Daily Slice: Margherita at 31Ten Lounge, Los Angeles
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Known for its booming beats and sultry vibe, 31Ten Lounge has a woodburning oven to feed pizza to hungry clubgoers. At $10, the Margherita costs less than a cocktail at this upscale lounge. Though friend of Slice Noel Brohner is no longer manning the oven, the pies are still worth a try.
The crust is surprising soft and springy, with a decent hole structure. This weighty slice sags a bit, but has a chewy bite all the way through, and a nice bit of char. There's no suggestion of fermentation or salt in the dough's flavor, which is fine, considering the kitchen's heavy-handed splat of cheese.
Lightly sweet tomato sauce peeks out between the brown blistered lattice of salty mozzarella. The basil is scarce and overpowered by the cheese, raising the question: can you ever have too much cheese? Yeah, you can.
This is a good pie and a doubly good bargain. But without the fostering of a passionate pizzaiolo it's unlikely to ever fully transcend the club scene.