Mr. Pizza Factory...GO THERE!
Man, I'm a sucker for a good novelty restaurant. Down on St. Andrews and Wilshire in Santa Monica it's there. Mr Pizza Factory may be the weirdest thing to hit the American palate in ages.
This place is the kind of place where you can get unbelieveable toppings on your pie. Tonight I went and had the calamari and the Shrimp Nude pizza.
The calamari caused a bit of a surprise by actually being good. The texture was tender and easy and it was served with a Wasabi Aioli sauce which was a hell of a lot of fun..
The pizza was, well, the weirdest thing I've ever eaten. I'm a guy that'll eat every single thing you can put in front of him. This pie was a bit of a challenge. As you ate it, it went from savory to sweet. At the beginning I was hit with the spicy shrimp, blue cheese sauce, and peppers and onions then it went to a nice, pleasantly sweet cream cheese sauce. The crust was dessert and the pizza was dinner.
A strange and interesting idea.
Everyone should go once to check it out. It's a bit pricey for what it is, but if it goes away no one will know what they were all about. So go.
In addition to being the best example of culinary telephone (Italian-to-American-to-Korean-to-American) this place is just plain delicious. It's nothing you expect, and for a Chicagoan who also did serious time in NYC as I am, a bit of a challenge. It is, however, thoroughly delicious.
I've been there two times and definitely enjoyed both experiences! The Potato Gold pizza was delicious. In fact, it was a blast to me. Also had the spaghetti pomodoro (spell?), the sauce was great with sun dried tomatos. Nice place to hang out. They have lunch specials on weekdays if you are in the area.
Went to Mr. Pizza Factory a couple of days ago, on a packed Friday evening. On the waiter's recommendation we ordered the fried calamari and the Potato Gold pizza. I saw that most other tables had ordered this as well, so I was pretty curious about this. Why not?
The calamari arrived nice and hot. It was nice. Not bad, but nothing to crow about. The wasabi aioli, if it contained any wasabi at all, was so mild I thought it was just simple mayonnaise.
The pizza... well I wish I could say that it was interesting to say the least, but it was simply the blandest pizza I had ever eaten. It was so heavy full of starch, and the wimpy slice of bacon added little to no flavor to the mix. Ok, the sweet potato edging around the rim of the crust was a nice novelty, I'll give it that. Still, I regretted each bite that I took of the pizza, because I was stuffing my stomach full of empty starches for zero enjoyment of the experience.
We ordered the small pizza, but were stuffed after only a couple of rounds. We had to pack up half of it to take home, where with the simple addition of fresh tomato sauce and basil made it a lot more palatable the next day.
No, I did not like the potato pizza. Felt as wierd as eating a spaghetti sandwich, or a fried-rice pie, if such carbo-crammed conconctions existed.
Maybe I should have tried the shrimp pizza, but I doubt we'd be going back soon, when there are so many better places to try in that neighborhood.
re: Normal Garciaparra
Nope, being a Korean Pizza chain they have that sort of "Engrish" sort of name that sounds odd to the English speaking ear, but sounds okay for them. Hell, the slogan there is "Pizza for women" due to the original location being across from a women's university.
Cool stuff. I'm such a cheerleader for places I like.
I had their Gold Potato pizza. It is a bit weird, i.e. the savory to sweet thing. The sweet potato in the crust taste like the yellow bean in those bao rolls and the pizza overall was really tasty (but a bit pricey). We also got the mushroom salad which was refreshing. I really like the decor and the diverse staff. They have a tv for sports and stella on tap!!
I usually don't visit Korean restaurants without someone who isn't Korean cause I sometimes feel unconformable but that isn't the case with this restaurant.
Don't fear the Mr. Pizza Factory! Though I agree the prices are somewhat steep compared to a typical pizza place, the ingredients and novelty are definitely worth a visit.
For a staff meeting once we got a pizza with shrimp on top and sweet potato in the crust that was pretty addictive. And where else can you get bulgogi or a side order of sweet pickles with your pizza?
One minor point: they are actually in Koreatown, Los Angeles (about 3 miles west of the 110 Freeway and 2 miles N of the 10.) They also have specials now and again, the place is clean and cheery (it's a franchise, part of a Korean chain) and the staff is sweet, helpful and efficient.