Never heard of them, but they landed in the old Pei Wei location on Foothill in East Pasadena, and bumped their opening considerably by pledging their first day's receipts to the Pasadena Humane Society. They even encouraged people to bring their dogs (outdoor patio seating only, of course). Mrs. O and I are active supporters of PHS, and always ready to check out new pizza places too, so we changed our supper plans and joined the considerable crowd.
How it works is this: there's an L-shaped service area with several people at each station. The first folks press your crust, either regular or gluten-free, and add a slip with your name on it to the board. The next station is for the sauce: red, white, BBQ or olive oil. Then you pick your cheese, then your toppings, of which all the usual and some not-so-usual are available. Your pizza then proceeds to the oven and is placed at the left side of the very wide shelf. As more pies are added yours rotates through, its time closely monitored to emerge when it should. It is then placed either on a platter or in a box, depending on whether you said stay or go, and then your name is called and you pay your $7.99 for a ten-inch pie (unless you asked for gluten-free dough, $2 extra, or vegan cheese for an added $1). There is also a fine array of extras and seasonings, from red pepper flakes and an herbal green sort of thin pesto to the almighty Sriracha, on a counter by the $1.99 soda dispenser.
We took ours home, where wine is available (though they've applied for their beer-wine license) and found the pizza to be well worth the money, if perhaps not the 45 minutes in line. The crust is crackly crisp, bubbled here and there, and has an excellent flavor. Mrs. O went almost strictly vegetarian with what was essentially a Margherita plus anchovies – she considers those to be a condiment, and therefore acceptable – and I went with olive oil and mozzarella, pepperoni, anchovies, sausage, mushrooms, onions, black olives and basil. Both were declared well worth eating; I put mine to the classic test by putting two slices in the fridge and having them for breakfast. They passed.
Besides the build-your own pies they offer eight "Our Way Pizzas" at $7.99, plus a one-cheese version for just $5.99. We saw several toddlers having the $5.99 Kids Meal, with a small cheese or pepperoni pizza, choice of applesauce or Oreos, and choice of milk, apple, or juice box.
This will not displace any of our other pizza favorites, but we're assuming that after the initial whoopdedoo it'll be a quick source for a good little pizza at about the price of a frozen one.
PizzaRev, 3455 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena. Eight other SoCal locations also listed, plus the usual social-media stuff.
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