Kid Hit Menu Items: Pizzas, fresh juices (the cucumber lemonade still gets talked about a lot in our household), big list of side dishes. Straus soft serve!
Adult Perks: Fresh seasonal-oriented menu. Blistered pizza crusts with excellent and responsibly sourced ingredients, yada yada. Slick design by the always sharp and insightful Barbara Bestor.
Pros: Open, fluid space with an exciting wood-burning pizza oven, good vibe, fresh veggies, etc. Good mix of seating choices from communal tables, booths, benches, etc. Nice selection of other beverages and beer.
Cons: I wish we could have one of these in our neighborhood! (Downtown not close or convenient enough.)
Changing Station: Yes
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Parking lot with easy direct access. This building used to be a Shakey’s, after all, so plenty of suburban convenience to be found here.
Other Tidbits: I first learned about plans for the Mar Vista Pitfire Pizza location when I interviewed Barbara Bestor at her Silver Lake studio last year. The final result looks as cool as the model I saw of the rehabbed Shakey’s on far west Washington Blvd. Bestor really knocked this one out of the park, and exported her Bohemian Modern sensibility to the Westside in the best possible sense. Exposed plywood, mixed patterns and textures, a bold red and black color scheme, and fluid, creative use of space make this a highly designed but fully lived-in, accessible restaurant — the perfectly zeitgeisty pizzeria. It’s rough and funky in all the right places, and very user-friendly. And the worldly yet very regional vibe compliments the food. I don’t know if it was something random in the air that day, mood, or the ingredient itself, but James actually picked off the arugula and ATE it from the Burrata Pie, rather than setting it aside. The components are a bit more than I like from a standard pizza (talking to you, hazelnuts), and the sauce doesn’t hit the sharper tangy notes that I like to balance the cheese. Still, it’s a worthwhile attempt. The field mushroom pie has a good mix of firm funghi. If none of the set signature pizza options appeal, then there’s the “Be an Artist” route, with a whole list of toppings to chose from. Plus salads, specials, pastas, sandwiches, and rotating fresh-from-the-farmers’-market items. All in all, this Pitfire Pizza location is not your typical neighborhood pizza joint. And that’s a very good thing for Westsiders (or more like South-Westsiders?).
12924 W. Washington Blvd., Mar Vista (some say Culver City), plus multiple locations
Cuisine: Pizza and Market-Driven Cal-Med
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday noon – 9 p.m.