Pizza is a staple of the American diet. Chain pizza places bombard us with ads on a daily basis on TV, on the radio and even in newspaper coupons. Chain pizza stores have a lock on the pizza market. The problem is that most of the chain pizzas don’t taste very good.
Pizza is so popular that celebrity chefs make frozen pizza with non-traditional ingredients and stores like Trader Joe’s sell bake-your-self pizza in a variety of styles and flavors. Again, frozen pizza lacks taste.
When a family opens up a stand-alone pizza enterprise, we need to applaud them. When the pizza is one of the best in the area, we need to support them.
When Isssac Khoury was growing up in the San Fernando Valley, the fast food bug bit him early. He started at a Del Taco and quickly moved to In N Out, staying a few years to really learn the business. After a few ice cream businesses he decided he missed the cooking element of serving people.
Frankly the first thing about Brick Oven that hits you when you open the door is the aroma. It’s like an old-fashioned pizza place with a thick garlicky tang in the air.
Brick Oven is small with perhaps a dozen tables. It’s comfortable and friendly. At each of the tables, there are individual TVs so you can watch a favorite show while having lunch or dinner. There’s also a large TV monitor tuned sports channels.
The dough and sauce are hand made on the premises. Special flour is used to make the dough, which is made fresh and mixed in the small kitchen. Rather than toss it like in olden times, the ball of dough is placed in a press kind of machine. A ball of fresh dough is placed in the machine, and in about 30 seconds a round thin pizza crust is made. When baked, it’s not doughy but has a slightly sweet taste off setting the savory flavor of the sauce and pizza. A wood pizza paddle shoves the pizza into the back of the real brick oven.
Sampling the pizza I was really surprised. The sauce is zesty (and made on the premises) without any artificial flavors found in big box pizza. Each pizza is made with tender loving care.
The menu is not large, but offers a variety of salads, sandwiches and headlined by the pizza. The prices are amazing! About $11 for a large single topping. The pie is enough for two or three people. A larger size is coming soon. As school in the area has started, look for specials like a $5 pizza. A new menu is around the corner.
Gluten free has become popular so you can order your pizza with gluten free dough. And they offer a vegan cheese to top your pizza. Need to try these on my next visit.
A unique cold cut sandwich, the Italiano is very good. Piled high with a variety of Italian meats and Canadian bacon (replacing the ham) is baked with provolone. A house made aioli gives the sandwich a unique flavor which has a touch of sweet. It’s nice.
Some of the pricing seems to be unusual. A sandwich for $4.39 stands out. Isssac says he wants to be fair and doesn’t want to charge even a dime more than he has too.
The menu is changing, the dining area has been upgraded and the oven has been decorated with new colors. The place is doing so well, that a second unit is in the works.
Talking with Isssac, he puts in 12 hour plus days six days a week. He works many of those days with his wife, who works side by side, taking orders, baking pizzas and making salads. They both love what they do, making pizza.
Brick Oven is a winner. Simple tasty food at a very reasonable price is what this place is all about.