The Bunker Hill section of Downtown Los Angeles holds a special place in my heart, and for years I’ve always wondered how they would utilize a huge, tucked away space at California Plaza. As of Tuesday, August 1, Firenza Pizza is now open for business in my old stomping grounds, and I’m glad to report the pizza (and service) is definitely on point.
I stopped by Firenza Pizza on Monday during its media day and selected the franchise’s signature “Firenza.” Though I’m a lifelong pizzaholic, I’ve never had artichoke on my pizza, and its strong flavor profile, along with the sausage, definitely dominated the pie (and that’s a good thing). I was also happy that the pizza wasn’t overly sauced with marinara and the cheese absolutely agreed with my stomach (thankfully it was cooked not too oily and the cheese wasn’t too “cheesy”).
I lived in DTLA from 2003 to 2012, and for a spell the Firenza location housed a mediocre Italian restaurant/bar (that I grew to love actually) called Tesoros, but due to lack of business, that place eventually closed. My last several years in Bunker Hill left me wondering when or if this beautiful spot would ever find a tenant!
With California Pizza Kitchen now closed, Firenza Pizza should have a steady stream of loyal customers (Cal Plaza, which housed the first ever Mendocino Farms, is proof that eateries can thrive in the area). The ghost of John Fante (the author of the seminal BH set novel Ask The Dust) may bemoan the buildings, high rises, and now pizza joint that has replaced all those beautiful Victorian homes, but nostalgia is best left to Proustian sentiments – especially if you’re in need of a good meal. Firenza Pizza, I hope, is here to stay, and it’s a great addition to my home away from home.
The grand opening, which starts Tuesday, August 1 and runs through August 5th, is offering customers a free 10 inch, 2 topping pizza with a $2 suggested the benefits the Colburn School and the LA Food Bank.
— LA Food Bank (@LAFoodBank) July 31, 2017
***For more info on Firenza Pizza, check out its official Facebook page.