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.
I got my first whiff of the The Urban Oven last year at Chris Bianco's booth at LA Loves Alex's Lemonade. There, Scott Tremonti worked side by side with Chris, for what I later learned was the first time ever. Chris began offering guidance to Scott, and his pizzas have been consistently improving ever since.
Since hitting the street late last year, The Urban Oven has been serving a rotating menu of approximately 9 -10" pizzas with inspired toppings (such as the Bianco which has yet to reappear on the menu, hint hint) for $10 each. The truck holds an almond wood-fueled Belforno oven, maintained at 800-850 degrees for a 2 to 2.5 minute bake. At first taste, I was disappointed. The wan crust reflected very little of its fermentation, let alone its trip through a wood-fired oven—take a look at his Brussels sprouts pie, for instance. But with each subsequent visit, I found notable improvements.
Recently, the crust hit its highest marks yet. A bulbous lip, with a high and chewy hole structure, covered in spots of char. Scott used a California flour with a 18-36 hour proofing and a sourdough starter, yielding tart notes laced through each bite.
These days, one of my favorites is the Tre Truffle. The pie is topped with mozzarella, parmigiano, goat cheese, arugula, and truffle oil; despite its questionable origins, I'll admit that I still enjoy a light drizzle of the stuff from time to time. The cheeses form a gooey base at the center of the pie, while the peppery arugula floats across the top, balancing the heavy bottom.
The challenges of operating a mobile pizza oven has been evident over The Urban Oven's starter months. Scott says the Belforno is performing well, but still isn't producing his ideal pie. That's why he plans to install a Forno Bravo in his next truck. Considering that his crust has just hit its stride, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
The Urban Oven
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