Food Review: 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza

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A Verde pizza with chicken and sundried tomatoes. Photo: Courtesy.

By Kerry Slater 

Last week was National Cheese Pizza Day (September, 5) and while thousands of people across the nation celebrated this cheesy holiday, there are unfortunately many who missed this yummy occasion. Luckily for these unfortunate few finding a top-notch pizza in Los Angeles is not a difficult task, with places like Mozza, Eatly and Milo & Olive. Finding a world class pizza in Los Angeles for a reasonable price, however, is not as simple a task. 800 Degrees, with two locations on the Westside, fills this niche by offering a high-quality Neapolitan style pizza at a price that may make you gawk for a second.

Last week, on September 5th, the nation celebrated National Cheese Pizza Day. Luckily, for those who happened to miss this esteemed holiday, finding a top-notch pizza in Los Angeles is not a difficult task, with places like Mozza, Eatly and  Milo & Olive. Finding a world class pizza in Los Angeles for a reasonable price, however, is not as simple a task. 800 Degrees, with two locations on the Westside, fills this niche by offering a high-quality Neapolitan style pizza at a price that may make you gawk for a second.

800 Degrees gets its name from the 800-degree Fahrenheit woodburning oven the pizzas are cooked in.  Every single weekday, the two 800 Degrees locations on the Westside (Westwood Village, Downtown Santa Monica) offer an Instagram Pizza of the Day that costs only $6.99…for the whole pie. Each day the restaurant posts a photo and description of the Pizza of the Day to the Instagram page @800degreesla. Rarely do they repeat toppings combinations and frequently will feature vegetarian pizzas for the Pizza of the Day.

Quality

800 Degrees is not quite on the same level as Mozza and Milo & Olive, but nonetheless, the pizza can only be described as high-quality.  The crust is kneaded and toppings are added seconds before the pizza goes into the oven. Because the oven is so hot, the pizza only takes a few minutes to cook and the result is often a pizza cooked to perfection. While certain Pizza of the Days are better than others, the crust is a constant. Thin, crisp yet still slightly soft on the inside, this Neopolitan style crust is good enough to eat alone. In fact, one of the weak links at 800 Degrees is that certain pizzas of the days have toppings that physically weigh down the crust, making the pie hard to eat without a knife and fork. 

Service

The service is hit or miss at 800 Degrees. There are times when your pizza will be ready within five minutes of walking in the door but when the restaurant gets crowded the line tends to back up and expect to wait up to thirty minutes to get your pizza. At the end of the day, however, the pizza always arrives piping hot and fresh out of the oven making it hard to complain.

Cost

The aforementioned Pizza of the Day, at only $6.99, is one of the better deals in Santa Monica. It will always leave you full, and often with leftovers as well. For times when the pizza of the day does not look appealing, the build-your-own pizzas at 800 Degrees can also be a good deal, depending on the number of toppings. A basic Margherita, Verde or Bianca pizza with one topping can be had for under $10. Tasty under $10 combinations include a Verde with sausage, a Margherita with prosciutto or a Bianca with artichoke.

Overall, the Pizza of the Day at 800 Degrees is one of the best deals on the Westside for high-quality pizza. That being said, on the weekends, when there is no Pizza of the Day, there are other places to get higher quality pizza for a similar price. This is also not a great place to eat with a large group of people because often pizzas will come out of the oven at different times. But if you a craving pizza on a weeknight, check out the Instagram page @800degreesla to see how tasty the Pizza of the Day looks like.

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