Saturday, July 28, 2007

Zelo Pizzeria

Stepping into Zelo Pizzeria, you already get a good vibe. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with everything from quirky pizza-themed album covers to autographed skateboards from those famed skateboarding Z-Boys and even a portrait of Hank Williams. How eclectic is that!

To the right of the entrance, a refrigerated case displaying deep dish pizza pans containing pre-built uncooked pizzas resides. As opposed to ordering a whole pizza, you can opt to order single slices, which they will cook to order. On the menu, there are 6 pizza standards that you can choose from: Sausage, Veggie, Corn, Four Cheese, Pepperoni and Della Salute (veggie without cheese). However, there are around 26 other specialty pizzas that they also make and will offer 2 different ones as specials every day.

So far nothing seems out of the ordinary, but inside this family-run, neighborhood restaurant is a pizza unlike anything I've tried before. You may ask what differentiates the pizza at Zelo in the small city of Arcadia from some of the other pizza joints in town you may ask? Simply, their cornmeal crust.

For my meal there, I had two slices of pizza. One slice was one of their specialty pizzas and the other from their regular menu. In looking at them side-by-side, they looked so mouth-waterng, I had a hard time deciding which to try first. Finally, my love for mushrooms prevailed and I took a bite out of my Wild Mushroom pizza slice first.

As for ingredients, this particular slice had fontina cheese, mozzarella, domestic porcini & shitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. That first bite was really interesting because there were two things that threw me off at first. First, I didn't taste any tomato sauce and second, the cheese was firmly in place and not "swimming around" as it tends to do when it's melted over aforementioned tomato sauce.

For my next bite, this time I paid more attention to the crust and it was just really delicious. I found it crispy and buttery and enjoyed the corny sweetness of it all. I also liked its rich denseness. Honestly, I was almost full just eating that one slice. Normally, I can consume 3 to 4 slices from pizza made with the more traditional flour dough, but that wouldn't be the case with Zelo Pizza.

As for the other ingredients of this Wild Mushroom pizza, I really enjoyed the combination of flavors from the mushroom's earthiness to the sweet acidity of the sun-dried tomatoes. While I enjoyed every bite of the mushroom pizza, I was totally over the moon over the Corn Pizza.

I don't even know if I can find words to describe how much I really loved this pizza. You already have an amazing crust, but when you add to that freshly shucked corn, sweetly caramelized red onions, smoked mozzarella and the bite of fresh chives sprinkled on top, you get a pie that makes you happy just to have taste buds.

From the outside, Zelo Pizzeria doesn't look like much. Half the time, you may even drive past it without even noticing that it's there. I think that's why I consider Zelo to be a hidden gem. It's a restaurant that may not jump out at you just from its exterior, but once you experience the tasty treasures inside, it's a place that will definitely stay in your radar. It's certainly a place that I look forward to returning to again and again.


Zelo Pizzeria
328 E Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 358-8298



Zelo on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

V said...

That pizza looks to die for! Yummy!

Carrie said...

Holy cow, that looks good! I don't get to LA often, but that just went to the top of my to-do list. Thanks!

Found you on Tastespotting!

pleasurepalate said...

Carrie: Other things to try there are their wild mushroom pizza and their leek pizza. Yum!