Fancy Pizza and Celebrity Chefs

by Brian

So I’m a big food TV fan, but I haven’t been watching much lately since Mikey has a good grip on Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef is in hibernation for now.  I did manage to catch the new show called Chopped on NBC.  Guess what?  They cancelled that shizz yesterday. Oh well, there weren’t any interesting peeps on there anyway.

Back to my celebrity chef fetish… I don’t normally act on it by going to their restaurants (except TC Betty’s Grub in LA & Brian’s Oceanaire in SD).  I also tend to stay away from the store products that celebs schill for.  If you must know, I only buy Paul Newman tomato sauces.  Have you ever seen Cool Hand Luke?  What a badass that guy was.

So for the first time in forever, I bowed down to the cult of chef celebrity by having lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s L.A. Bistro in Westlake.  And it goes a little something like this…

Wolfgang Puck’s LA Bistro – Westlake Village on Lindero Canyon Rd.

Wolfgang Puck's LA Bistro

Wolfgang Puck's LA Bistro

So I gotta confess, I ended up here hoping that The Counter next door would be open already.  Turns out they’re opening on the 6th of April, so mark your calendars.  Anyway, I had driven out here so I figured I may as well eat.

I walked in and was instantly impressed with the modern decor.  It wasn’t super busy, but the people that were there seemed to be enjoying themselves.  This place is a cross between fast food and full service.  They bring you your food, but don’t really check up on you during the meal.  Plus they give you these really huge, neon green numbers so that you can be seen from space.  Anyway, here is what the place looks like.

interior

So as I looked at the menu, I noticed a beef short-rib sandwich with fried onion strings.  It sounded delicious, so I opted for a vegetarian dish to punish myself for wanting it.  I ended up getting the 4 Cheese Pesto Pizza, which is just elitist enough to not qualify for our PMS rankings.

I normally don’t order pizza without Mikey, but I was intrigued by the chance to try goat cheese on something.  The other cheeses (Mozzarela, Fontina and Parmesan) come on all their other pizzas, so technically all of them should be called 3-cheese.  I was just going the extra mile for you guys.

All the pizzas are cooked in a wood burning oven.

All the pizzas are cooked in a wood burning oven.

My pizza got to the table very quickly.  I honestly don’t know how they did it that fast.  It takes CPK about triple the time to get me a glass of water.  Also, while this place isn’t cheap, it does beat CPK on price.  It’s probably because of the whole fast/fine dining thing they’ve got going on.

The pizza was cooked well.  The crust was light and flaky and CPK-like.  The pesto sauce was not overwhelming.  The tomatoes and basil were fresh and aromatic, and the goat cheese was very interesting.  It had an initial tanginess, followed by a smooth creamlike finish.

Four Cheese Pesto Pizza

Four Cheese Pesto Pizza

Another great thing about this place is their beer and wine selection.  Since daydrinking and unemployment don’t mix, I decided to abstain this time around.  However, I did manage to snap this picture of the wine rack.  It’s pretty cool for a fast food place.

I think red would go with the shortrib sandwich

I think red would go with the shortrib sandwich

And even though Wolfgang wasn’t there to make my pizza, I feel that they made a good effort.  I would definitely go back.  I might even revise my rules and go to more celeb chef restaurants.

If you have any ideas for me, let ’em be known in the comments.

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1 Comment

Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, Westlake Village

One response to “Fancy Pizza and Celebrity Chefs

  1. I’ve never been to Wolfgang Puck, but I hear their Mac N Cheese is to die for. The pizza looks delish.

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