New Yorkers love the obscure: pseudo-speakeasies and no-name restaurants hiding behind fake storefronts. But visitors seem truly mystified when they’re taken up a flight of iron stairs in a garment-district tenement building to a red-lit hallway (which at first seems only to lead to a seedy-looking rest room). A last-minute right turn reveals a sit-down dining room that looks something like a failed bordello. There are more red light bulbs, deep, determined mauve paint on one wall, and a tin ceiling; fire escapes are visible through dirty windows; gilt-framed chalkboards display specials and an incredibly high-end wine list. “Have you ever been here before?” Al, a bald, mustachioed man perpetually lumbering across the room, asks. He never quite makes eye contact through his thick lenses, so it’s not always clear whom he is addressing. “Do you know what our pizza looks like?”
If you don't, take a look at Slice's Lazzara's photos on Flickr.
Tables for Two: Lazzara's Pizza Café [The New Yorker]