Best for deep-dish style pizza and orange wine…
Blackbird Pizza Shop on Melrose
We were skeptical about this new place in the old Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese space because we loved those gooey sandwiches and we were sad to see it go. But this new spot is equally as lively and specializes in a signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza with a San Francisco twist. Chef and owner Luis Ulloa is a creative powerhouse who is a Le Cordon Blue Paris graduate and has spent time in the kitchens of Michael Mina and Jean Georges – oh and he designed the place, too.
We couldn’t get enough of the plump crust and strings of oozing cheese accompanying each slice that includes mushroom, artichoke, onion, ricotta and feta. If you want to keep it light, the thinner pies range from a stand out white with bacon, asparagus, goat cheese and oregano. Mary’s chicken is also an option but what we didn’t expect was such a tasty array of homemade meatballs from turkey with pesto and ricotta to lamb, feta and pine nuts that paired well with a COS Rami orange wine – it’s a refreshing rose replacement – and an extensive SoCal-focused craft beer list.
The vibe is playful and fun with great music and it’s backed by a team of LA natives but you won’t find a better deep-dish in town.
Best for a coffee that leads to all-day brunch…
Point 5 Espresso Bar on Melrose
The Australian coffee craze continues with a charming new neighborhood spot but with a twist, Sydney bar owner Anton Ianni is focusing on an all-day brunch menu with local, seasonal ingredients and elevated farm to table dishes and pastries.
At first it appears to be another trendy coffee hang out but there are menu favorites already brewing from the full-service kitchen that include: the Uovo breakfast sandwich with Benton’s bacon, fried egg, white cheddar and truffle oil; or the P/5 bagel with grilled chicken, chipotle cream cheese, heirloom tomato, avocado and sprouts. The mango bowl with tart Greek yogurt, ancient grain granola, coconut chips and ROV treatment-free raw honey will make you feel healthy and conscious but try the matcha green powder smoothie with almond milk, honey, mango, spinach and banana for satisfying treat that will give you bounds of natural energy.
Coffee beans hail from Bar Nine in Culver City or for the caffeine free, try Bundaberg Ginger Beer. “I wanted to create an accessible and friendly space where people could come in and feel like they’re part of a community. We are already getting to know our customers and hope that they want to eat, have an espresso and feel at home,” says Ianni.