800 Degrees

If you know me at all, you know I love pizza. I eat it once a week (sometimes more. Is that overkill?) so of course I was happy when KJ and Becky trekked all the way to Westwood to join me for dinner at 800 Degrees. This place has been flagged in my inbox as a must-try spot since it opened almost exactly one year ago. Under the umbrella of the Umami Restaurant Group, the buzz about this restaurant was good. However, as possibly the only person in LA who doesn’t appreciate Umami Burger*, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not. I should have realized, we’re talking pizza here — what’s not to enjoy?! The pies cook in a super hot oven (set to 800 degrees of course) and are churned out in record speed. And they’re cheap too, with a base pizza starting at only 5 bucks. For just $10, I went with the suggested Vege and had my pie topped with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, broccolini and cherry tomatoes. Even the house red wine was pretty good and priced at $5 a glass — happy hour prices no matter the time.

The crust was chewy, bubbly and a little blackened, which I prefer. If I were to change one thing next time, it would be to ask for my pizza “crispy” to avoid the somewhat soggy middle. Still, between the price tag, the high-quality ingredients and the beauty pictured below, this place is a win in my book. Oh, and the excellent company didn’t hurt either.

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*Disclaimer regarding my comment about Umami Burger. Yes, I’ve tried the original burger, the turkey burger, and the veggie burger. I’ve even had the “manly burger.” The menu tells you that the burger is topped with bacon and smoked salt onion strings (yum), but neglects to mention that the dressing is horseradish-based (deal breaker). I just can’t get on board. I will however commend the excellent selection in wines; there are only a few, but I’ve never had a less-than-delicious glass.

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