East coast meets West coast: Roberta’s, LA California

From the moment I heard about Roberta’s opening in La I have been dreaming about it. Not because I knew this Brooklyn pizza joint, maybe because I’m a sucker for a good hype campaign. Ok, most likely, because I’ve been trying to be healthy which means I am obsessing over pizza and the hype campaign got me good! So yes, I crumbled. I got some pizza!

Roberta’s is in a great looking complex in Culver City. There’s a couple of other interesting food spots I’ll need to try, some great looking boutiques, a wine bar and Soulcycle. Basically, everything I need in life. You should expect to queue, I managed Al’s expectations early (because he’s a big sook about queues) and we were pleasantly surprised it was only going to be a 20 min wait. You can go to the bar for your wait, if you don’t snag a seat right away it’s a little awkward as it’s busy BUT if you manage a bar seat you can order food from there, which is what we did.


Obviously, we were ordering some pizza. It’s a decent selection but we took inspiration from the people next to us and ordered the Bee Sting. A beautiful crust (for me this is what makes or breaks a pizza), light & fresh tomato sauce, salami, mozzarella, a little bit of chili oil and honey. The honey gives it a slightly sweet taste every now and then. This simple combination of flavour really worked. This isn’t American style pizza, it’s Italian. I loved it, and ate more than I should.

Balancing out our pizza, we also ordered some squid. Al wanted the salami & cheese plate, but remember I’m trying to be “good” so I got us the tentacles instead, which we are big fans of. These are good tentacles. Cooked really well, not a hint of cheewiness. I’m not sure what the sauce was (it was black so I’m guessing something with squid ink), but it was extremely light and complimented the squid beautifully. Definitely order this if it’s on the menu.

And of course, we did not stop there. We got the braised oxtail as well. A good sized bowl of slow cooked, nicely seasoned meat. It’s braided with celery and horseradish but I didn’t particularly taste those things. The meat wasn’t overly fatty either, which is good. Once I get a mouthful of fat it ends the dish for me.

Oh yeah, and the bread. We definitely didn’t need this, but Al caught sight of it, so it happened. It’s a big, puffy, pizza bread thing. Reminded me of an Italian version of a Lebanese bread. It was delicious. It comes with butter and anchovies. I’m not a big anchovy fan, but Al is and he loved the addition. He also loved stuffing the bread with the oxtail. I chose to dip it in some chili oil instead, which was awesome. Their chili oil is really good.

From a wine standpoint, it’s typical LA restaurant prices. Which means, you aren’t spending less than $50 (which I find a little annoying, why is wine so much more expensive here?), though they do have a good selection. Sadly they were out of the Bordeaux we wanted so we decided to go a little left field and try one from Baja. It was good. Not as smooth as a Bordeaux, but tasty AND a cute label!

All in all, it was a great meal out and totally worth breaking the diet for. Definitely living up to the hype, I recommend giving it a try, even with a queue.

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