Kid Hit Menu Items: At this point in this blog’s history, I’m a broken record posting about pizza joints, where the appeal to youth is blatantly apparent. That said, Pavich’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in San Pedro/Palos Verdes was new to us in many respects: it’s in a neighborhood we don’t visit much, the approach to the pies is neither traditional Italian, Italo-Americano, nor American, and the meal itself wrapped up what was an all around awesome SoCal day. So yeah, hardly your average pizza experience. When we visited the strip mall pizzeria, where Pavich’s had moved to a bigger location just on the other side of Western Avenue’s proverbial tracks closer to upscale PV after years of being in a postage stamp-sized place in Pedro proper, it still felt like construction wasn’t 100% done, and Mr. Pavich was still breaking in the basic digs despite it not being brand spanking new anymore.
Adult Perks: There’s no booze. Alternatives to pizza include salads, some hot sandwiches (BBQ pork, meatball), and subs, as well as Croatian specialties, which are a mystery to me other than the vaguely Mediterranean-sounding influences, so I need to go back to try. (Isn’t Croatia one of those up-and-coming hot travel destinations?)
Pros: “We use strong Croatian flavors,” Mr. Pavich told us, shaking his fist for emphasis, as we stepped out of the restaurant to head back up the 110. This type of trenchancy is hard to ignore, so that’s why I recommend ordering the pungent Croatian combo (tomato sauce, mozzarella, feta, beef prosciutto, mushrooms, peppers, roasted red peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes) on at least dedicating part of a pie to this broad suite of ingredients, given that it’s a taste of that specific Pedro community’s heritage. Divvying the rest of a large 18″ thin-crust pizza up with Margherita and Quattro Gusti (tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, mushrooms, artichokes) worked out well for us four.
Cons: No what to expect and there’s not much to disappoint.
Changing Station: No
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Strip mall parking.
Other Tidbits: I recently heard another story on the radio recently about how it’s been a jackpot season for grey whale sightings. Given that we saw a mess of them last winter (fewer this summer), it’ll be time to head down to Pedro again to also ride the gorgeous restored P.E. Red Car line on that funny truncated recreated route. You can also visit the fascinating Maritime Museum and Korean Friendship Bell. Or maybe you’ll find a giant rubber duckie down there. If nothing else, indulge in some Love Boat nostalgia at the cruise ship harbor. (Don’t miss Halston, Bob Mackie, Gloria Vanderbilt, AND Bobby Short on that clip, btw.)
We found a deal that got our fam of four on a whale watching boat for $50 on an L.A. Harbor Sportfishing cruise, meaning we spent three hours ON A BOAT IN THE PACIFIC for about what it costs to see a movie. Prefer to stay put around the waterfront when you’re back on dry land? Then watch the happening scene unfold — and get rowdier when the Saturday night karaoke kicks in — over plates of gnarly shrimp at Ports O’ Call. (We actually had to fight against some kid protesting to change locations to get to Pavich’s.)
Point being: Unless you’re negotiating ILWU-PMA labor contracts, hours spent at the Port of L.A. and environs is never a wasted effort.
Cuisine: Croatian Pizza
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 8:30 pm