This venue has closed.
Good news: Beijing has great pizza! La Pizza opened its second shop in the back corner of 3.3 Fashion Mall in Sanlitun in early 2010 and everyone should run to this light at the end of the tunnel. Luca Mania, the bright-eyed pizzaiolo from Sicily, is the delicious reason our tastebuds tingle with delight.
Luca lives and breathes pizza and has tossed dough up in the air in Spain and with his uncle in New York City. Add to that a brick-domed oven from Italy that burns fruitwood to an infernal 400°C and some of the best mozzarella and ricotta made locally by an Italian formaggiaio.
The menu starts with Neapolitan fritti (fried things), and it’s a very good beginning indeed. The polpettine ascolana (28RMB) are beef and pork meatballs mixed with chopped olives, rolled in semolina and then fried. These hot, crisp bites are good, but don’t match the excellence to come.
Choosing your pizza is actually diffcult and an annoying delay in satiating your hunger. Pizzas come in three diameters and are no bargain when you supersize. The glorious and unpretentious margherita becomes spicy margherita (68RMB/33cm) when given a toss of peppery arugula.
The pulcinella ventaglio (110RMB/33cm) is an ode to prosciutto, stretched to the shape of the venerably cured ham hock, complete with a ‘handle’ wrapped in prosciutto and topped with cherry tomatoes and more arugula. The smaller end is stuffed with fresh creamy ricotta that’s worth fghting for.
The ‘classico STG’ is ‘specially guaranteed by the Naples pizza chef association’ (110RMB) and something like a stromboli, a ruler-shaped pie stuffed with mozzarella that’s fred in the oven, then topped with fresh tomatoes, grated parmesan, even more arugula, and translucent pale slices of prosciutto draped over the top. (There’s a vegetarian version too). The crust has just enough chew and holds a smoky favour that is the perfect marriage.
If you want to waste valuable stomach real estate on something else, salads are plentiful and pasta is cooked to a perfect al dente. The spaghetti vongole (68RMB) is what it should be – and rarely is: neither white nor red, but a balanced centre.
La Pizza offers fresh fruit juices with some bargain wines by the bottle at the counter (90RMB). Pizza slices can also be bought and lunch specials are great bargains with a pizza buffet daily from noon to 2pm for 100RMB.
Desserts are mixed. Profteroles can get crusty looking and the tiramisu can appear ‘tiramisoaked’, but crostata and Italian cheesecakes (18RMB) are golden. Ask Luca what he’d have and you’ll be in expert hands.
One of Beijing's best pizza restaurants!