Best Thing We Ate

Pizza Find: Altadena's Pizza of Venice

By Lesley Balla  |  September 25, 2013
Credit: Lesley Balla

Hidden way up in Altadena, tucked in the corner of a non-descript strip mall, Pizza of Venice offers one of the more delicious pies we've stumbled across. Open since June, it's nothing more than a counter and one long communal table, with nothing on the stark white walls save for the chalkboard menu and a specials board. Here you'll find hand-tossed pies topped with simple ingredients, usually things chefs Jamie Woolner and Sean St. John pick up at the farmer's markets. In fact, we've seen them grilling pizzas at the Altadena Farmers' Market on Wednesdays, and they pop up in Mar Vista and at the Sunset Strip Market, too. 

The menu isn't large and toppings run the gamut, including things like fresh tomato sauce topped with braised lamb and mozzarella then finished with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion slivers and a green-tinted tzatziki. It's like a gyro-pizza mash-up and pretty tasty. We've heard of sashimi-topped pizzas, which we can see working, but we're drawn more to the simplest pies like the white pizza topped with mushrooms, wine-scented caramelized onions, goat cheese and wisps of micro chives. The crust sort of crackles and it's softer in the middle; we fold the tip in towards the crust to get all the flavors and textures in the most bites.

For non-locals, POV is a totally random place in a random part of the San Gabriel foothill communities. But you'd probably wish it was in your neighborhood. For those who do live there, there's free delivery within five miles of the restaurant, and some pretty great pizza, wing and salad combo meals for Saturday and Sunday football watching. Altadena isn't really a dining mecca, but Bulgarini Gelato has been a destination for years. This might be the next big thing; heck, have both in the same day and you've got yourself a great meal.