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Sep 24, 2012 09:55 AM

800 Degrees - Disappointing

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.

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  1. 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. 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.

      13 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

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

        1. re: Thor123

          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

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

            1. re: Porthos

              based on your recommendation, i will do it .

                1. re: Thor123

                  yes and wrote about their great margherita

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Do you consider that pizza neapolitan?

              1. re: westsidegal

                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

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

                  I like them both.

                  1. re: Thor123

                    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

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

                  2. re: westsidegal

                    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.

              2. you're being much too generous, westsidegal!

                5 Replies
                1. re: echoparkdirt

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

                  1. re: westsidegal

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

                    1. re: Thor123

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

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        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

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


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    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

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

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        8 new stores coming including the OC and Las Vegas.

                    2. 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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

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