155 North Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
It seems like every time I open up my email, there's another do it yourself pizza place opening. These restaurants are getting as common around OC, as the Angels pathetic performances in the playoffs every year. Scioscia needs to go, but that's a story for another day. The point I'm trying to make is that there are lots of these kinds of restaurants out there now.
Of course my immediate thought is how can all of these restaurants survive, and what makes them all different. There's Blaze Pizza, Pieology, Mod Pizza, Pizza Studio, Pizza Rev, Creations Pizza, 800 Degrees, Spin Pizza, and Project Pie. As I'm writing this post, there's probably even a new one popping up in your local shopping plaza right now.
Pizza Press is the latest DIY pizza place to invade my inbox. They invited me and my good friend Richard to come in and give them a try. Richard considers himself to be a connoisseur of these do it yourself pizza restaurants. His favorite is Mod Pizza, which I also like. Usually Richard and I do not agree too much on restaurants. He's a big Chipotle fan, and I haven't been in about three years, and really have no desire to go. He prefers Subway to most other sandwich spots, and considers Togo's to be the worst of the chain sandwich options out there. Crazy, right? So take this all into consideration when he gives his opinion of the pizza at Pizza Press.
Pizza Press, a newspaper themed restaurant, opened in Downtown Orange earlier this year, and almost every time we have been down this way the line has been out the door. They get a solid 4 stars on Yelp, with close to 150 reviews, they have now opened a second location in Anaheim, and have two more on the way, one in Fullerton and one in Pasadena. I've also heard good things from people who have eaten here, so I was excited to give them a try.
We got here just before 5pm on a recent Monday evening. Beating the dinner rush, we got right in, and started the process of making our pizzas. Not as many custom creations as most places, they had five different pizzas to choose from if you did not want to be bothered to make up your own creation. All pizzas are $8, whether you make your own or have a custom job. Otherwise a pretty standard ordering process here, they ask what you want on your pizza, and then they put it on there for you. Straight forward. Both Richard and I opted for this, and put what we wanted on our pizzas.
After the pizza went through their assembly line preparation, we made our way towards the registers, and were amazed by all the beers that Pizza Press has on tap. I lost count as to how many taps they have here, but for beer aficionados this must be like heaven. On the day we were here they had a Stone Brewing Tap Takeover, so there were tons of options from this Escondido based brewing company. They also had Ballast Point, Goose Island, and others pouring from their taps on this afternoon. Pretty impressive.
We'll start things off with Richard's pizza. He went with a similar pizza to what he would normally get at Mod Pizza, which is a combination of chicken, mozzarella, roasted garlic, and bacon. He wanted fresh basil, but it was not offered. The first things we noticed when the pizzas were sat in front of us, was that they were a lot bigger than the ones from Mod. That would be the last positive thing picky Richard would say about his pizza on this night. He was not a fan of what he called, "the bland chicken," or the undercooked crust in the center of the pizza. He claimed that the whole pizza was rather plain tasting, and lacked that pop of flavor that he usually gets when having this combination of toppings at other places. He left pretty unimpressed.
It was not all doom and gloom though, as my pizza hit the table. As is my usual order when eating in these kinds of pizza places, I ordered a meat heavy pizza with jalapenos. The meats here at Pizza Press included pepperoni, bacon, ground beef, sausage, and pulled pork. I have to say that pulled pork was an unusual topping for these kinds of places, but a very welcome addition to this pizza. Unlike my buddy's pizza, this one really did pop with flavor, and had a nice consistency of sauce to toppings ratio. I did have an issue with the crust being a little soggy in the middle, and would probably ask that the pizza be left in the heat a few minutes more on my next visit. Otherwise this was a good pizza, with some good quality meats included on it.
So I guess you can classify this visit to Pizza Press as a split decision. While I liked my pizza well enough, Pizza Press failed to impress Richard at all. I would definitely go back if I was in the area, and was craving pizza. One of the things I have learned the most about writing this blog for the last 5 years is that food is very subjective. You can sit ten people down, serve them the same food, and have ten different opinions come out of their mouths. That's probably why the restaurant business is so hard to succeed in. If you are a craft beer person, and are craving a pizza in Orange, Pizza Press will be right up your alley. Maybe their craft beer selection is what will set Pizza Press apart form all of their competitors.
We would like to thank everyone at Pizza Press for making us feel so welcome, and inviting us in to experience the Pizza Press experience first hand. We would also like to thank Emily Webb of BAM Communications for setting up this visit.
If you wish to find out more about Pizza Press, go to their website here: http://www.thepizzapress.com/