Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – 2:24 PM
Upper Crust Pizzeria has come to Beverly Hills. With seven locations on the East Coast, the chain opened its first West Coast store on Beverly Hills’ Beverly Drive last week.
With its well-attended launch last Friday—”It was packed at 11 p.m. and we still had people here at 1 a.m.,” says founder/owner Jordan Tobins—the chain brings its popular Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza and philosophy of community involvement.
Setting out to prove that pizza can be a healthy and fresh option “and not at all greasy,” says Tobins, Upper Crust creates pizza with “crisp bottom and soft top. We want you to taste the toppings and not all crust.” (Gluten-free and wheat crusts are available.)
Customers get fresh dough—”We make it every morning,” says Tobins, “we don’t buy it from someone else”— and fresh sauce, sourced from local tomatoes, produced daily. “It’s time consuming; but it results in a better pizza,” says Tobins.
With the open kitchen design and window, customers can see the maker use a fresh ball of dough for each pizza, watch the dough rolled out, the sauce ladled on and the toppings added before the pie is cooked in the gas-fired stove with stone deck. (One stove is reserved for only vegetable and cheese pizzas.)
The dine-in, take-out store uses real Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella and imported asiago. “It’s top quality and not fatty,” says Tobins. “We get the best that we can. It’s not a huge secret,” says Tobins. “Fresh just tastes better.”
The list of toppings has “something for everyone, Tobins says: an extensive list of meats (including Angry Italian Sausage), cheeses, seafood (anchovies and baby shrimp), veggies (including an array of peppers) and more. “We’re all about the customer; you won’t hear us saying ‘no,’ if there’s something people want that we don’t have, we’ll do our best to get it.”
Tobins and Manager Dennis Silva advise customers never to reheat leftovers in a microwave, but in an oven or grill, so the crust doesn’t go soggy.
The menu features more than pizza, “but we focus on what we do well,” says Tobins. “We don’t want to have something if we can’t make it perfectly.” So there are salads with fresh romaine including a Greek, Caesar and Sausage Cobb, (popular slice and salad combos), calzones made from the same fresh pizza dough and baked lasagna (beef or vegetable).
Silva adds that with the tap system installed, Upper Crust Pizzeria should soon be serving craft beers in addition to California wines.
The catering menu features sandwich and salad platters (even gluten-free pasta salad) and individual pizzas perfect for kids’ parties.
With the slogan, “The people, the pizza, the passion,” Upper Crust looks to the details. Even the“green” boxes can be turned into plates and slice-shaped leftover box.
Quickly becoming part of the community, Upper Crust Pizzeria’s prize donation for the upcoming Backdraft Ball will be a pizza party at the winner’s home or in the new, modern shop. Upper Crust also fed the BHHS basketball team after last Friday’s game. Parent Alan Daniels has sons on the team, and is already a regular. “Team members really like our pizza and have been visiting the store,” says Tobins. Beverly Hills Little League and area elementary schools are also getting Upper Crust support.
Upper Crust Pizzeria is at 243 S. Beverly Dr. For information, call 310-514-5056.www.theuppercrustpizzeria.com.