Pizzanista & Tony’s Saloon

Pizzanista and Tony’s Saloon: The Perfect One-Two Combo

It’s rare find. Two neighboring businesses, sharing a wall, blending harmoniously in Downtown Los Angeles, but Pizzanista and Tony’s Saloon do just that.

Give my all your lovin' all your hugs and kisses too!!
Gimme me all your lovin’ all your hugs and kisses too!!

One offers up arguably the best pizza by the slice and whole pies, the other supplies the booze, beer and western saloon atmosphere to wash it down with.

Gimme all your lovin', don't let up until we're thru.
Gimme all your lovin’, don’t let up until we’re thru.

Normally (unless it’s a FlavorLog) I do not combine businesses in one article, but this is a special case as I don’t think I could enjoy one place without enjoying the other. Nor am I alone in this assumption – there is a constant stream of people bringing their Pizzanista pies and slices into Tony’s Saloon.

I went on a Sunday as this is the day of the week that Pizzanista offers their mac and cheese pizza.

Yes, my pizza lovers, mac and cheese pizza.

Two of my top ten joys in the world on one paper plate.

Magic.

Happy, Happy. Joy, Joy!!
Happy, Happy. Joy, Joy!!

Made with elbow macaroni the pasta is smothered with asiago, fontina, cheddar, and grana padano cheeses.

A most decadent and rich combination.

When you bite into the moist, soft noodle it glazes your mouth with the flavor of the cheeses, the asiago standing out the most. Then a light wave of the delicate and slightly tangy tomato sauce washes over you as you bite into what is the best CRUST I have encountered since my days at John’s Pizza in the West Village.

The bar has been set LA. Try to beat it, I dare you.
The bar has been set LA. Try to beat it, I dare you.

This my dear reader’s is what Italian American pizza crust is supposed to look and taste like. Behold, study and recognize the detail and the beauty.

It’s crispy.  It’s crunchy with a slight charcoal burn.  The flavor has a hint of wood and a dash of flour.

This is genius to me.

They offer vegan options, which I saw many people order, and I am sure they are wonderful but I will never know as I am all for experimentation but don’t take away the fundamentals. In addition to the mac and cheese slice I also got the “Meat Jesus,” a combination of sausage, pepperoni and bacon which was equally as delightful.  I was a particular fan of the pepperoni as it was the small kind that crumples up and in after baking in the oven.

Unassuming and simple. Just the way God intended a pizzeria.
Unassuming and simple. Just the way God intended a pizzeria.

The patrons of Pizzanista are pure locals for the most part as it is a really out of the way location near 7th & Alameda in the warehouse/arts district of DTLA. So you have your die hard neo-grunge hipsters and Latino East LA residents and that is about it, sprinkled with the occasional pizza enthusiast like myself who will drive half an hour to forty five minutes to taste perfection in triangle shape.

However, if it were just the slice being offered I don’t know if I would be inclined to return so quickly, as amazing as it is.

I truly don’t.

Because it is that big of a pain in the ass to get to, especially on the weekends.

It’s because of Tony’s Saloon that I will be more apt to come back over and over again. My girl and I can sit and have a proper drink before, during and after our meal. They make a really good Manhattan and Old Fashioned.

Quality Hooch.
Quality Hooch.

As with Pizzanista, Tony’s Saloon plays a mixture of The Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash along with the likes of The Velvet Underground and The Runaways.  And they play it softly, which I really appreciate as I am now admittedly getting to be at that age where that is a important consideration.

Sad, I know, but it allows me to converse with my woman effortlessly, eat my ‘za and sip my cocktail in comfort and relaxation for hours, and that is what I like to do these days so whatever with your judgment.

Awesome Western style font on the mirrors behind the bar.
Awesome Western style font on the mirrors behind the bar.

Tony’s Saloon is purposefully dark but not dingy. Casual but not messy. It’s western saloon theme is well executed from the mirrors behind the bar to the green lighting scheme along it. It has a pool table in the bar and a smoking area outside that offers up darts, Foosball, ping pong and in the summer months they set up a BBQ stand and serve free dogs, burgers and watermelon to their patrons.

Once a month they even showcase a guest chef, I am told. (Call for further information on that.)

Western Saloon in DTLA
Western Saloon in DTLA

If you are looking for an amazing slice or several amazing slices of pizza and want to make an afternoon or evening out of it, now you know where to go.

It’s a welcomed break from the norm.

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