The crushed ruby flesh of imported tomatoes, ivory pools of fresh mozzarella dabbed with golden streaks of extra virgin olive oil, and emerald slivers of basil sit seductively atop a nicely charred crust. At The Prospector in Twain Harte, California, the pizza matches the beauty of the surrounding environment.
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VPN certification can only get you so far. Sure, you can meet the standards, but that still leaves plenty of room to really screw up a pizza. Naples 45 isn't worth visiting for its Naples-style pies. BUT WAIT! There is a take-out section that serves "New York–style pizza by the slice, seemingly as an afterthought. These slices are GREAT, and at $1.90 are a steal.
Alejandro Rivas has been the pizzaiolo at New York City's La Pizza Fresca since it opened in 1997 and fired up its wood-burning oven. He has made tens of thousands of pizzas since, working lunch and dinner six days a week. He gets Saturdays off, when his boss takes over the oven, but I bet the pies are not quite as good on those days. I asked Rivas if he ever eats pizza on his day off. He looked at me like I was nuts.
From the Slice inbox: "Waiting for your review of Mozza and Antica. Please get to it soon. Thanks. —Pizzafreak" OK. Here you go, Pizzafreak. My blathering about "Pizza Madness 2009" continues ... —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Until I touched down at LAX on Thursday, October 29, most of my knowledge of Los Angeles came from CHiPs, The Rockford Files, the Terminator franchise, and The Closer. I had a feeling I'd be in for a shock. It came pretty early. On the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and North Crescent (straight-up 90210 territory), I saw both a Bentley Continental ragtop...
[Photograph: Adam Kuban] There are five Via Tribunali locations in Seattle, each of them VPN-certified. I don't know what the other four look like (though I get a bit of an idea looking at the VT website), but the one in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, attached to the Crocodile, is dark, moody, and menacing, if only in a sort of pretend-menacing kind of way. In perhaps a nod to Mt. Vesuvius and the fire of the wood oven, there are ink-black and fiery-orange paintings of erupting volcanoes on the wall. The chandeliers hold glowing-red candelabra bulbs, their imitation flames flickering....