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No love for Clusi Batusi?

soniabegonia Mar 26, 2013 06:20 PM

Been there twice now and tried 3 of their pizzas: margherita, Clusi favorite & spicy meatball. I really like the crust--chewy but not overly so, and doesn't toughen up as it cools. They tend to oversauce their tomato-sauced pies, but that's not a major deterrent for me. It's cheap & fast, and a great alternative to all the mobbed Asian places in that block (actually, just that building). At prime time last night, we were sadly one of only 2 occupied tables... I think they deserve a bit more love.

  1. liu Mar 26, 2013 09:48 PM

    No love for Clusi Batusi from me.

    It was okay, but just okay. There's nothing special going on here; it's another pizza place. I expected some interesting toppings...was hoping for something Asian...but there is nothing there that draws me back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: liu
      soniabegonia Mar 27, 2013 09:38 AM

      i find it similar to 800 degrees but with fewer (and much more traditional) choices for toppings. why did you expect something Asian? it's not a fusion pizza place. maybe i'm just a purist but I generally find the likes of Thai BBQ pizza, Szechwan pizza & tandoori pizza strange and unappealing. gimme a neopolitan pie any day of the week, although Clusi isn't exactly neopolitan. But for those who find 800 degrees' soggy middle unappealing, Clusi might fit the bill. I, for one, don't mind the soggy middle. I like my neopolitan pizza the most authentic traditional way with minimal toppings with a super thin, almost see-thru crust. I also like milo & olive/mozza style, new york, chicago, standard "american" (eg Abbott's) for what they are, just for different reasons.

      1. re: soniabegonia
        liu Mar 27, 2013 04:46 PM

        Hi, soniabegonia!

        I did not "expect" something Asian; rather, I was hoping for something Asian -- or "different." There is a lot of good competition on Sawtelle and I was hoping for something that would call me back into Clusi. That just didn't happen for me.

    2. w
      WileysHungryAgain Mar 27, 2013 09:42 AM

      Ate there just yesterday. Had 2 pies myself. Sort of like the old saying about Martinis and women's breasts (no misogyny or objectification intended). One's not enough, and three's too many.

      Is it the best Neo. Pizza in town? Nope.
      Do I love it? Well, enough to keep me going back.

      I too worried about their business, as I was the only one the at 11:45am, but things got rolling shortly after that, so good for them.

      1. Servorg Mar 27, 2013 09:42 AM

        http://www.clusibatusi.com/

        1. o
          Ogawak Mar 27, 2013 03:56 PM

          I guess, if I'm making the trek to Sawtelle, I would try other places, like Tsujita, Plan Check, Seoul Sausage, even the Vietnamese place. Plus Bachi Burger is opening up sometime this Spring. With your recommendation, maybe I'll try it sometime.

          For me to try a new pizza place, it would have to be comparable to Milo & Olive, Mozza, Vitos or Settebello in Pasadena. Also Grimaldi's is coming to El Segundo. 800 degrees did not fit the bill for me plus their gelato sucked.

          1. i
            ilysla Apr 6, 2013 04:01 PM

            Finally tried it this afternoon. I enjoyed it. I had the Clusi Favorite and thought it was simply but satisfying. Also enjoyed the crust. I think I actually like the crust at Clusi Batusi better than 800 deg but the toppings at 800 deg are more interesting to me.For a final verdict, I'll have to try both in rapid succession.... ;)

            1. J.L. Apr 6, 2013 04:35 PM

              They're quite good. Better than Slicetruck just up the street.

              1. J.L. Apr 9, 2013 01:27 PM

                Just had takeout from them last night (last time I ate there was 2 months ago) - They're really stepping up the quality. Everything was very good to excellent. The food tastes fresh, with that indescribable Italian "love" built into each dish.

                It's not just pizzas & salads - They now offer (very well-prepared) pasta specials every now and then as well.

                On my regular rotation now.

                1 Reply
                1. re: J.L.
                  J.L. Aug 30, 2013 07:00 PM

                  Almost 5 months later, I find myself at Clusi Batusi for either dine-in or takeout almost once every week now. The puttanesca is superb. The pork chop is fantastic, and the tiramisu (which usually sells out) is probably the best on the Westside currently.

                  Chef Michele is quietly earning himself a cult following on Sawtelle.

                2. b
                  BrewNChow Apr 9, 2013 01:42 PM

                  Haha Sonia Begonia loves Clusi Batusi, sounds like a match made in heaven!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BrewNChow
                    Tripeler Nov 16, 2013 01:49 AM

                    I wonder if they are both friends with Shirley Q. Liquor?

                  2. soniabegonia Aug 30, 2013 03:08 PM

                    Clusi Batusi is now in my regular rotation and business seems to be picking up, so good for them. As much as I like their pies, I've been tempted by the pasta dishes on my last 3 visits. The pasta menu is limited to 4-5 very simple preparations (off the top of my head, pomodoro, arrabiatta, carbonara, puttanesca, ham & peas.. some of these are on the permanent menu, others on the specials) but consistently executed very well. The pasta (spaghettini is the only option, which is just grand, since that is my favorite anyway) is always perfectly al dente (but not raw & crunchy in the middle as some would have you believe is the proper al dente preparation). The care that goes into the preparation is apparent in the quality and presentation. Next time I'm craving a pasta with a robust red sauce, I'll be going for their puttanesca. For something less hearty but just as satisfying - carbonara or ham & peas. I'm liking this place more & more.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: soniabegonia
                      soniabegonia Aug 30, 2013 03:13 PM

                      Oh, and they always have San Pellegrino Pompelmo in their drink case. I get it every time. Love.

                      1. re: soniabegonia
                        i
                        ilysla Aug 30, 2013 11:00 PM

                        They actually seemed comfortably crowded when I walked by it tonight. Only went there once, but I thought it was pretty good for a neighborhood joint....

                    2. e
                      eatsfood Sep 1, 2013 10:35 PM

                      I have tried it a few times; I don't dislike the food, but I feel like portion size is small for me.

                      I am a big eater, so I this is probably not really fair, but I always mentally compare this to 800 degrees, where the pizzas are enough larger that I usually feel satisfied eating one, or Tsujita, where I will always order a large.

                      Unfortunately, at Clusi, I probably need to order 2 things to not be slightly hungry after my meal.

                      I realize this is irrational because 2 pizzas at Clusi is comparable pricewise to a large at Tsujita, but it's my gut reaction.

                      It was particularly disappointing when I tried the carbonara; I'd hoped the egg would help it be more satisfying but it was still too small, and the carbonara price is more in line with the price of a regular at Tsujita; I wish I could get a large for $2 more.

                      It's possible I'm missing something here, but I've been 3 times and each time I've had this feeling.

                      1. J.L. Nov 16, 2013 12:34 AM

                        A picture is worth a thousand words. Chef Michele is killing it again and again with his splendid pastas this month. (Pictures are from my takeout box.)

                        (Picture 1: Squid ink tagliolini with calamari, serrano chilies & mint, and Picture 2: Gnocchi with Tuscan ragu)

                         
                         
                        2 Replies
                        1. re: J.L.
                          soniabegonia Nov 16, 2013 09:53 AM

                          I must try that gnocchi. Is that for dinner only? Pasta options at lunch seem more limited.

                          1. re: soniabegonia
                            J.L. Nov 16, 2013 11:53 AM

                            I think it's only a dinner item, but I'd call them to ask anyways. And yes, that gnocchi is spectacular.

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