A year ago, San Francisco Slice'r David Kover offered a thoughtful write-up on the distinctions between flatbreads and true pizzas. Of course, the debate is nothing new, and, although sometimes more semantical than substantial, both sides of the 'flatbread as pizza' argument make some valid points. Sometimes it's easy to spot a thin, cornicione-less flatbread masquerading as a pizza; other times two round pieces of bread emerge from the same oven, laced with tomato sauce and cheese, puffy at the edges and perfectly spotted underneath.
At Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos, the self-styled flatbread makers don't worry too much about labels. Instead, they focus on ingredients. The organic, all natural 'pizza' makers source everything locally, with most ingredients less than an hour's drive away. That's easy to do, when you're on California's Central Coast—the rich Mediterranean climate abuts the Central Valley, one of the largest agricultural centers in the United States. And, for good measure, owner Clark Staub has set up an herb garden right next door to Full of Life. So the next time you're waiting in line at the no-reservations restaurant, peek around the corner and you might just see someone scurrying out the side door in search of more basil.
With such seasonal, regionally significant ingredients dotting the menu, Full of Life's list of available pies is apt to change with the weather. Here's a look at the ten pies that emerged most recently from the 20-ton, 900º masonry oven that hulks along one wall in the open dining room.