Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Impression: Urbano Pizza

Urbano Pizza Bar opened last month at the corner of 6th & Hope Streets in Downtown LA next door to Library Bar, whose owners backed Urbano as well.  The interior is spare and attractive with a long communal table in the center of the space.  The focus of the menu is the titular pizzas, which have been created by baker Brad Winnaman and cooked in the Neapolitan style in a wood burning oven.  There is a short menu of starters and and about ten different pizzas offered daily.

The highlight of the starters section is the Wood Roasted Artichoke with garlic butter and lemon herb aioli ($10).  Almost every table seems to order this dish and with good reason.  This was the best artichoke dish I have had in recent memory.  The aioli is light and wonderfully garlicy and the artichoke has been roasted to just the right degree of doneness.  If you can only order one dish, then get this dish, even above any of the pizzas.

The Butter Lettuce & Gorgonzola Salad with wood roasted sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocados, chives and herb white wine vinaigrette is a pleasing appetizer that is on the lighter side.  The gorgonzola adds a pleasant savory note to the salad and the fresh cherry tomatoes are sweet.

The consensus favorite of the pizzas was the Selvatica with Burrata, roasted cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, and pine nuts.  There was restraint in the amount of topping on this pizza as the basil pesto and the burrata were so flavorful that the pizza didn't need to be drowning in sauce or toppings to be delicious.

We also enjoyed the Margherita, made with just mozzarella, crushed tomato and basil, and the Carciofi with smoked mozzarella, marinated artichokes, crushed tomato and rosemary.  The artichoke pizza was good but not as amazing as the artichoke appetizer.  The pizzas are thin crust and have a pleasant char from the oven.

Urbano doesn't serve either coffee or dessert, so if you want to linger at your table, order one of the beers or wines from the all Italian list.  Moretti is a good beer to enjoy while you eat your pizza pies. Lunch is significantly busier than dinner.  Dinner hours are Sunday - Thursday 6 pm - 11 pm, and from 6 pm - Midnight on Friday & Saturdays.  Lunch is weekdays only from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm.

Urbano Pizza Bar: 630 W. 6th Street, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 614-1900.  Website: www.urbanopizzabar.com

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