It is an undeniable truth that there is nothing better than a delicious pizza. Sure, one could settle for some Domino’s on Figueroa Street but when an appetite calls for a quality, hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza, look no further than Pizzeria Olio.
The Hollywood-based pizzeria was founded by USC Marshall School of Business alumnus Brad Kent.
Pizzeria Olio originally opened its doors in 2010 after running a successful mobile pizza business that serviced Manhattan Beach, Calif. and catered events. Since then, the restaurant has recently opened a location in Downtown L.A., housed in the bustling, iconic Grand Central Market.
The management team of the market approached Kent last year with an offer to open a stall within the historic market, as a part of an effort to revitalize the L.A. landmark. After months of planning and preparation, the stall finally made its debut on March 30.
The market is currently home to an extensive farmers market and butcher stalls, but has since decided to expand its presence downtown. It now includes various restaurants to attract the lunchtime crowds of the business center of the city. Unfortunately, the market is only open until 6 p.m. each day, which is a definite setback for this restaurant’s business.
The stall has a traditional pizzeria vibe, with yellow tiled walls and a beautifully tiled wood fire oven blazing in the corner. It serves 10-inch personal wood-fired pizzas and “focaccia salads,” along with beers on tap, wines and soft drinks.
The menu has a range of selections, from a classic Margherita to a delicious wild mushroom and crisp prosciutto pie. Though the full menu only reaches this location in early May, customers will not be disappointed in the pizzas they buy here.
Many customers, however, are unaware that Grand Central Market hosts these type of places. Upon talking to one person of the people working at the Pizzeria Olio stall, business is great at the lunch rush, but pretty dead otherwise. They hope that the market’s reputation will pick up so that more people will know that this new location exists.
Pizzeria Olio uses fresh ingredients in all its pizzas, and customers can taste the difference. The Margherita pizza boasts flavorful mozzarella cheese with rich, creamy tomato sauce. The crust is crispy but cooked to perfection.
In addition, service at the stall is impeccable. The first pizza served wasn’t cooked according to their standard, so they cooked a whole new one. Incidentally, both pizzas turned out to be delicious, but it just goes to show how important the quality of its food is to the restaurant.
The salads, unfortunately aren’t available yet, but zagat rated Pizzeria Olio one of the top 10 pizzerias in the country.
Overall, the experience at Pizzeria Olio is exceptional. For one who is usually apprehensive about trying new things downtown, this new restaurant has set a standard. Given the rising competition in the market as it is revitalized and diversified, Pizzeria Olio is definitely a star among the Grand Central Market stalls.
Pizzeria Olio is located on 317 Broadway. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.