Daily Slice: M Cafe De Chaya, Los Angeles

Slice: Los Angeles

Pizza reviews in the Los Angeles area.

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

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[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

M Cafe De Chaya is popular for many reasons—like their Kale with Spicy Peanut Dressing and Tuna Burger—not for pizza. Recently this contemporary macrobiotic cafe re-instituted their Saturday pizza nights. So to investigate this fusion, I joined my pizza knowledge with a local macrobiotic authority, Jack Bone (aka my dad).

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We tried a number of pies, but the clear winner was the BBQ Setain and Pineapple ($11.95). The house marinated setain has a chewy, slightly salty tang paired with sweet, fresh pineapple. The whole wheat crust gets a lovely parallel char from grilling and then finishing in the oven. Still—under the heft of toppings—the crust quickly went limp.

The sauce, made with fresh tomatoes, garlic and herbs, disappeared under the globs of Daiya dairy-free cheese. Unlike mozzarella, Daiya has a bold flavor and this pizza would benefit from a whole lot less of it. Still, each juicy pineapple laden bite charmed us.

We found the macrobiotic nature of the pizzas questionable. From the tomato sauce (a member of the restricted nightshade family) to the processed Daiya, the pizza struck us as whole food based and healthy, but rather un-macrobiotic. Still, as we sat there with our pies, nearly every person stopped to gawk or ask questions. And by 8pm on a Saturday night, the pizzas sold out... although I doubt any of those people were actually macrobiotic.

M Cafe De Chaya

7119 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046 (map) 323-525-0588; mcafedechaya.com