Restaurant Review #265: Wildcraft Pizza, Culver City

I am a pizza aficionado. I make pizza from scratch once a week. And most restaurant pizzas let me down--I don't think they're as good as my homemade version.

Wildrcraft in Culver City is an exception. They distinguish themselves from other pizza places by using a sourdough crust (which is now on my to-bake list) and a 900-degree oven (not something I can replicate at home, unfortunately). They also use fresh ingredients, which of course many other pizza joints do as well but with less spectacular results.

I went to Wildcraft for lunch on a very calm holiday Monday when the restaurant was nearly empty (I imagine that's not typical). The rest of my party wasn't there yet, but the waitress seated me on the patio where I'd be able to see them walk in and served me water while I waited. Our service was great throughout the meal.

I ordered the O.G., the least expensive option at $11.00, but also my favorite type of pizza: oven-roasted tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and garlic. Half the pizza was enough for a light lunch. Most of the other pies are in the $12 to $15 range and have more unusual ingredients like porchetta, treviso, pistachios and clams (not all on the same pizza). Also on the menu are salads, a few veggies, and panini, but why would you come here and not order pizza?

The sourdough flavor is subtle; more noticeable is the crust's chew, slight crispiness and hint of char (none of the gigantic burnt bubbles that mar many a hot-oven pizza). Finding a mozzarella that melts properly, especially at high temperatures, without turning to mush or burning is a challenge; the chef has gotten it just right with fior di latte. In lieu of red pepper flakes, Wildcraft serves house-made chili oil with pepper flakes in it, plus real grated parmesan. And sitting on the patio is a great way to enjoy the ambiance of downtown Culver City on a warm, sunny day. They also have an extensive craft beer menu and carefully selected wine list.

I had a great experience at Wildcraft and I'd definitely go back. Despite being a trendy Westside joint, it doesn't feel pretentious at all. The pizza is worth driving out of your way for.

Wildcraft Pizza
9725 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Open daily at noon
Wildcraft Pizza menu
Wildcraft Pizza website

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