The Monster loves a good slice of pizza. It’s comforting and delicious and reminds one of birthday parties as kids when there wasn’t a worry in the world. It’s late nights in college when you should be studying but instead you are out partying. And it’s nights as adults when you want to rekindle a little of your youth. The gooey cheese being pulled into your mouth, the piping hot tomato sauce dribbling down your chin, the mounds of toppings are all recipe for happiness.
As such, The Monster was tremendously excited to give Olio Pizzeria and Café a try. It’s a tiny space on Crescent Heights and Third Street, not much more than a few tables inside a few out and seating along the bar from which you can watch the wood burning oven at work. The menu is a select group of artisan pizzas, salads and soups.
Something about watching the fire give your pie that distinct flavor and crust melts The Monster a little. The fact that the service is warm and friendly all the better.
It’s hard to narrow down the order even with a compact menu. The decision is made to sample the fire roasted shisito peppers tossed in aromatic peanut oil and roasted sesame seeds, the roasted brussel sprouts toasted in garlic oil and sliced almonds and the eggplant parmesan pizza with roasted eggplant, tomato sauce and a three cheese blend. The handmade soda of the day is watermelon and so a glass of that is ordered as well.
This unfortunately means there is no room for the fire roasted asparagus or the margherita plus pizza. Meat lovers may want to sample the Hawaiian pizza which features pineapple, the cheese blend, and Alto Adige smoked prosciutto while mushroom aficionados may find themselves wanting the wild mushroom and herbed ricotta cheese pie that also has caramelized onion and French brie.
The peppers and brussel sprouts both suffer the same fate. Look great, taste fresh, perfectly prepared and yet they tend to be a tad lacking in the taste department. Mind you, they are finished, but they don’t have enough pizzazz. Between sips of the watermelon soda (delicious) The Monster eagerly awaits the main course.
When it arrives The Monster is pleased. It’s a nice looking pie, charred and crispy on the edges with large slices of eggplant. While the edges may be crispy the dough itself is a bit limp. The Monster folds his pizza in half and begins to mow through the slice. It features a tasty and slightly tangy sauce and the eggplant atop it is wonderful.
And yet, it still doesn’t completely live up to what The Monster is hoping for. It’s not a drive across town pizza. It’s not the pie of dreams. It’s a good pizza and there is nothing wrong with that.
Why go? Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
8075 West 3rd Street, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90048