Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Best Thing I Ate Today: Caioti Pizza's Roasted Beet Salad and Porcini Pizza

My dad's in town! And nothing makes me happier than a few days spent hanging with my poppa.

Ladies and gentlemen: Marty Perlmutter...

And the crowd goes wild!

We kicked off his LA sojourn with a trip to Runyon at sunset where I saw my first ever gopher that wasn't either animated or dramatic and on YouTube.

I probably blinded the poor thing when I took his picture, but I was just so excited to have a Wild America moment.

Next, Sunday dinner.

Both my father and I would be more than happy to live our entire lives eating nothing but carbohydrates. While my mother not only requires meat at every meal, earning a reputation for cracking chicken bones open with her teeth to suck the marrow, when Marty and I are left to our own devices, we're more than happy to feast on bread alone. That's why we headed straight for Caioti for pizza and garlic rolls.

In Studio City, on Tujunga, there's a quaint, charming one block village where amazing pizza awaits. As the sun dipped down, twinkling lights lit the street and the smell of crisping crust and roasting garlic drifted through the air, welcoming us.

Garlic rolls are hard to come by in LA. Known as "garlic knots" in New York, they're sold at almost every pizza parlor in the city, but, here in LA, Caioti and C & O Trattoria in Venice are two of the only places they're found. Makes sense in a town where being "camera-ready" is the major focus since they knots are baked rounds of dough (OMG, carbs!), tossed in oil (OMG, fat!), minced raw garlic (OMG, my breath!), salt and herbs like oregano. Back fat be damned, they are scrumdiddily.

I can't say no to a roasted beet either. The beets in Caioti's Roasted Beet Salad are still warm, served with spiced pecans, goat cheese and mixed greens tossed in a lightly creamy vinaigrette.

For the Porcini Pizza a sauce of pureed porcini mushrooms, with their meaty earthiness, replaces marinara on the wafer thin crust, that's then topped with arugula, roasted cloves of garlic, cheese and tomato. The only thing that might make it better, is a little truffle oil to really bring out the woodsiness. Then again, these days I'm so into truffle oil, I want it on everything from eggs to toast so I might just be jonseing for a fix.

Caioti Pizza Cafe
4346 Tujunga Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 761-3588

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