25672 Crown Valley Parkway
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
There really seems to be a rebirth of pizza this year in OC. Pizza places are popping up quicker than the Santa's ringing bells in front of the stores during this holiday season. Almost every time I open my email, there is another pizza place coming to town. Pie-ology, Blaze Pizza, Pitfire Pizza, and others are either here, or on their way. One fall afternoon I opened up my email and there was something from ZPizza. I had not been to ZPizza in years, but they wanted us to come try their food, so we waited until a crisp winter night and headed out to give them a try.
Compared to others in the chain pizza game, ZPizza has been around forever. They are a true Orange County original, started in Laguna Beach in 1986. That was so long ago, I was still in high school back then. Anyways, ZPizza has now expanded to 18 states, as well as international locations in Mexico, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Proving that pizza is a global phenomenon.
ZPizza strives to serve pure food. Their menu promotes natural ingredients, including MSG free sausage and pepperoni, antibiotic and hormone free chicken, and many vegan and gluten free options. For those of you that know me, all of this stuff doesn't really make a difference to me, the end result is that the food must taste good. So let's see how it turned out for us.
We got to ZPizza at about six on a Friday night. This ZPizza is more geared towards takeout, than dining in. They have three, four person tables, and we were the only one eating here during our visit. All of their other business was for pickup. There was a steady stream of customers to keep the young staff busy making plenty of pizzas. We ordered at the counter, and waited about fifteen minutes for our food to come out. This is what came to our table.
Starting us off was the Chicken Caesar Salad ($7.95). They say that the salads at ZPizza can feed one to two people, and they are right. Both Katie and I ate plenty of this salad, and this was the small size. This salad contained hand leafed romaine, grilled chicken, shaved Parmesan, and large croutons, all with a zesty Caesar dressing. The produce was very fresh, and they added plenty of tender chicken and Parmesan cheese. The one drawback of this salad was the homemade croutons. We like croutons with some crunch and these failed to deliver.
Pizza Party Time, and Katie selected one of ZPizza's rustic pizzas. This Mediterranean Pizza ($8.95) came with mozzarella and feta cheeses, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, Greek olives, oregano, and pili pili oil. Katie loved this fresh tasting pizza. She liked the creaminess of the cheeses, along with the fresh toppings. She would ask for easy olives on this next time though. The size of this pizza is what impressed me the most. More than enough for her, she had some of this for lunch the next day.
I am sure that most of our regular readers of this blog are pretty shocked by my pizza choice, the Thai Pizza ($9.95). I was really trying to branch out a little bit, and I have really been craving Thai food as well. This pizza used peanut sauce as a base, then piled on the mozzarella, spicy chicken, red onions, cilantro, carrots, bean sprouts, and Serrano chilies. I thought with all of these big time flavors on this pizza it was going to be blazing hot, but the heat here was very subtle. On further visits here I would get this pizza with a little extra peanut sauce. That stuff was really good. The dough at ZPizza is made fresh daily, and it really showed here. It had a great chew to it, while holding all of the toppings admirably. A different pizza than I am used to, but a pizza that I really enjoyed.
It is easy to see why ZPizza has been around for as long as it has. They make some very good pizzas that you can also feel good about eating. After eating here, we did not feel as sluggish as after eating other pizzas. That is probably due to ZPizza using the freshest, most natural ingredients they can find. There are plenty of other pizzas for us to try on future visits here, as well as some sandwiches that sound pretty good. Portion sizes were excellent at ZPizza, and the prices were a very good value. This restaurant really hit the mark on this cold winter night.
We would like to thank everyone at ZPizza for the opportunity to try their pizza. We would also like to thank Janine Nickel for getting in touch with us, and for providing us with this wonderful chance to try ZPizza.
For more information on ZPizza, click here to visit their website: http://www.zpizza.com/