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THE 2015 EXPERIENCE
Looking at the breakfast menu, I searched for something that emphasized the bread which has made the bakery famous. But then I saw the pizzas! I was going to resist pizza for breakfast until I saw the "Eggs in a Nest" option. This pie featured two eggs over easy, prosciutto, spicy marinara, and a big pile of arugula "nest."
I ordered a decaf coffee, not the usual beverage for pizza, but it seemed right for the bread-and-eggs dish that this pizza promised. The coffee was remarkably good. Better than the good K-cups I've been drinking, better than Starbucks. The waiter told me is was "Silverback single origin" coffee, sourced from Rwanda. Powerful flavor but with a silky smooth finish.
The pizza arrived swiftly, and it was a pretty big personal pie. Beautiful to look at, with the huge puffy charred cornicione that is typical of the best Neapolitans. The deep piles of wonderfully fresh arugula were lovely but also served to hide the rest of the pie.
Ordinarily, I love arugula, but I like my salad on the side instead of piled onto my pizza. But it worked very well with the egg, spicy sauce, and crust, even as it made for a messy slice.
The crust was superb. Better than 4 out of 5 authentic Neapolitan pies I've had. This is the magic of Disney (or Disney-approved places) - somehow great food is churned out by the kids they hire to staff these places. The cheese was sparse, appropriately, and a bit of a role player. The sauce was likewise applied sparingly; otherwise, the weight and the moisture of the sunnyside egg would have made for a wet pie.
Wonderful coffee, a nearly-perfectly executed Neapolitan, good service -- all this made for a delightful pizza experience in a town where I'd given up on finding decent pie. The pie was $15, the coffee (free refills) was $4. Not cheap, but a grand bargain in Disneyland. I would eat again at La Brea Bakery without hesitation. Breakfast may be the best time to be there, before it gets populated with sunburned crying kids well past nap time.
THE 2017 UPDATEI had a return visit to Anaheim in November of 2017, and I eagerly anticipated another breakfast pizza at La Brea. Alas, they had revamped the menu and it was gone from the offerings. So at 8am, I ordered a pepperoni pizza.
This Neapolitan pie had the same wonderful crust, its dough single-sourced from an heirloom grain, Fortuna wheat grown in Montana. The pie was delightful around the cornicione, with great and complex flavors as well as the right mix of densely chewy and crunchy.
The interior of the pie required knife and fork, because of the fountains of grease that had flowed from the pepperoni and the over-application of the standard mozzarella. Fully half of each slice was drenched in orange oil. I cherish the greasy pizza as much as anyone, but this was overloaded.
|Lovely char, but lots of grease underneath|
|Twio kinds of pepperoni|
|Swimming in orange oil|
I still recommend La Brea Bakery Cafe pizza - but the menu revamp has dropped it down a notch.