8075 W 3rd St · Los Angeles, CA 90048 · Neighborhood: Mid-City West/West Hollywood
One would imagine chef and owner, Bradford Kent has his work cut out for him. He is a chef, family man, businessman, food scientist, caterer and self proclaimed food nut. With such an extensive resumé, you might find yourself wondering if there is also superman cape underneath that apron he wears.
His restaurant, Olio Pizzeria & Café has undergone a lot of changes since its debut on the West Hollywood foodie scene just a year ago. Don’t let it’s small size fool you, having recently applied for a beer and liquor license and getting a mini-makeover, Olio forgoes it’s casual daytime look for a sleeker, more grown up vibe. This cute, popular lunch eatery is quickly establishing itself as one of LA’s great pizza places.
As a regular to this wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza joint since it’s debut back in October 2010, I have been noticing the accolades among pizza fans on Yelp increase in number. Still pretty much flying low and under the radar of most, Olio has become a local favorite and a place for foodies to come and share what they’ve discovered with other foodies.
I didn’t let my first time to Olio be the deal breaker, (they were so packed, they ran out of dough!) and I came back and have since tried multiple items on their ever-growing menu. From the Margherita Plus to the Hawaiian Pizza my favorites seem to fluctuate depending on my mood. I love their perfectly Wood Fired Shi-Shito Peppers and Prime NY Strip Steak Bites. Their Miso Salmon is a simple yet perfectly prepared filet that is both tender and crispy. Sometimes, I’ll just come in for that and an Intelligentsia brewed espresso.
About 98% of their menu goes into the wood fired oven, and yes, that includes the Chocolate Chip Cookies. Bradford tells me that he likes the fact that his “olive wood is a little dangerous.” It burns hotter and the heat and flavor that it imparts on the ingredients is simply AH-MAZING.
One wouldn’t think of Olio as a breakfast nook, but Olio also offers various delicious morning bites like their Bacon and Eggs Calzone or a Wood-Fired Fruit Danish. They are also actually one of few restaurants in the LA area to authentically make Bialys, a traditional Jewish bagel-like baked bread. Of that small few, Bradford is pretty much the only one that I know of to use the original baking techniques from Bialystok, Poland – making them in his wood fired oven.
I dare you to find a better smelling pizza place!
[Update: New location opening soon at downtown’s Grand Central Market!]