a couple months ago while on a bike tour on my 5 year anniversary of living downtown, i was tooling around checking out places i hadn’t been before such as the bradbury building, angels flight, and the central library, but also taking in a lot of the street art that has become a prevalent movement here in los angeles. i stopped into angel city brewery for a beer and read an article in the downtown news about a new pizza place called pizzanista. since i was famished from biking around all day and it is located on the south end of the arts district near to where i was, i thought i’d check it out. on my short trip there, it took me past some of the most impressive murals i had seen yet, by the artist roa i recognized from the show ‘art in the streets’ that was just at the geffen contemporary at moca this past spring and summer.

also fitting is that the owner of pizzanista, salman agah, is an ex-pro skateboarder, which is often a scene linked to street art. the music playing is always a wide mix. the last time i was in it went from the yeah, yeah, yeahs ‘heads will roll’ to musical youth ‘pass the dutchie’ in one fell swoop. the interior is small, has only a few tables, and a handful of stools that you can belly up to at the front window. the menu is on a large chalkboard on a brick wall and the red padded chairs and the wood panelling reminds me of an old-timey pizza parlour.

i have been back a few times, and salman is always there. he’s always super friendly, saying hello like he remembers me, and even if he doesn’t, he genuinely makes me feel like he does. it’s my new favorite pizza place…hands down the best downtown, and dare i say in all of los angeles? there are a couple places that i like, such as two boots and damiano’s, that get that crispy yet chewy crust, but pizzanista takes it one step further and combines fresh (and as much as possible organic), delicious, and quality ingredients into some incredible tastes. for example, their latest special: pumpkin pizza with sage, shallots, ricotta and fresh arugula. i, for one, don’t think pizza is pizza unless it has two ingredients: cheese and tomatoes. i don’t get ‘white pizza’…never have, never will, so i was a bit hesitant to try the pumpkin pizza, but it sounded so wonderful i just had to.

the pumpkin sauce was a great substitute for tomato, and the rest of the flavors complimented everything so well, i forgot about the tomatoes…well almost.

this morning i was dreaming about ordering a pepperoni pizza from pizzanista just before i woke up. no lie. thankfully i slept in so it wasn’t too long before i could take off on my trusty steed and head over to my new local pizza joint for lunch, and make my dreams come true.

a slice of pepperoni and a slice of mushroom, onion and ground beef. oh and they have mexican coke!

pizzanista!  • 2019 e. 7th street  los angeles, ca  90021 • 213-627-1430 • closed mondays