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800 Degree Pizza Falls Flat

We had high expectations for this place since it's owned by the Umami Burger folks. The prices are good, as all the other reviewers say, and you get quite a bit of food. However, we like to bring our own fine wines to pair with our food. Even though we called in advance to confirm they offered corkage, when we got there the manager said they don't offer corkage but he'd let us do it this one time. Oddly enough, they have an actual option in the register to charge $10 for something called "corkage"!!! So what's the deal guys? Do you offer corkage, or don't you? Set a policy and stick with it. We were all quite upset over this turn of events but hoped the food would at least make this one-and-only visit worthwhile. It didn't.

THE GOOD: The burrata with cherry tomatoes and pesto is fantastic. It's so creamy and the pesto is so well done. One of the best things you can do is take a chunk of pizza crust and slather it with cheese and pesto, throw a tomato on top and whamo! It's better than any of the pizza they're making.
Our friends got the burrata with melon and prosciutto and they raved over that combo.

The chopped salad was also quite good with just the right amount of meats, cheese and dressing.

THE BAD:
All 4 of the pizzas our group ordered were soggy in the middle and definitely not crispy like any Neapolitan pizza should be. They had good flavor but either they were too slathered with olive oil, weren't cooked long enough or both. Sure, this place cranks your pizza out fast, but is it at the expense of cooking it properly? We won't be going back so I guess we'll never know.

Oh, and for everyone that thinks Neapolitan pizza is supposed to be soggy, you should actually go to Naples a couple of times like I have. And if you can't afford that, then check out the Wikipedia entry for "Neapolitan pizza" which states: "When cooked, it should be crispy, tender and fragrant." I guess these folks are counting on no one knowing any better.

THE UGLY:
The process of placing our order. The first person who asks what you would like really only wants to know one thing: which of the three base pizza styles or preset pizzas you would like. If you start telling her what extra toppings you want you quickly get to talk to the hand that points you down to the toppings area. Now you get to repeat yourself a second time. When we finally got to the gal running the register we were handed our receipt and I noticed that it did NOT reflect the arugula topping I had ordered (one of the toppings that they put on after baking the pie). So for the third time now I'm asking for arugula and I have a headache.

When I told her we needed to pay corkage on the two bottles we brought we got the whole scolding from the manager who had to come over and punch it into the register while explaining that they already have an assortment of fine wines (yes, sitting out about 10 feet from the open oven so they can get to be a toasty mess in your glass).

Oh, and the pizzas aren't brought to your table (a la Pit Fire). You have to do this salmon-swimming-upstream thing to get back to the counter as they call out your number (a la Taco Bell).

The whole ordering process is an annoying mess. The folks who set it up obviously haven't been to a Subway.

Jul 09, 2012
tp096255 in Los Angeles Area