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Try a slice or a whole pie at Pepe’s New York Pizza

Posted By Karen Young On January 31, 2010 @ 11:24 pm In Budget Dining,Cuisine,Dinner,Eat,Featured,Food,Italian,Lunch,My Daily Find,Pizza,Restaurants,spotlight | 5 Comments

ana110BY ANA KACZMAREK

Although I subscribe to the theory that any pizza is better than no pizza, a great pizza can turn a bad day to good, or a fun late night into a fantastic one. I’m always keeping my eye out for pizza places, and have amassed a list of favorites throughout the valley for those nights in when no one is in the mood to cook.

So imagine my delight when I walked by what I thought was a closed restaurant and presto, a new pizza joint in Studio City! Pepe’s New York Pizza arrived on Ventura Boulevard, taking over The Arb, only a few weeks ago, but it’s already won my heart.

Slices

Assorted slices of pizza cut into thirds. Pepe's will accommodate. We had to try them all! Photos: Karen Young

They haven’t done much to change the simple décor, but I can assure you that the ambiance – red brick walls,  a few cherry wood tables, and large blackboards – barely enters your mind as you bite into a hot, creamy slice.

In testing a pizza place’s worth, I always start with the cheese. My first experience was walking home from one of the many sushi restaurants along that stretch, and stopping in for a slice just to try it out. I was floored at the mellow, unassuming goodness that greeted me. Putting pepperoni on it only makes it better, it turns out.

Their Sicilian style pizza looks a bit intimidating, a deep-dish creation that warns of chewy, soggy crust, but it is in fact airy, cheesy, and probably my favorite slice there. It’s definitely more of a commitment than the rest of their thin-crusted fare, but well worth the masticating effort.

Caesar

The Caesar Salad has a light olive oil based dressing.

There are two parmigiana pizzas – one chicken and one eggplant – come with tomatoes and basil, and they are as delicious as they are unusual. The eggplant parmigiana is especially tasty, with thin slices of eggplant coated in breadcrumbs hovering over large portions of cheese. I don’t even like eggplant, but this pizza makes me reconsider.

For white sauce lovers, there is the White Spinach pizza, a slightly tangy, slice of thin crusted heaven. Other menu notables include the Hawaiian, the Vegetarian and Bar-B-Q Chicken slice, which are also all available as full pies.

All slices are $3.25, except for the cheese, which is only $2.75. There is also a menu of toppings that will set you back $0.75 to customize your slice. Whole pizzas range from $16.99 to $21.99, which extra toppings at $2.00.  If you like thin crust pizza, this hits the spot.

Chopped Salad

The Chopped Salad is light and crisp.

Another surprise hit were their salads. An oil-based dressing on the Caesar complemented the dark romaine and was a perfect way to justify the pizza indulgence. Pepe’s Chopped Salad, full of romaine and iceberg lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, chick peas, and mozzarella cubes was light, crisp and delightful with a little bit of ranch dressing. You can pick form several dressings and add chicken or pepperoni, or enjoy their House Salad. The salads come in large and small, and range from $4.00 to $7.95. Their lunch special includes a slice, a small salad and a drink for $5.95.

Everyone has different pizza preferences, but the best ones usually rise to the top of most people’s list. Pepe’s New York Pizza is now on the top of mine, and there’s a good chance it will climb to your top spot as well.

Note:  There is free parking in back. Just tell the Teru Sushi valet you are going to Pepe’s and you will be directed to park.

Pepe’s New York Pizza 11946 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 358-2233 Take out and free delivery with $20 order. (just east of Radford Ave.)  No table service, walk up and order, quick bite.

Ana Kaczmarek is a screenwriter living in Studio City. When not traveling, she enjoys growing vegetables, baking bread, and generally creating the edible and delicious. Her blog on health can be found at www.healthhoney.wordpress.com.

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