Garage Pizza|November 2008 by Joseph Briscoe


So I had to meet a guy, about a thing, at a place. The spot we chose to rendezvous was an easy location for both of us to find. The place…? Garage Pizza. Good pizza…? Forget about it!
Garage Pizza is tucked away in a little nook on Sunset blvd. between Hollywood, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake, in the restaurant riddled city of L.A. This is a place I heard about from some people, that know some people, that I know. At first glance, Garage Pizza may be over looked as its camouflaged in a typical LA mini-mart/shopping strip left over from the early nineties. Between a laundry mat, some sushi restaurant, a do-nut shoppe, and a liquor store among other odd sites, rests this hidden gem. But when you find it you will know.
By the time you arrive inside, you can’t help but to be overwhelmed with all the visual stimulation, from all of the evidence of coolness hanging on about 87% of the wall space of this awesome one room restaurant. As I spin around reading all of the vintage and custom/creative party propaganda hangings, I felt as though I just walked into my cool uncles workshop. A workshop that always has some crazy concoctions and/or contraptions being built. At Garage Pizza they have executed quite a few experiments to construct the right recipes that make their pizzas standout. Even though at first you feel that you may not have enough elbow room to enjoy the company of your friends. You then realize that anywhere you sit in this place, you will be amongst friends. The hospitality from the Garage Pizza crew, as well as from the clientele is as great, as it is genuine. The instant impression of the room seemed as though everyone there (including myself) were all good friends who have never met before.
And the smells…? Ahh, the smells are welcoming and overwhelming. The room is filled with aromas of all types of pizza ingredients that you both know and love; as well as quite a few unexpected others. Due to the fact that the kitchen and the dinning room are divided only by an ordering counter and bar-stool seating, you get to witness the mechanics of every pizza being built from start to finish.
The list of items offered is short and straight forward, but I’ll let Adam fill you in on all the details of this eccentric menu (BYOB), and uncommonly, convenient business hours (well… for the late risers that is). Adams also gonna run you through the short history of this fresh faced rock restaurant, as well as introduce you to the creators behind this killer pizza making machine.
The Garage Pizza menu is simple and to the point. These gourmet offshoots of traditional pies will make your mouth water. Catchy and unique pizza names include the Annihilator(Meatball, Pepperoni, Sausage, red onion, bell pepper, mushroom and feta cheese), the house named Garage Pizza(Ground beef, tomato, onion and pickles) amongst others. You may be asking yourself the question; Burger toppings on a pizza? We had the same question but the guys at Garage Pizza are pizza engineers and they can make any combination of toppings work and I have to say that the Garage pie was one of my favorites of the many we sampled. Simply said, “It’s a burger without the bun“ Looking for something on the more spicy side go for the Cholo(Ground beef, jalapenos, onion, black olives). Other gourmet selections are the Whiteboy, yes I said Whiteboy, (Mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, garlic and parsley) and the chef named Elmerino Pie(Fresh mozzarella cheese dipped in pesto with pine nuts and basil). If you can’t decide on what pizza to try I suggest ordering a custom 18“ sampler pie with the chef’s favorites.
Other great pizza accompaniments include the Mediterranean salad and the made to order bread-sticks. Pizza by the slice is also avaliable along with several sandwich selections. Garage Pizza does not have a liquor license at this time so BYOB is encouraged. There is a liquor store in the same strip mall so indulging with pizza and your favorite beverage is not a mission impossible. Garage Pizza is open Sunday through Thursday from 4pm-12am and Friday-Saturday from 4pm-3am. Perfect for that late night pizza craving when you don’t want to hit the diner.
And now onto the men at the controls of the pizza machine, Jay Batten and Elmer Portillo(Aka: Elmerino). Jason is a veteran restaurateur in Los Angeles who wanted to carve out his own pizza dream and make it a reality. His plan was simple; Open a Rock n Roll inspired pizza joint in an eclectic neighborhood. He gained vast experience from working at several landmark pizza restaurants in New York(including Joe’s Pizza), Canada and Los Angeles(including the nightlife scene of infamous hot spots like the 4100 Club). His passion for pizza is a true labor of love and is reflected in the signage and restaurant décor. Elmer(Elmerino) runs the show behind the diamond plated pizza ovens and he diligently constructs pizza for all tastes. And if you are thinking about placing a delivery order, Dave has you covered. When we were at the restaurant a request for delivery came in from the South Bay, Redondo Beach to be exact. The guys at Garage say, If the delivery is right they will make it happen.
Now that you worked up an “Appetite for Destruction“, head over to the garage that will make you look at pizza in a new light and rock out while eating it too.

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Garage Pizza
4339 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Phone: (323) 668-1190
Cross Street: Fountain Avenue
Photography courtesy of Joseph Briscoe Photography:

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