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Tomato Pie

Jun 1, 2015

IMG_8600Ah, the classic colors that remind us of Palm Springs: white, turquoise and orange.

After launching a location in Silver Lake and on Melrose Avenue, Tomato Pie has come to South Pasadena with George Jetson colors and 50s shapes and accouterment. Form and function!

We ordered two of the “house pies”: Mr. White and Joe P.

Pizzas are offered “NY-style” with a traditional thin crust, cheese, and tomato sauce; tomato pie is a square-pan, “homestyle” pizza with a marinara sauce but no mozzarella cheese; Sicilian is a deep-dish square; and a gluten-free option is available.

On this night, we chose thin crust for both pizzas. Joe P. has thin slices of white onion, medium squares of sweet red pepper, chunks of canned tomatoes, pieces of garlic, strips of basil, and crumbles of sausage, which is a nice change from the more familiar chunks of sausage. The tomato sauce is light and tasted fresh, perhaps because it wasn’t drowned in oregano, which we appreciate.

 

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Mr. White is a pizza that has no red tomato sauce. Instead it’s white with olive oil, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, ricotta, and romano cheese. We chose the “blanco chicken” Mr. White that comes with added chicken, spinach, and tomato.

This pie is superb. Despite no classic sauce, it’s quite moist. All the ingredients are evenly spread, so each slice is fully stocked. The flavors of each ingredient stand out individually and compliment as well. The chicken is surprisingly juicy and tender, the pieces of garlic are soft without being overwhelming, the three cheeses hit all the taste buds, and the tomato pieces balance out the overall richness. (Despite the fact that Tomato Pie’s slices are very generous, it was hard to stop reaching for a third.)

 

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The garlic knots give Momma’s Brick Oven‘s knots a run for their money. We determined Tomato Pie’s knots are a bit more garlicky, while Momma’s goes heavier on the Parmesan.

Tomato Pie’s sun-dried tomatoes, says our HP junior high contributor, are “like heaven.” They are also “crazy flavorful in the most delicious way; they were perfect.” And, the penne pesto, she adds, is the freshest pesto so far consumed in all of her 17 years.

 

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We were to share the Mediterranean salad with mixed greens, Persian cucumbers, garbanzo beans, avocado (though a bit bruised), kalamata olives, feta cheese, red onion, and tomatoes with lemon vinaigrette, and we would’ve enjoyed our fair share, but our JH girl clutched that bowl like she had a death grip. Again, Tomato Pie did a good job of balancing the ingredients and the lemon vinaigrette is quite wonderful.

With a polished concrete floor, high ceiling, and brick wall, voices amplify and reverberate, so we won’t be bringing our hard-of-hearing parents here anytime soon, unless it’s during off-peak hours. Tomato Pie feels like a narrow, cramped New York joint, yet with throwback shapes and accessories that slings us back five decades with colors to match, all of which we enjoyed and recommend—along with the nosh we polished off way too easily.

Tomato Pie, 1130 Mission St., South Pasadena 91030. Tel.: 1.626.399.0459. TomatoPiepizzajoint.com/home-southpas.

 

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