Daily Slice: Drago Centro, Los Angeles
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.
Regarded for modern Italian dishes, few think of pizza when heading to downtown Los Angele's Drago Cento. But the modest pizza menu hides a calzone that can only be described as a "sleeper." The Il Calzone ai Funghi e Tartufo ($14) is an indulgent, but unassuming, half round crust filled with mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms and truffles. A smaller $10 version is available at the bar, where happy hour deals are available all day.
Served table side, a crisp crescent is carved right before your eyes. When in season, you can get additional truffles shaved on top (market price). With each slice of the server's knife, the gooey, mushroom-spotted cheese bursts forth from the crust; the steam diffusing the unmistakable scent of real truffles. The dough, made every other day, is stretched thin and cooked to a crisp in a 600 degree gas oven. With little favor of its own, the crust is the perfect counter to the abundance of rich cheese and earthy mushrooms. As if that wasn't enough, the size of the calzone is unbelievably generous, making it a great dish to share with a friend or five.
But if it's a traditional pizza you crave, the Heirloom Tomatoes and Arugula ($14) is my favorite option. Not available in these winter months, Chef Ian Gresik appeases me with sliced cherry tomatoes and barely wilted leaves of young arugula. Here the light crust almost disappears. But the juicy bursts of sweet tomato are a pleasant break between bites of the marvelously hedonistic calzone.
Drago Centro525 South Flower St. Ste 120 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (map)
After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie