Working the Oven
Wielding long, hand-carved paddles, this guy worked the stove like a pro all night long. He shuffled pies, handling the heat and browning pie after pie that emerged from the stone behemoth.
Dancing Heart Bread
With little more than olive and grapeseed oils as a base, and thin, crispy edges, the popular Dancing Heart Bread is the most flatbread-y pie you'll find at Full of Life. Flax seeds offer a bit of texture, while fresh garlic and a raw milk La Serena cheese give the warm bread a nice zip.
The Shaman's Bread is a sort of souped-up version of the Dancing Heart. Flax seeds and garlic are still in high supply, with the addition of roasted red onions and pistachios. The raw La Serena remains the same, and some rosemary from the garden next door imparts an earthy flavor.
Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa
This pie begins to straddle the pizza-flatbread line, thanks to crushed and roasted tomatoes, and a good amount of melty mozzarella. Still, the addition of jalapeño and chipotle peppers alongside a thin black bean paste, some cilantro, and a dusting of roasted corn make this surprisingly light Mexi-fusion pie a real head-scratcher.
Ah, finally, a pizza. Tomato sauce, imbued with oregano and a bright acidity, is laid under with a slick of melted California mozzarella. There's a touch of the raw La Serena in there as well, plus a once-over of the nutty, sharp grana padano. With a decent rise at the edges and some nice spotting, this could pass as a pizza basically anywhere.
Cheese and Herb
Another fine lookin' pizza, albeit one without sauce. Instead, this pie relies on lots of binding cheeses. All of Full of Life's cheeses (save for some feta) are dumped on in judicious amounts, then splashed with plenty of oregano and a bit of rosemary. The end crust is dense and full here, but still shows some spots from a nice ride in the oven.
Mushroom and Onion
A classic, not overly funky pizza. Pale mushrooms offer a little bit of depth, but you're most likely to favor the bites that are heavy with onion, thanks to their smoky sweetness. Beware the center of this pie, as the sauce, cheese and heavy toppings hand combine to make a slice that doesn't stand up well on its own. Expect some serious droopage.
Smoke-Dried Tomato and Mushroom
With a thick clustering of mushroom slices and caramelized onions around a wide, slightly puffy edge, this personal-sized pie suffers slightly from imbalance. Still, the tame garden mushrooms are anything but overwhelming, and the only slightly smoky tomato bites shine through easily.
Kalamata Olive and Feta
You'll be hard-pressed to find enough funky feta or savory olives to warrant the name. Instead, thin ribbons of red onion show up, along with lots and lots of soupy cheese. The rosemary and garlic are a nice touch, but with this much floating mozzarella, it's a wonder you can even see the edges.
Pepperoni and Peppers
The table favorite. Wide pepperoni curls at the edges and pools its oil, while slightly crisped red onions dance with poblano pepper strips. The mozzarella is a backdrop for the stellar toppings, and with a nice puff you could close your eyes, take a bite and call this a pizza, a flatbread—whatever you'd like.
Central Coast Sausage
Another popular option, the namesake Central Coast Sausage is nitrate-free—of course—and comes with a very noticeable dash of fennel. Those smoke-dried tomatoes stand in for a regular sauce, and a nice layer of mushrooms on top give each slice levels of flavor to work through. A more traditional sauce might have mixed well with the mozzarella to tone down some of the toppings, but as is, the spotty pie didn't last long on the table.
The Crusty Bits
You can see a bit of rise at the edges from these leftover bones, but nothing of the yeasty, warm, soft interiors on more traditional pizzas.
A S'Mores Dessert
Fresh from the oven, a caramelized fluff of marshmallow meets a warm chocolate and graham cracker cookie. Add a drizzle of chocolate, combine on fork and voilà: you've got yourself a sweet, smoky, wood-fired treat to end your night.