Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Urbano Pizza Bar

Here in Los Angeles, we certainly have our fair share of former Top Chef contestants making their mark on the food scene. Long before Michael Voltaggio stole the show with ink, Ilan Hall was making waves at The Gorbals with controversial menu items like bacon wrapped matzoh balls. Hall's newest effort is Urbano Pizza Bar in downtown which I recently got to visit with some friends.

The menu is divided into small plates and pizzas. To get started  we shared the beet and burrata salad ($9). There's a hunk of creamy burrata topped with pesto and served alongside beets, arugula, and a chunk of grilled bread. The flavors are fresh and clean.

Beet and Burrata Salad

Similar freshness can be found in the wild arugula salad with parmigiano, olive oil, and lemon juice ($7).

Wild Arugula

My favorite dish of the night was the wood-roasted broccoli ($6). The broccoli is nice and charred and served with balsamic saba, garlic, and chili flakes.

Wood-Roasted Broccoli

I was less excited about the charred corn with balsamic butter ($7). The flavors were fine, but nothing really popped.

Charred Corn

The rosemary roasted potatoes ($7) were also a bit of a letdown and after the first taste, no one really touched the sofrito ketchup they were served with.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Things rebounded nicely with the mozarella trio ($9). Burrata, smoked mozzarella, and fresh mozzarella come with tomatoes, pesto, and a totally addictive marinara sauce. We ended up ordering extra sauce on the side.

Mozzarella Trio

You can't visit a pizza bar without getting pizza so we ordered a few. We defiled our margherita pizza with pepperoni ($12 plus $3 for the pepperoni). It was fine, but nothing amazing.

Margherita Pizza with Pepperoni

The schimietta comes topped with smoked bacon, pumpkin, and goat cheese ($14). The toppings work well together, but like the rest of the pizzas, the crust is lacking. It's thin which I always prefer, but kind of doughy instead of crisp.


The favorite pizza of the night was the quattro formaggi ($14). Probably because we're all such cheese whores. The mozzarella, fontina, gorgonzola, and parmigiano give this pizza heft and there is a nice salty bite from castelvatrano olives.

Quattro Formaggi

We couldn't leave without ordering a couple of deserts. The poco dolce ($7) is caramelized pizza bread with sweet ricotta, nutella, and strawberries. This is an instance where the pizza dough actually works. It was delicious.

Poco Dolce

Since the celebration was for my friend Jason, we had to order his favorite chocolate and mint combo in an ice cream sandwich. The mint ice cream was real mint flavor and so perfect with the chocolate.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwich

Urbano isn't reinventing the pizza wheel, but it's certainly a nice addition to downtown LA. With Library Bar next door, you have a ready made fun night out on the town.

One year ago: Spaghetti All'Amatriciana with Spicy Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs
Two years ago: Maple Bacon Biscuits
Three years ago: Fried Ravioli

Urbano Pizza Bar
630 W. 6th Street, Suite B & C
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 614-1900

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Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] said...

I must try this place. The burrata smothered in pesto took my heart away. Same with the quattro formaggi pizza. Yum!

marla said...

Looks like fun...wish I lived closer to this place :)

Heather Christo said...

this just made me so hungry Esi! All of those mozzarella dishes may make it worth visiting on it's own!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I think I'd just stick to maybe a couple of orders of burrata and then the quattro formaggi. Not that I, like you, am a cheese whore at all!

Joanne said...

Though this place had some hits and some seemed like the hits were HITS. That's what I like in a restaurant.

vanillasugarblog said...

what is balsamic saba? i want that. lol
wood fired anything is fabulous!

Unknown said...

everything looks wonderful. I have to go there next time im in cali.

angela@spinachtiger said...

I don't understand what is so hard about getting pizza crust right, but it's rarely done. I think California Pizza Kitchen even though its a chain does a good job with crust. But, here my eye is on the broccoli.