Review: Pitfire Pizza, Costa Mesa, CA
I've been on a diet since early January, so I've not been eating much pizza. I am very pleased to report that I reached my first goal on my diet. I am going to maintain here for a bit and then go down a final ten pounds to my fighting weight. Part of my regime to get to this point has been skipping lunch, so I had my lunch spot all picked out for my first day in "maintenance mode": Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa (right near Newport Beach). This was opened up a few months ago in what used to be a Marie Callender's restaurant. They still serve pie, but of a different variety now.
Pitfire is a "mini-chain", currently at seven locations. All of them are in greater Los Angeles except the Costa Mesa location, which is in Orange County to the south of LA. They did a nice job of converting the Marie Callender's space. It really is funky with lots of plywood surfaces. It gives off a kind of counter-culture feel I guess. You line up and order your pizza, salad, and drinks at the counter; they give you a number which you are supposed to display on your table so they can deliver your pizza when it's ready.
They are cooking the pizzas on a Woodstone oven. I looked at it and it was HUGE. Probably it can hold a dozen or more pizzas at a time. There's a big open gas flame in the back of the oven. I read on their website that they bake the pizzas at about 620F, so it's not that much hotter than your average home oven. I'm not sure how long it takes to bake a pizza but I am guessing around five minutes or so.
So how was the pizza? In a word, delicious. I ordered the the Burrata Pie for $9.95, which has burrata cheese, tomato sauce, wild arugula, caramelized onion, hazelnut, and pesto. I know, it sounds like a bit of a mess, but it was really delicious. I attach a photo for your inspection. The crust is thin, with a good sized edge, that is puffy and bready. The edge of the crust really tastes like freshly baked bread. The bottom was quite brown, as was the edge of the crust. I suspect they have a bit of sugar in the dough to promote browning. I would say that the only possible "defect" on this pie was that the crust was probably over-browned a bit. But the flavor of the pizza as really good so I don't want to be too picky. The arugula was very fresh and had a nice dressing on it.
I'll be headed back here soon to try out some of the other pizza flavors. They have some pretty good looking other pies that I'd like to try (in moderation, of course!)