Team Sprinkles (Candace and Charles Nelson, the brains behind the cupcake dynasty) realized kids can not live on tiny cakes alone. They need pizza! Featuring Naples style pizzas coming out of wood-burning ovens, this beacon of bubbly crust and billowy cheese has families heading by the hoards to San Vicente Boulevard. So now visit Brentwood for a little veggies and vino (and pizza) before you sprinkle on the dessert.
First off, don’t go expecting cupcakes, they are merely legacy. But with the ooey-gooey, cheese dripping pizza and Sprinkles ice cream standing in for gelato, you won’t miss the cutie cakes. This is Daniele Uditi’s house, who grew up making pizza in Italy, and has acquired a legacy of his own since arriving stateside back in 2000. Daniele, Candace and Charles, along with partnering pals Caroline and Chris O’Donnell (yup, Batman’s Boy Wonder himself), are united by a common bond of pursuing perfection in the form of slow dough.
Why Are There So Many Slices about Rainbows?
Rainbow carrots. California artichokes and avocados. Expect all varietals of farmers market goodies to make a showing atop the San Marzano tomatoes and Fior di latte (it’s that Italian mozzarella that tastes better than pretty much anything). And the crust, well, that’s a religion unto itself.
Sating Both Your Plain Jane and Your Junior Giada
Except that it’s quite likely your Plain Jane has never gone Margherita like this. So simple, yet those dollops of fior di latte, fresh basil leaves (if she refuses to eat green, they’re all yours), San Marzano and Parmesan, the pizza bar, like the dough, has risen. And if they’re down with branching out beyond the holy grail of cheese and tomato, options abound to expand their adventurous palates. The Pesto is a gateway to Tuscany by the slice, and while the spicy pickled pineapple on the Hawaiana will have too much kick for most kid palates, adventurous eaters will devour the squash blossom pizza (Corbarina) and the specials are always well worth a taste.
Fear Not the Vegetable
Should you have in tow a young ‘un who deems anything green the arch-enemy, antipasti options may raise their miniature discerning brows. The Zucchine alla Scapece, served tempura style, has a crunch that will blow away their favorite French fry. And the Charred Artichoke, well, that’s just summer by the bite. Especially when generously dunked in the Lemon Citronette. And the Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, with toasted pistachios, apples, and a caramelized shallot dressing, is maybe the least scary way to introduce a love of that ever popular sprout. The wood fired seasonal vegetables are a little spicy for the kid crews, but polishing them should prove no problem on the parent front.
No Tummy Trouble Turned Away
That slow dough we mentioned? All those imported Italian flours followed by a full 48-hour fermentation process equates to incredibly light and easily digestible dough. Science is always best when it comes in edible form. But if you have a true allergy, not just a sensitive tum, any pizza can be prepared with GF crust. Just ask.
Where there is a pizza like this, there is inevitably vino. A few small Italian varietals, a few local producers, couple curated beer selections, too. Sparkling Pellegrino is on order, if the kids are feeling fancy.
And for Dessert
So, it’s true there are no cupcakes (they’re not very Italian). But Sprinkles ice cream is on the menu, as a superb stand-in for gelato. But you might not get around to ordering that, because: salted caramel panna cotta with pretzel crunch. Fudgey olive oil cake. Lastra di Napoletana. Rhubarb cornmeal cake (that one’s probably for the parents). Cupcakes, what?
Do They Take Reservations?
They do. And we recommend them. Because the only thing fussier than a hangry child is a hangry child who smells pizza like this, only to be made to wait.
In Close Pizza Proximity
But in case making that reservation didn’t quite make the to-do list, Jenny Bec’s toy store is right next door. Dinner, and a window shopping show, is served.
Traditional, Yet Mod
Traditional dough, cheese and tomatoes flown in from Italy. So old school. Yet with a modern twist: they are a cashless establishment. Just something to remember…
11712 San Vicente Blvd.
What’s your favorite pie in town? We’d love to hear about your tot’s best pizza in the comments.
—written and photographed by Jolie Loeb