In a city with the size of ours, and with the brilliant chefs churning out world class eats, there is never a reason to eat sub-standard food. But often we find ourselves munching sad, sorry slices that masquerade as pizza. Why? Kids aren’t always welcome at the fancy places where the wood ovens fire up your orders, and those prices make it less than kid friendly. Well, it’s time to turn up the quality. About 800 degrees. And at this location, there’s room to bring the kids and let them experience pizza as Italy intended. (And room in your wallet to bring the kids, and their friends!) Pie in the Sky, Pie by the Sea.
Anyone who has wrapped around the block in Westwood can attest. There’s pizza and there’s pizza worth enduring an hour wait in line. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria was worthy. Is worthy. Continues to be worthy. But that Westwood line…lines are kid kryptonite.
And So, Santa Monica.
Like you needed an 800th reason to head towards the sea, but this, this merits it. 800 Degrees new outpost at 2nd and Wilshire is a stone’s throw from 3rd Street Promenade plus a whole periscope of family friendly Westside whiles. Literally, you can be upstairs at Crewcuts not 10 minutes after finishing your last slice. Shopping to the east, sand and surf a block the other way: Now, smack between the two, 800 Degrees has rounded out the corner at 120 Wilshire. Location Nirvana. And wait till you bite into it.
And There’s Free Parking.
Who says there’s no free parking in Santa Monica? Uh, we would have, until this little unveiling. It’s unmarked and easy to miss so listen up. Enter from Wilshire on the alley between 2nd and Ocean, there’s free parking right above the restaurant in the parking structure, 90 minutes free with validation. All you have to do is eat a little pizza. Tough call.
Pizza Gets Personal
While the margherita is mozzarella and basil kid bliss, the whole add-on system here is magnificently family friendly. For a buck you can throw on a protein, a veggie, maybe a fancy cheese. At under a ten spot you can customize your pie of choice. And so can they, once they get on board with how good caramelized onions are (we recommend emphasizing the caramel part).
Immediate Gratification Friendly
The concept structure has us convinced that in addition to an undying allegiance to the Old World Naples based tradition; kids and families were also in the forefront here. No additives, no artificial anything, but an assembly line set-up featuring custom designed ovens (bottom burning at 800 degrees) so that your personal creation is piping hot and ready in under one minute, just giving your time to scout out a table. This is the well oiled machine that is not only definitive of the 800 Degrees concept, but a set-up that means that line around the block will move quickly, and table availability is guaranteed as your personal pie is pulled from the oven. Ah, yes. These are people who understand a child’s tolerance for waiting, and parent’s tolerance for whining. 800 thanks, right there.
Right on the money.
Ah, how something this good can still cost $5.85. Be still the collective beat of burrata loving hearts. Quality. How nice to see it buddying up with affordability.
800 Degrees of Inseparation
The paper thin and ever so slightly charred crust is the magical results of those almond wood stone hearth ovens. The fact that pizza made without any fat, sugar, or oil in the dough or the sauce makes you feel good about a piza-for-dinner night on a weekly basis. And you can add this one to the list of restaurants you can take the kids to, but might just as easily return on a date night without them. The quality is that good and the accessibility puts sacrificing fabulous for family something to wave at in the rear view mirror. Put those sad cardboard slices to rest, people. Because the domino effect has shifted about 800 Degrees.
Where is your favorite pizza joint – the place where you get the good stuff, when you have the kids with you?
Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb