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Oct 18, 2010 08:24 AM

Pizzeria Olio

heard about it over the summer via EaterLA, and just read on Daily Candy that it's open. anyone been yet?

they're *killing* me with the wood-fired bialy on the breakfast menu...someone needs to try one for me!

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  1. Yes, I went this past weekend for "brunch". I had the blueberry danish, onion bialy, lemon raspberry muffin, chanterelle/squash pizza, and margherita plus. All washed down with a cup of coffee(Intelligentsia) and I think homemade coke? My favorite was the danish, sugar rimmed pizza dough with delicious cream cheese and fresh blueberries. And I don't even like blueberries! The bialy also seemed like the same pizza dough in bialy form so it was decent, but not like bialy's I have had or like I make. Muffin was decent if forgettable.

    Now the pizzas: it's really hard to tell how I feel about it. It sort of reminds me of Mozza's dough, though less shatteringly crunchy. Also reminds me of Gjelina's in it's almost non-existent weight. While very good, it's not my favorite style. The chanterelle pizza was interesting but a little bland in that there wasn't enough to counter the sweetness from the squash. Also, the dough was a bit burnt(I saw he was trying to revive the fire whilst cooking this pizza and perhaps pushed it too close). The margherita was cooked much better, the burrata was great. Maybe because I was getting full at that point, but I don't really remember the sauce being anything special.

    One other thing I noticed, the chanterelle pizza which we ate there seemed bigger than the margherita that we asked for to-go. It kind of looked like all the pizza's to-go were pretty small since the box is small. Just something to keep in mind. The prices are a smidge high for the amount of food though it is obviously made with care(I am comparing with my experiences with SF and NY neapolitan style pizzas and the pizza's I make at home in my WFO). That said, I will most likely be back for the danish and when I need to scratch my pizza itch.

    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

    4 Replies
    1. re: baloney

      The pizza danish sounds amazing. Is it the same crust as they use for the regular savory pizzas? How big is it? Too big for one person? Was it shaped like a pizza or danish?

      1. re: bruinike

        I've attached a picture, sorry it's a iPhone pic cos I forgot my camera. It's definitely smaller than a pizza though it did seem the same as their savory dough. Definitely not too big for one, I shared it and I wish I didn't have to!

        1. re: baloney

          Oh it looks amazing! Thank you! Is that an order of two or part of a bigger round type danish and those are two slices? I am considering for a takeout breakfast I have to do which is why I ask.

          1. re: bruinike

            Sorry for not being specific. It was one order, they just cut it in half. It really is very VERY light(the dough), I honestly could've eaten at least two orders of them if that was all I was eating for a regular breakfast!

    2. Went down to Olio yesterday after reading about it hear and was very happily surprised....the best thing about the pizza is the crust...Finally, another place besides Antica and Mozza to enjoy an excellent,properly cooked crust...the "margherita plus" which features Disefano's burrata instead of fresh Mozz was unassailable...charred, bubbled thin crust and delicious only issue with Brad Kent's menu is that it is nearly devoid of meat..only a chicken sausage as a topping in addition to very fresh unusual veg toppings like butternut squash, chard, etc...he's a very friendly and extremely passionate chef/pizzaiolo and Olio is a very welcome addition to the LA pizza scene...Brad, please get some pork sauseeeege!

      6 Replies
      1. re: lapizzamaven

        I didn't really notice the lack of meat since I usually don't use much meat on my pizzas either. But it would be nice to have prosciutto as an option to put on the pizzas. Love how it gets crunchy in WFO's!

        1. re: baloney

          Ooh, lack of meat is a plus for me. I'm there. Thanks!

        2. re: lapizzamaven

          I went there last night and was impressed. My friends and I split the margherita plus (burrata), white pizza with brie, mushrooms, and caramelized onions, and sausage pizza. The sausage pizza was my least favorite. I'm just not a fan of chicken sausage. Brad mentioned that he's working on putting a clam pizza on the menu which makes me happy because I love clam pizza. I really enjoyed it, the crust holds up better than Mozza's (although I still love Mozza too), the middle part doesn't slump after you cut it. I read somewhere that Brad wanted to create a crust similar to a baguette and its lightness and he definitely achieved it. We ate at the counter so I'm not sure how it holds up in post transit. My favorite was the margherita plus (burrata)... the flavors were subtle and each bite was evenly coated with topping. I also recommend the fire roasted olives and brussel sprouts topped with almonds. What a great addition to the pizza scene in LA!

          1. re: tissue

            he was making italian sausage pies last time i was there and it was wonderful!

          2. re: lapizzamaven

            Was there last night and noticed Gioia burrata on the Margherita plus. And sadly, still no pork sausage anywhere on the menu (I ordered the chicken, and the flavor was too mild for my taste). But yes, great crust. However, I could have done without our humorless waiter with the greased-up pompadour.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Perhaps another reason to call it Olio?

          3. I've been a couple times. Service is iffy to start but the pizza really is pretty good. Not up to Mozza or Antica yet in terms of crust, but the Margherita with Burrata really is fantastic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sloanedone

              Hey sloanelance, the burrata margherita was good wasnt it? but those toppings choices...chard,butternut squash..cmon

              1. re: lapizzamaven

                sounds good to me

                but if it helps olio stay in business, i hope they put hawaiian and pepperoni pizzas on the menu.

            2. The bialy is wonderful. Easily the best bialy I've ever had. It doesn't feel like a completely functional restaurant yet, but the quality of the food is unusually high.

              7 Replies
              1. re: sushigirlie

                The layout of the restaurant was a little weird. If you are a party of 4 or more, forget it.

                Thought the pizza w/ chicken sausage was pretty good. Salad was good as well, but a little small. I really feel like there weren't enough choices for all items (pizza, salad, drinks...). Hopefully they are adding more to the menu.

                1. re: bsquared2

                  Ive seen them push tables together for parties of 6-8. Still not the most ideal.. but it worked.

                2. re: sushigirlie

                  @sushigirlie, have you ever had a fresh bialy from a bakery on the LES of NYC? i'm just trying to get a sense of your basis for comparison - "best i've ever had" is a big claim ;)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Wonder if those bialys had salt. Pretty sure Olio uses salt in its pizzas.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      It's OK to eat salt but you just have to sweat it out. I think what's wrong with Americans is they eat a lot of salt and fat and then don't exercise. If you get the salt out of your system it's not toxic right away. The same is true for saturated fat.

                      1. re: sushigirlie

                        you replied before i could edit my brain is fried, i meant the LES, not BK :) and i was thinking specifically of Kossar's bialys - i grew up on them, and to me, they're the ultimate.

                        anyway, i have to live vicariously through all of you since i can't eat gluten anymore. in fact, the last time i intentionally "glutened" myself was a couple of years ago, to indulge in about one-third of a Kossar's bialy topped with nova from Zabar's! as delicious as it was, the following 3 days of physical misery negated the enjoyment.

                        have an extra bialy for me next time!

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I've never been to Brooklyn, only to Manhattan. This bialy wasn't like the bialies I'm familiar with -- that is, dense and chewy. Rather, it was crisp on the outside and ethereal inside. It also had a pleasant hint of wood flavor. My hunch is that you'll think it's something different from what you're used to, but don't discount the possibility that it could be better!

                  2. We picked up 2 pizzas and a salad from Olio tonight and it was a big disappointment, especially after reading the positive reviews here. Perhaps, it's better in-house, though the staff did not seem too organized.

                    The House Salad was so small and basically just some lettuce, a mini handful of chopped pecans and like 5 tiny pieces of roasted apple. It was missing the gorgonzola cheese it advertised -- and the menu listed pine nuts not pecans.

                    We had the Margherita with Burrata and Chicken Sausage with Braised Swiss Chard. The crust was so thin, burnt and soggy on both pizza's. The crust was a little better on the Chicken Sausage (after heating in the oven) - but there were bones & cartilage in the sausage!!!

                    And for $37 we felt totally ripped off. My husband said he was still hungry after eating both pizza's and the tiny salad. When we order 2 pizza's at Mozza we have trouble finishing them.

                    Speaking of Mozza, I don't get the comparison, it does not even come close.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Obessed

                      Well, it definitely doesnt come close but honestly, i wouldnt expect any wood fired oven pie not to be nearly worthless by the time you get it home...needs to be eaten after it comes outta da oven! that said, i hated the arugala and chard on that pie...chicken sausage did little for me to...but i loved the crust...ok, really,really liked the crust...go figure.

                      1. re: lapizzamaven

                        I've had both delivery and take-out from Mozza a bunch of times and it's still delicious. No soggy crust...and Mozza is a further drive from me.

                        The combos at Olio were a little strange; I didn't mind the swiss chard as much as you, but agree with the arugula.

                        1. re: Obessed

                          I think Mozza travels better. Antica, too. Had a couple pies there, one take out and it was already dying when I got it home.