You order at the register, sit down at a table and get your order when it’s called out. Definitely not a fine dining establishment. But don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you. The food rivals any upscale pizza restaurant in town.

Think California Pizza Kitchen, add the price and freshness of Lemonade, and throw in a handful of Tender Greens. Are you getting the picture? I thought the food in zpizza was outstanding: quality ingredients, fresh and flavorful.

I started with two salads. These were not your usual salads of iceberg lettuce with a smattering of romaine thrown in to make it look as if it had some substance; these salads were packed with fresh locally-grown ingredients. The salads come in two sizes: small and large. Trust me a small salad is plenty for one person.

 

Arugula Salad

The first salad came packed with fresh mixed greens, ripe pear slices, tangy gorgonzola, roasted candied walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This is one of my favorite combinations. There were plenty of ripe pears to offset the creamy gorgonzola and the addition of the walnuts just added to the flavors.

Baby arugula was the basis for the next salad. I just love the peppery taste of arugula and in the salad it was mellowed by a topping of sweet caramelized onions. Shaved parmesan added a nutty note and candied walnuts finished the melody.  Both salads were priced at $5.95 for the small and $7.95 for the large; quite a bargain.

zpizza has two types of pizza crusts: rustic which is thin and crispy and shaped in an oval and the classic round pizza with a slightly thicker crust with a little more chew. I chose to sample a rustic pizza, one of zpizza’s creations, and a classic pizza. The rustic pizza I chose was curry chicken and yam. I’m a big curry fan and this combination really appealed to me. The pizza came with chunks of chicken mildly

Curry Chicken and Yam Rustic Pizza

seasoned with curry, tender bits of bright orange yam, mango chutney, raisins and cilantro all bound together with mozzarella cheese. The taste was fantastic an absolute party in my mouth: sweet, savory, tangy, and chewy all in one bite.

It was harder to choose from the zpizza creations as almost all of them sounded good. They even have a vegan pizza with vegan cheese and veggie burger crumbles for those who eschew animal products. I chose the Tuscan pizza a medley of garlic, mushroom, onions and tangy feta. The garlic was in the form of a roasted garlic sauce which was topped with a combination of cremini, shiitake and button mushrooms, and adorned with sweet

Tuscan Pizza

caramelized onions. To add to the taste was a layer of mozzarella cheese, a sprinkling of feta, a dash of truffle oil and a sprinkling of fresh thyme. This pizza is something I will want again and again, it’s that good.

I also ordered a classic American pizza with organic tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, fresh tomato, mushrooms, bell pepper, and red onions. This one didn’t thrill me; I think it was the tomato sauce which was ho-hum. It had no spice, no taste really, so the whole thing fell flat. I will say all the ingredients are top-notch and you won’t be blotting grease from the pepperoni.

The round pizzas come in 10-inch small, 14-inch large and 18-inch extra-large sizes. The rustic pizzas are one size only and serve 1 to 2 people depending on how hungry you are. Prices for the small pizzas range in the $9.00 – $11.00 region. The rustic pizzas are $8.95. You can also create your own from a large assortment of sauce, cheese, veggie and meat toppings.

Classic American Pizza

zpizza also has an assortment of sandwiches and a couple of pasta dishes. There is no wine or beer and they only serve Pepsi. They have some specialty beverages but no diet Coke which is the only minus on a list of plusses.

The best deal in town is zpizza’s 2Zs and 3Zs which is a choice of either two or three of the following: a pizza slice (they have daily specials), half salad (Caesar, Greek, or pear and gorgonzola), and half a sandwich (turkey, supersub, or veggie). Two choices will cost $5.95 and three choices are $7.95: such a deal!

zpizza also delivers if you live in a 3-mile radius of the restaurant which is across from PCC at 1705 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. For more information, delivery or catering call (626) 792-5500 or visit www.zpizza.com.

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