Stone Fire Pizza Co.: A Different Kinda Pizza Joint

There’s a new kid on the block and his name is Greg Morris.  Like some of the regulars: Puck, Splichal and Drago,  Mr. Morris has a collection of different restaurants – all of his are on La Cienega: Belmont, Spanish Kitchen and his latest entry in the restaurant sweepstakes which he opened with new partner Jeremy Findel,  Stone Fire Pizza Co.

There’s a certain electricity for me, personally, when I’m about to discover a new pizza joint, for my New York upbringing has led me to many different venues in my quest to find the very best pizza.  It used to be the Paradise Pizza on 184 Street in the Bronx but it isn’t there anymore. Out here, we do have Caioti in Studio City and Pizza Mozza, recently opened on Melrose and Highland. However, Mr. Morris established his new emporium last January and the people are flocking to Stone Fire and for very good reasons.

It’s actually a double restaurant; with the first area looking out on La Cienega, the second, a bit darker, somewhat quieter with a huge bar and most of the light coming from the large plasma TV.  Booths, banquettes, tables and a sit-up bar are all available and all most comfortable.

It’s a glorious menu with a fine array of offerings: seven starters, nine salads, seven pastas, six Chicago deep-dish pizzas and twenty-eight stone-fired pizzas – (Look who thinks he’s the Howard Johnson of the pizza world!)

We began dinner sharing an order of crab pot stickers: lump crabmeat, mixed with herbs and cheese in a most delectable smoked tomato-butter sauce…a yummy starter except they were overshadowed by our second starter, the coconut shrimp. These were four tempura shrimp, rolled in coconut flakes, served in a most delicious sweet chili-cilantro dipping sauce. These may be the best version of  this starter I have ever tasted. Who’d think you’d find that in a pizza joint? Wait, there’s more!

We ordered their Greek salad and it was also the best I’ve ever tasted since the ones we had in Athens. It’s a combo of crisp romaine, cut cherry tomatoes, even crisper cucumber, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, sliced onions and scallions in an authentic Greek oregano vinaigrette. Do not miss this one!  So far, excellent.  We followed the salad with a portion of pasta ribbon Bolognese. Whoever is in their kitchen is a master for this dish of wide pasta, fennel sausage, ground beef, smoked bacon, carrots, and onions in a rich tomato base was one of the best Bolognese ever.  My wife and I looked at each other with amazement to have found such delicious food, one course after the other.

Then came the pizza.  We ordered the deep-dish cheese and a #29, mushroom and sausage because that combo is not on their list of 28.  Let’s put it this way:  I have only been to Chicago twice in my life and although I love the city and “da Bears”, this sort of pizza has never registered high on my list for it’s like “too much, too soon” and the crust gets lost amid the fullness of the filling.

On the other hand, the crisp, break-apart crust of the “Stone-Fired” #29” was quite tempting.  The fillings were quite fresh, chewable and very tasty. Their pizzas are designed for one person but the many varieties encourage sharing.  Five ladies at the next table order four different pizzas and were having an orgy.  Our stone-fired gets a strong “B+” while everything else we enjoyed there gets “A+”, excluding the deep-dish.

Don’t forget dessert. There are six most enticing items here but do order the Rocky Road

Deep Dish Pizza for the entire table. It’s a mélange of cookie dough as the crust, with chocolate chips, chopped pecans and marshmallows – perfection with or without their rich vanilla ice cream.

We simply had a blast and we know you will too, for this is a fun, friendly, fine factory to feast in anytime.  Just remember the drill: tell ‘em Giuseppe sent you.

Stone Fire Pizza Co. – 829 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069 – Tel. 310-659-8848

Open 7 days, Dinner for two: Approx. $40 w/o alcohol – [email protected]