10889 Lindbrook Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
By MICHAEL AUSHENKER | Contributing Writer
Value, quantity and quality converge at the 800 Degrees in Westwood, located in the heart of UCLA’s bustling commercial district.
Woodfired pizza—while not the same species of pie as New York slice pizza or a Chicago deep dish or even other types of California gourmet pie—can be a wholly terrific, comfort-food experience, especially as a feeder of families.
At 800 Degrees in Westwood, both students and young families alike intermingle and enjoy the expansive, bucolic setting that is warm and inviting in the midst of Westwood Village. Equally expansive: the portions one gets with every inexpensive order. Nobody leaves this restaurant hungry.
What many Palisades foodies might not realize is that there’s more than just build-it-yourself pizza at 800 Degrees, where the kitchen offers a lengthy roster of delicious edibles. With appetizers ranging from Creamy Hummus to Woodfired Wings, we opted for Meatballs, a tasty hot treat that serves grass-fed beef topped with ricotta and doused in tomato and pecorino with a slice of grilled bread.
From the salads and bowls, we opted for Rotisserie Chicken Cobb, a bountiful bowl of local greens and cherry tomatoes topped with roasted corn, smoky bacon, hard-boiled egg, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and avocado, gorgeously drizzled with house-made ranch dressing; and the 800 Degrees Kale + Quinoa bowl, which foundation is a quinoa tabbouleh grain and thick wads of kale, topped with cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumber, garbanzos, tahini dressing and practically an entire avocado.
The sandwiches category offers a lot to unpack. If a Meatball Parm, employing those delicious grass-fed meatballs and cheesy garlic bread, isn’t what you’re leaning toward, you can’t go wrong with Wagyu French Dip, a sizable, delectable roll of oven-roasted beef topped with caramelized onions, arugula and horseradish cream, pressed between ciabatta rolls that, with the accompanying au jus saucer, may be the best item on the menu that isn’t pizza.
Also taste-worthy: Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt, which marries rotisserie chicken with bacon on cheesy garlic bread and includes peppadew, arugula and herb ranch dressing.
Of course, a trip to 800 Degrees is not complete without one of its 12-inch pizza pies. Foregoing the assembly pizza, we went for one of their specialty pizzas, which offers you the pleasure of not having to think too hard about what you want on your pizza.
An outstanding specialty pizza here is Sausage & Peppers, a pie topped with peppadew peppers, caramelized onions and Molinari sausage. Rivaling that, The Tropicale, a mouthwatering Margherita pizza covered in slices of ham and roasted Hawaiian pineapple that is basically your Hawaiian- and Canadian-style pies all in one.
The Carni serves you pie topped with Molinari, pepperoni and rosemary ham. Perhaps the only disappointment for me was Quattro Formaggi, a four-cheese delight of white pizza with Mozzarella, smoked Provolone, gorgonzola and fontina that comes finished with wildflower honey. The Quattro Formaggi without the honey would be my favorite pie in the house.
Desserts are remarkably nimble and house-made: Marmalade Café in Santa Monica bakes the bulk of the desserts, which includes a scrumptious personal Apple Pie, except for the cookies, which are made at 800 from scratch. (Note: only cold brew coffee is served here.)
Homey and inviting, who knew it would take a village (as in Westwood Village) to find this top-notch comfort-food haven?