Daily Slice: Grey Block Pizza, 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.
Last month the signage on two Abbot's Pizza came down and Grey Block Pizza was raised. The original Abbot's in Venice remains the same, but founding creator Thomas Schiffer severed ties and took ownership of the Culver City and Santa Monica locations. Both recently underwent a remodel and are the "final result of our unwillingness to compromise on reaching our full potential in preparing and presenting phenomenal pizza."
Where the Culver City location's awning read, "Home of the Bagel Crust Pizza" it now reads "Home of the Salad Pizza." Don't fret, the seed encrusted chewy bagel crust remains. But, clearly, Grey Block Pizza wants people to focus on their salad pizza. I'm happy to oblige.
The gargantuan Salad Pizza slice ($4.75) begins with a sour cream coasted crust topped with mozzarella and red onions. The still hot pizza then gets a thick layer of mixed lettuce (mostly romaine), diced tomatoes, feta tossed in a light lemon-olive oil dressing, and is finished with slices of avocado. The feta and lemon infuse the base of the pizza with a briny acidic punch. The still cool and crisp lettuce, with slightly wilted edges, offers a welcome textural contrast to the gooey cheese.
Grey Block Pizza's new salad slice, The Chopped Greens ($4.75), is nominally misleading since the chopped vegetables are more red then green. Like its older brother, the pizza begins with a sauceless cheese and onion pizza. It's topping combo of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, parsley, cilantro, lemon dressing, and avocados is like a sweet salsa fresca. It's juicy, herby, and almost better than the Salad Pizza.
Both these hefty slices are a knife and folk affair. Though the crust is ultra crisp, every time I've attempted to eat them freestyle, the salad tumbles off the slice and all over my plate, table, floor, and shirt. I've probably lost a lot of "that's not real pizza" or "ewww salad" Slice'rs, but if you've made it this far then you must like lettuce on your pies. I sure do, and Grey Block's is one of the finest examples of it I've ever had.
Plus! You can turn any slice into a Salad pizza. Though I recommend sticking to the white pies for this, their dried herb heavy tomato sauce doesn't jive with the delicate salads.
It should be noted that Grey Block does not serve only salad pizzas. The full menu offers an array of semi-normal pizzas and is almost identical to Abbot's menu. I spied the name conversion list behind the counter, and the staff assures the many confused walk-in customers that Grey Block Pizza is serving the same familiar pies plus a few new items, such as The Melt, a cheese and onion base—topped with tuna salad and cheddar—that anyone but me should try someday.
Grey Block Pizza
About the author: 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