• January 4th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, tomato joe's

    i bet you guys didn’t know that i grew up in awesometown. that’s right, valencia has officially declared itself the town of awesomeness. see for yourself:

    fuck yeah, awesometown!

    i don’t know if you have ever been to valencia, but when i think of the city covered in tract housing where everything closes by 10pm, “awesome” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. however it may be worthy of the awesometown name thanks entirely to tomato joe’s, a small takeaway pizzeria with insane vegan pies that are…well…more awesome than most pizza available in los angeles.

    sally's secret garden (veganized): extra virgin olive oil, follow your heart mozzarella, fresh basil, white mushrooms, red onion, green pepper, roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes

    my parents still live very close to awesometown, so whenever i visit them, a trip to tomato joe’s is a must. we stopped by their house over the holidays and came bearing gifts of vegan pizza.

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  • March 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tomato joe's

    if there’s one good thing about santa clarita, it’s tomato joe’s. even with the billions of restaurants in los angeles and our very own vegan pizzeria, we don’t have anything like the thick-crusted, beer-flavored pies that come out of the scv. yes, yes, i know i have written about this before…but some food is just so damn delicious, i gotta remind you of it over and over.

    tomato joe’s is located in valencia and has a surprising amount of vegan offerings. in fact, they are probably the most vegan-friendly, yet traditional pizzeria i’ve ever been to. they’ve got vegan cheese, vegan meats, and several vegan sauces available—plus, the veganocity of all items is clearly indicated on the menu.

    tomato joe's pizza with beer crust, vegan pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted garlic, and vegan cheese.

    whenever i go to tomato joe’s, i go for one thing, the beer batter crust. the thick fluffy bread is pure magic, and is made with hefeweizen brewed right next door at the wolf creek brewery. this crust is only available in an extra large size, but that’s the only size i’d ever dream of getting at tomato joe’s anyways. the more leftovers, the better!

    on our recent pie, we got the beer crust loaded up with mushrooms, vegan pepperoni, roasted garlic, vegan mozzarella, and traditional sauce. as with everything i’ve tried from tomato joe’s, it was delicious. what’s most shocking to me, is that tomato joe’s still uses follow your heart cheese, and i actually like it! they some how defy chemistry and get this stuff not only to melt, but actually taste decent. it is CRAZY. all the other toppings are top notch as well, from the fresh vegetables to the rich sauces and faux meats. we didn’t get them on this pizza, but i also highly recommend you try the vegan olive oil sauce and the field roast sausage.

    sally's secret garden (vegan): extra virgin olive oil, vegan mozzarella, fresh basil, white mushrooms, red onion, green pepper, roasted garlic.

    my omnivorous parents live near tomato joe’s, so we always pick up a pizza for them when we are there. pictured above is the sally’s secret garden pizza, made vegan (yay!) with follow your heart cheese on a thin crust. of course i wouldn’t go near this thing because it was covered in bell peppers (which i hate), but my family really enjoyed it. they are big fans of the the crispy crust that tomato joe’s offers, and while i agree that it’s good, i don’t think it even comes close to the thick one flavored with beer.

    except for a few tables scattered outside, there is nowhere to actually sit and eat at tomato joe’s—it’s much more of a take-out and delivery place. but even if you don’t have family to go visit in the scv, it really is worth the drive just to eat this amazing pizza. so go get some and bring it back to LA, if it can survive the car trip without being devoured. seriously, this stuff is that good. get the beer crust.

    tomato joe’s
    27732 McBean Pkwy
    Valencia, CA 91354
    (661) 263-8646

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  • April 6th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, tomato joe's

    if there is one food on this whole planet i miss from when i was a vegetarian, that food is definitely pizza. a huge slab of dough covered with fresh vegetables and melted mozzarella was my all-time favorite meal and until very recently there was just no vegan substitute. plus, you can’t beat the convenience of picking up one huge plate, enough to feed several people, and ripping into it slice by slice without any utensils.

    for ages, the only way to get a vegan pizza in los angeles was to order one with no cheese (boring) or wait hours for a mediocre pizza from damiano’s (blech). however, over the past year three amazing pizza joints within driving distance have started offering pizza with both vegan cheese and vegan meaty toppings. over the weekend we made the thirty minute drive all they way out to santa clarita to test out the new vegan pepperoni at tomato joe’s and i can safely say it was worth the trip.

    tomato joe's pizza on micro-brew crust with vegan mozzarella, vegan pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh garlic. $23.39

    tomato joe's pizza on micro-brew crust with vegan mozzarella, vegan pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh garlic. $23.39

    i first read about tomato joe’s offering vegan pepperoni on scvegan.com, and couldn’t wait to try it out. i was already a huge fan of tomato joe’s…i mean, their fluffy vegan beer crust is absolutely amazing and they work wonders with follow your heart cheese. the vegan pepperoni was no different…this stuff was insanely delicious. i’m not sure what brand of pepperoni they use, but it has tons of spicy flavor and a pretty decent texture. it’s definitely not quite up there with the artisan field roast meat that purgatory pizza uses, but as far as vegan pepperoni goes it’s definitely the best i’ve ever had.

    tomato-joes-pizza-cu

    vegan stuff aside, tomato joe’s really makes damn good pizza by anyone’s standards. the beer crust is some of the best tasting bread i’ve ever tasted, and is a welcome change from the ny-style pizza i am used to eating. it’s just oozing with hefeweizen flavor from the beer brewed right next door, and has a really fluffy texture with slightly crispy edges. plus, the toppings are fresh and the follow your heart cheese is melted just perfectly…i have no clue how they accomplish it.

    tomato joe’s is so good it actually kind of pisses me off. they have two vegan crusts, vegan cheese, two vegan meat options (they were out of the second one when we went!), and loads of creative toppings from bird seed to tortilla strips. seriously there must be like 8 vegans in santa clarita and 80 billion vegans in los angeles…can’t tomato joe’s move to LA? it’s not fair that i should have to drive 30 miles for a vegan pizza with beer crust and these spoiled santa clarita people can get it delivered to their house. wtf. the ONLY good vegan pizza in los angeles is at purgatory pizza, which is a crime. we should have at least 20 good pizza places around here. you hear that pizza parlor owners? stop fucking around and start carrying vegan cheese! AGJHGHGHGHGHGHGAHAHGh.

    so anyways, the pizza pictured above was absolutely amazing. i would eat it every single day if it wasn’t located so far away. if you haven’t tried tomato joe’s yet, you NEED to drive to santa clarita and check it out. granted, there is nowhere to eat inside because it is a take-out/delivery place…but who is gonna stop you from eating a whole pizza in your car? i’m not.

    tomato joe’s
    27732 McBean Pkwy
    Valencia, CA 91354
    (661) 263-8646

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  • September 23rd, 2008quarrygirlfollow your heart, LA restaurants, pizza, products, tomato joe's

    when i was a vegetarian, pizza was my favorite food. at least once a week, i’d treat myself to a piping hot slice (or 10) of cheesy pie. even then i was pretty picky, and finding a truly awesome pizza (in my mind) was rare. as you can imagine, now that i’m a vegan, it’s damn near impossible.

    luckily for me, tomato joe’s has made it possible for me to eat exceptional pizza that can please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. all i have to do is pay a visit to my home town, santa clarita. i first heard about tomato joe’s from scvegan.com, and being both a vegan and a pizza lover, i knew i had to check it out. plus, it gave me the perfect excuse to drop by and surprise my parents with a meatless dinner.

    large pizza with vegan mozz, mushrooms, tomatoes and chopped garlic on micro-brew crust. $21.39

    large pizza with vegan mozz, mushrooms, tomatoes and chopped garlic on micro-brew crust. $21.39

    dude, i can’t even tell you how good this pizza was. if i lived in santa clarita, i would be eating this every other day…and now that i found it, i KNOW mom & dad will be getting sick of me pretty quick. i’ve been on the vegan pizza hunt for quite some time. i’ve tried eating out, cooking countless recipes at home, buying it from the store, and it’s never been quite right…until now. tomato joe’s pizza is perfect. they even use follow your heart cheese, which i have never been a great fan of, and it STILL tastes just right. they get it melty and everything!

    i can tell they use only the best ingredients at tomato joe’s—the toppings are fresh, the sauce is delectable, and the crust is off the chain. i can’t speak highly enough of the soft on the inside and crispy on the outside micro-brew option. it is unbelievable. the menu describes it as “hand tossed dough flavored with a locally brewed hefeweizen. puffy edge and thick center.” this crust was so delicious, i think if this pizza were cheeseless and toppingless, it would still be some of the best out there. the menu goes on to specify that the micro-brew crust is entirely vegan and only offered in 16″ (large). i just LOVE it when restaurants know what “vegan” means, and mark items that i can eat clearly on their menu. this is not the small town santa clarita that i remember from when i was growing up! i also love that this scrumptious crust only comes in large…it just forces me to get more pizza. damn. ;)

    best. pizza. ever.

    best. pizza. ever.

    my parents, on the other hand, opted for the garden combo pizza with a thin crust. they assured me that it was absolutely delicious. i still refused to go near it, though, ’cause it was covered in bell peppers (which i hate).

    medium garden combo pizza: vegan mozz, white shrooms, red onions, fresh tomatoes, artichokes, green peppers and black olives. $14.99

    medium garden combo pizza: vegan mozz, white shrooms, red onions, fresh tomatoes, artichokes, green peppers and black olives. $14.99

    one trick i did pull, was to not tell my mom that she was eating vegan cheese. when she said the pizza was wonderful, i let her know that it was dairy-free. she was astonished. if this vegan pizza could fool my southern, meat-eatin’ mama, it must be pretty damn good!

    vegan mozz in all its glory

    vegan mozz in all its glory

    the crust on this one looked yummy as well. my parents loved it, and my dad told me it was just as good as the micro-brew, which he also tried. the menu describes the thin crust as “slightly more crispy dough flavored with garlic and extra virgin olive oil,” and also vegan. mmm mmm mmm.

    so as you can probably tell, tomato joe’s was a great find. i am gonna make it a point to go there as often as possible, and my parents have vowed to switch over from pizza hut. so great to find a vegan-friendly pizza place with genuinely great food.

    so all you vegan LAers, next time you go to magic mountain, YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT.

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