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800 Degrees - Disappointing

t
Thor123 Sep 24, 2012 09:55 AM

Finally made it to 800 Degrees. The set up and presentation is interesting, but I found the pizza soggy and weak. The cheese and topping fell off the pizza when picked up. Price is fair, but the pizza is not impressive. Too bad.

  1. wienermobile Sep 24, 2012 09:58 AM

    Next time ask for it crispy and they are happy to do so. I've also found that anymore than 3 toping can be a bit much for their crust.

    1. westsidegal Sep 24, 2012 11:25 AM

      i'd imagine that you'd have the same problem with any neapolitan pie.
      the crust at 800 degrees, like that at every neapolitan place , is intentionally very thin (per the criteria set out by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana).
      also, since they are required by the same criteria to use fresh cheese (i.e the low moisture, part-skim, rubber-cement-like commercial stuff is forbidden), the middle of the pie is SUPPOSED be soft.

      also, this type of pizza is not designed to have a lot of toppings.

      if you still have an interest in pursuing this, i second what wienermobile suggested and would advise you to ask for a crispy crust. it still won't be crispy in the middle, but it will be crispier around the periphery.

      btw, here is a link to the pizza-eating footage of Bourdain in Naples ITALY to give you an idea of how soft the center is SUPPOSED to be for this style of pie:
      Pizza footage starts around 0:30. Wet center footage at 0:48.

      http://www.travelchannel.com/video/re...

      13 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal
        t
        Thor123 Sep 24, 2012 02:13 PM

        Actually, I dont. For example this was much soggier than Sotto or Gjlina.

        1. re: Thor123
          westsidegal Sep 24, 2012 04:04 PM

          i do not consider Gjelina a neapolitan pie.
          to me, it's a thin crust california pie.
          not saying that i don't like it, though.
          just a different animal.

          have never been to sotto.

          1. re: westsidegal
            Porthos Sep 24, 2012 04:06 PM

            WSG. Go to Sotto. It's excellent...even if it is east of the 405.

            1. re: Porthos
              westsidegal Sep 24, 2012 04:19 PM

              based on your recommendation, i will do it .

              1. re: westsidegal
                t
                Thor123 Mar 25, 2013 01:03 PM

                Did you go to Sotto?

                1. re: Thor123
                  westsidegal Mar 25, 2013 04:38 PM

                  yes and wrote about their great margherita

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    t
                    Thor123 Mar 26, 2013 10:02 AM

                    Do you consider that pizza neapolitan?

              2. re: Porthos
                d
                Dirtywextraolives Sep 24, 2012 05:10 PM

                Like by about a few blocks ;-)

              3. re: westsidegal
                t
                Thor123 Sep 25, 2012 03:47 PM

                For what its worth:

                "The cuisine is what most would probably categorize as “New American,” which loosely translates to “has pork chop,” but two of our favorite things at Gjelina are a Neapolitan style pizza and gnocchi dish. " Immaculate Infatuation Restaurant Reviews.

                "The food is typically new american but since we came off hour, we got the Neapolitan pizza menu. We ordered one lamb sausage and one proscuitto. Pizzas were delicious, fresh ingredients..." Urban Spoon

                1. re: Thor123
                  Porthos Sep 25, 2012 03:57 PM

                  I think the distinction is that Gjelina is Neapolitan-"style" vs Sotto which is more traditional Neapolitan.

                  I like them both.

                  1. re: Thor123
                    c
                    cacio e pepe Sep 26, 2012 12:50 PM

                    Gjelina's pizzas are not even what I'd consider Neapolitan-"style." Gjelina thinks they are, but Gjelina is just wrong on that count. I think they're tasty items, though.

                    1. re: cacio e pepe
                      westsidegal Sep 26, 2012 01:19 PM

                      +1, cacio e pepe
                      they are simply thin-crust california pizzas.
                      they are NOT neapolitan pies.

                  2. re: westsidegal
                    l
                    lapizzamaven Sep 27, 2012 08:57 PM

                    Yes, westside gal..get thee to Sotto...we await your thoughts...Ive loved it...especially the pizzas which i think are probably the best Neapolitan style in the area.

              4. echoparkdirt Sep 24, 2012 06:28 PM

                you're being much too generous, westsidegal!

                5 Replies
                1. re: echoparkdirt
                  westsidegal Sep 24, 2012 08:53 PM

                  this is a first!
                  echoparkdirt, i don't think anyone has ever said that to me before!

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    t
                    Thor123 Sep 25, 2012 11:18 AM

                    If you eat pork, get the pork cheek pizza. Its fantastic, as is the fennel crusted pork chop.

                    1. re: Thor123
                      westsidegal Sep 25, 2012 11:39 AM

                      since i no longer eat meat, if i go there with my pork-loving friend, i will recommend it to him.

                      1. re: westsidegal
                        Porthos Sep 25, 2012 09:50 PM

                        You're in luck. Two of the best items are meatless: the simple and pure margherita pizza and the spicy squid ink pasta.

                        1. re: Porthos
                          westsidegal Sep 26, 2012 08:42 AM

                          "spicy pasta"
                          that's all you needed to tell me.
                          i'm committed to the dish already.
                          the next time i'm jonesing for carbs, i'll get there.

                2. d
                  Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 01:27 PM

                  UPDATE: looks like this CH favorite is about to become a mega chain.... Wondering if the concept will suffer or thrive.... Thoughts?

                  http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/10/...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                    c
                    cacio e pepe Oct 13, 2012 01:53 PM

                    I think we all saw this coming since 800 Degrees is part of the rapidly growing Umami empire. Frankly, as soon as I set foot in the joint I thought about how replicable the concept was. It just goes to show that fast food can be good food. I see this working out very well.

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 03:25 PM

                      as long as the one in westwood continues doing what they are doing, i'll be a happy camper.

                      1. re: westsidegal
                        wienermobile Oct 13, 2012 03:30 PM

                        8 new stores coming including the OC and Las Vegas.

                    2. p
                      pnutbuddah Mar 18, 2013 11:38 PM

                      First visit tonight and VERY disappointing. Perhaps I adulterated the virtures of the Margharita by adding mushrooms and carmelized onions, but the combination virtually had no taste. The Tartufo was OK, but the Six on PIco has a much better version. The Ceasar was meh. Perhaps I ordered wrong, but this was basic stuff and was really underwhelming.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: pnutbuddah
                        n
                        ns1 Mar 18, 2013 11:55 PM

                        funny i went for the first time yesterday and had the exact opposite experience.

                        got the margherita straight up. best 6.75 ever. soggy in the middle just the way Porthos likes it lol

                        1. re: ns1
                          westsidegal Mar 19, 2013 01:46 AM

                          my guesses about pnutbuddah's experience are:

                          1) a neapolitan pie, which is already supple in the middle because of the moisture of the fresh cheese, is a poor vehicle to take on any more moisture-laden ingredients such as mushrooms and onions. if i were god, 800 degrees wouldn't even offer half of the toppings they do. certainly all the "wet" ones, like grilled onions would not be made available.
                          fwiw, even in other types of restaurants, such as hamburger places, i normally find grilled onions to be more stewed than grilled, and they are rarely any good.

                          for the type of pie that is served at 800 degrees, the fewer toppings the better. the margherita, imho, is the best. on occasion i'll have a "dry" topping like sun dried tomatos or anchovies.

                          2) i've never been impressed with the desserts offered at 800 degrees.

                          3) this is just speculation, but i have an suspicion that pnutbuddah is comparing the $6.75 pie hot from the oven at 800 degrees with a $13 pie that s/he gets somewhere else.
                          if this is the case, it's an extremely unfair comparison.

                          a more correct comparison would be to a couple of slices, the kind made with commercial low-moisture/ low-fat rubbery cheese, bought by the slice and reheated at some other pizzeria.
                          those, at least, would be in the same price category even though they have scant relationship to any sort of neapolitan pie made with imported flour and fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, they would, at least be comparable in price.

                          1. re: westsidegal
                            s
                            silence9 Mar 19, 2013 10:54 AM

                            Strongly agree with WSG on all counts... Personally, it would never occur to me to order anything but the simplest pie at 800 degrees. I'm not there for any favorite add-on (whether pedestrian or esoteric), or salads, or desserts.

                            I just want a margherita that I can polish off right there/on-the spot, without the need for a box/leftovers to smell up my 68 Mustang. I can devour a Margherita there and not feel physically or psychologically bloated, for well under $10. Took me a couple of visits to realize that this was my goal.

                            Eat it. Eat it there. Leave no trace. Move on. David Carradine Kung-Fu stylee...

                            1. re: silence9
                              n
                              ns1 Mar 19, 2013 11:00 AM

                              I went in with this mindset and was not disappointed. I could seriously eat the margherita for days, and at 6.75 a pop I can actually afford to.

                            2. re: westsidegal
                              Ciao Bob Mar 19, 2013 11:04 AM

                              <<if i were god>>
                              You are not?

                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                westsidegal Mar 19, 2013 01:04 PM

                                you'll know when i become god(ess) when 800 degrees no longer offers onions and mushrooms as toppings. :-)

                        2. t
                          Thor123 Mar 23, 2013 01:11 PM

                          After 6 month tried it again. This time, I stuck with the marg and ordered it a bit more done as recommended. Same result. Cheese slid off and the pizza IMO was nothing special.

                          23 Replies
                          1. re: Thor123
                            westsidegal Mar 23, 2013 03:16 PM

                            oh well.
                            i appreciate that you gave them a second try.
                            thanks

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              t
                              Thor123 Mar 23, 2013 04:16 PM

                              They are doing a good business, and the ingredients seem to be high quality for the price. Just wish the pizza didnt fall apart.

                              1. re: Thor123
                                westsidegal Mar 23, 2013 06:52 PM

                                it would have made my day if you, personally, had liked it, but still very appreciative of your effort to give it a fair chance.

                                1. re: westsidegal
                                  m
                                  MrF Mar 23, 2013 08:54 PM

                                  two things just for the record:

                                  1) I have never had a problem with the cheese, etc. falling off. I generally pick it up and fold it in half, NY pizza style

                                  2) This type of pizza is traditionally eaten with a knife and fork....primarily because melted, fresh mozz will tend to pull of in chunks. If you got to Italy, the only people not using a knife and fork to eat pizza are the tourists.

                                  Picking up the slice works great for american style pizza.....but doesn't work as well for the traditional Italian style.

                                  1. re: MrF
                                    Porthos Mar 23, 2013 09:31 PM

                                    I think slowly but surely people are starting to understand this with regards to Neapolitan style pizza.

                                    Glad to see I'm not the only one citing chapter and verse these days :)

                                    1. re: Porthos
                                      westsidegal Mar 24, 2013 12:17 AM

                                      i've even stolen your link to the anthony bourdin clip of him eating neapolitan pie in naples.
                                      hope you don't mind.

                                      1. re: westsidegal
                                        Porthos Mar 24, 2013 01:09 AM

                                        Not at all! I think it really helps clarify things. :)

                                      2. re: Porthos
                                        b
                                        bulavinaka Mar 24, 2013 08:55 AM

                                        Just an observation on my part, but I think the Neopolitan pizza-by-fork/knife might be a default related to etiquette in the Italian culture. Not that Italians never eat directly out of hand, but I've observed a general aversion of "hand-to-mouth."

                                        My first and strongest impression of this was decades ago. A friend who dated and ultimately married a young woman from Italy was scolded by her for consuming a banana with his hand. She promptly brought out a plate, fork and knife, placed the banana on the plate in front of him and motioned for him to proceed.

                                        Conjecture on my part, but I would think it's not a stretch to extrapolate this type of etiquette to eating to a pie with utensils by default. Picking it up and eating it by hand not only is impractical but considered rude as well.

                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                          westsidegal Mar 24, 2013 09:34 AM

                                          etiquette or not,
                                          if you carefully look at the nature of the item bourdain was eating, and the way he had to go about eating it even using a fork and knife. . . .

                                          1. re: westsidegal
                                            b
                                            bulavinaka Mar 24, 2013 10:08 AM

                                            I don't know of the link and I don't doubt your reference to Bourdain's eating circumstance, but I have to think both drive each other. The dish was conceived in a way where it is impractical to eat by hand, but eating with fork and knife was probably de facto anyway.

                                          2. re: bulavinaka
                                            Porthos Mar 24, 2013 10:03 AM

                                            Take a look at this link. It goes through the ways you can eat Neapolitan style pizza. Hands are permitted, you just have to use the proper technique.

                                            Please feel free to save this link and pass it on also. :)

                                            http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeat...

                                            1. re: Porthos
                                              n
                                              ns1 Mar 24, 2013 10:09 AM

                                              I've been "educating" the SO, but we've come to the conclusion that proper neopolitan pie is not her thing.

                                              1. re: ns1
                                                Porthos Mar 24, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                I don't think everyone has to like it. As long as people don't complain it's raw or not made properly!

                                                It's like complaining that traditional edomae sushi doesn't have enough ponzu sauce on it or enough toppings on it because someone is used to eating Nozawa style sushi and using that as their standard.

                                                It's sad when someone tries to put out an authentic product and is criticized because it's too authentic. Lombardi's in NYC is now a soulless substandard pizza because the crust no longer comes out blistered and charred due to tourists complaining about the "burnt" crust.

                                            2. re: bulavinaka
                                              j
                                              jdwdeville Mar 26, 2013 08:43 PM

                                              don't know if I can fully get behind that statement, bulavinaka- in Rome you see everyone eat the pizza bianca out of hand in the piazza, and last time I was in Alba (which shuts down quite early) you know what is still open by the crowd of young people outside the door eating farinata pies by hand...

                                              1. re: jdwdeville
                                                b
                                                bulavinaka Mar 26, 2013 10:03 PM

                                                I need to inform my friend's wife - she's got her work cut out for her back in the old country... ;-)

                                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                                  j
                                                  jdwdeville Mar 27, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                  I mean, if I had to use a knife and fork every time I wanted to eat a banana, well, I wouldn't eat many bananas!

                                                  But I do think several of the foundation arguments used by 800 Degrees' detractors would fall by the wayside if they took up the knife and fork to attack their pie. FWIW I tried it for the first time last week and loved it!

                                                  1. re: jdwdeville
                                                    t
                                                    Thor123 Mar 27, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                    By the way, I never said a neapolitan pies should not be wet in the center. Just dont think the toppings should slide off the top like a double black diamond ski slope. Sotto IMO does it right, albeit at a higher price point.

                                                2. re: jdwdeville
                                                  Porthos Mar 26, 2013 10:11 PM

                                                  That has been my experience in Rome also.

                                                  Also, the link I provided above clearly states eating with hands is acceptable in Naples also.

                                              2. re: Porthos
                                                trolley Mar 25, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                i once complained of a certain pizza from a restaurant in Boulder, Co being too soggy in the middle on the snoozer board, Mountain States and boy was i schooled rather quickly! probably one of the slowest boards on chowhound which is surprising bc Denver area has some great food. but yeah neapolitan= soggy in the middle.

                                                1. re: trolley
                                                  Porthos Mar 25, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                  Don't worry. Been talking about it here on the LA boards for 3-4 years now.

                                                  At least the Mountain States board's got it ;)

                                                  1. re: Porthos
                                                    trolley Mar 25, 2013 10:40 PM

                                                    it may be one of the slowest boards here but once you get some issue wrong (like thinking neapolitan shouldn't be wet in the center) they're onto you very quickly. i've yet to try 800 degrees before i leave the LA board in a few months for the slow Mountain States board :(

                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                      Porthos Mar 26, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                      Try Sotto first before you head back! I think one of the finest examples we have of soggy middle pizza ;)

                                                      The lamb pasta is also delicious.

                                                      1. re: Porthos
                                                        trolley Mar 26, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                        well, it's not that i'm heading back. i've always been here but now making a big move over to colorado. i'm planning on taking a memory lane trip of restaurants along with places i haven't been to like sotto and gjelina. i'm moving to a place that has a pizza place called Locale and people say it's very authentic neapolitan. i'll miss this old place tho :(

                                    2. w
                                      whiner Mar 25, 2013 07:39 AM

                                      FWIW: I love 800 Degrees. My cheese sometimes stays in place, sometimes not so much. Also depends upon toppings. I love the quality of the food, love the price, love the taste, love the fact that it is open until 2am when I've forgotten to eat dinner. Big fan.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: whiner
                                        westsidegal Mar 25, 2013 12:41 PM

                                        ditto everything whiner says AND want to add that i love the fact that they are continuously open between lunch and dinner serving their FULL menu and that free parking is available at the broxton parking lot nearby.

                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                          Servorg Mar 25, 2013 01:46 PM

                                          "...i love the fact that they are continuously open between lunch and dinner serving their FULL menu..."

                                          I do think that's not saying much in their case.

                                          1. re: Servorg
                                            ipsedixit Mar 25, 2013 02:55 PM

                                            I love the fact that In N Out serves their full menu, continuously. Period.

                                            :-)

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              westsidegal Mar 25, 2013 04:38 PM

                                              that's because you don't like their food as much as i do.

                                              i'm not a fan of the abbreviated menus that some places (gjelina i'm looking at you) serve between lunch and dinner and after 10pm.

                                              and even though i understand the economics of it, as with the abbreviated menu, speaking purely as a customer i'm not a fan of having the restaurant closing between 2:30 and 5:30 as many do.

                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                Servorg Mar 26, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                I only say that it's not all that surprising or noteworthy that they serve their "full" menu from lunch through dinner because their full menu is on the abbreviated side in the first place.

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  westsidegal Mar 26, 2013 10:55 AM

                                                  ok

                                        2. p
                                          PDFierro Mar 26, 2013 01:10 PM

                                          I am very surprised to see ANY disappointment with this place. I go here all the time and it's great.

                                          I have tried pizza all over LA, but this place is the best for the cost/benefit ratio. It's good pizza, but don't try comparing it to places that have fewer customers and are more particular about their pizza.

                                          I would go as far to say its better than most of the sit-down pizza places you can find in LA. Most, but not all. And I love the concept.

                                          Just my 2 cents. It's good pizza.

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