• February 21st, 2009mr meanerLA restaurants, purgatory pizza

    Well, the evening didn’t get off to a good start. Hollywood Blvd. being closed for the Oscars made the commute home absolute hell, yet the evening ended close to heaven — in purgatory approximately, Purgatory Pizza to be exact. Yeah, we’ve started going there once a week because there’s nowhere in LA where you can get real top-shelf pizza with vegan cheese served piping hot at your table by undeniably nice people who seem to really care that you have a great experience — vegan or not.

    vegan pizza with teese cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic.

    vegan pizza with teese cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic.

    The last couple of times we’ve been to Purgatory Pizza, it’s been mainly a delivery operation. Lots of hustle and bustle, phones ringing and pizzas flying out the door, yet the indoor atmosphere has been relatively quiet. The pizza parlors I know and love are usually rather boisterous in nature with kids running around (pizza slices in hand!), and people coming and going like crazy.

    Tonight, Purgatory Pizza was rather quiet as we arrived, yet shortly after we ordered, a family of five came in – two grown-ups and three kids who all seemed determined to enjoy themselves. We thought we heard them order a couple of pizzas with “vegan cheese”, but we were not 100% certain. On the way out, though, we noticed a printout of the (in)famous quarrygirl.com menu on their table, along with shiny, empty pizza plates and three kids who looked pretty replete and full. The BYO bottle of wine kinda indicated to us that we should make contact, so I uncharacteristically asked them if they ordered the vegan cheese, which they confirmed they did!

    It transpired that all but one of the family were vegans, and they’d visited Purgatory Pizza purely for its vegan cheese. The fact that the kids had devoured the food while the adults enjoyed themselves with some wine and pizza really showed me how ‘normal’ we vegans can be. It was heartwarming to see a wonderfully nice vegan family having a great time together in a place where they could be comfortable and confident about what they were eating — something only we vegans understand to be a big deal.

    You see, the thing about pizza is that it’s one of the most edible foods on the planet – a perfect combination of vital ingredients which (if consumed sensibly!) give a good balance of nutrition, energy and taste. It also travels fairly well, and can support all manner of toppings to vary its appeal. The critical factors are the crust, sauce and toppings — the cheese (vegan or not) is a commodity which is far less important than one might think. A nicely cooked pizza with a “real pizza crust” (as the father of the family described it) cannot be beat.

    Go to Purgatory. Let’s make it a vegan hangout like no other. I’m game any time — let us know in the comments when you’ll be there and we’ll be there.


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