Ahh, the LA adventures. Even after a few days, the memories are still making me laugh out loud. Upon returning home from LA on Thursday, I was pretty darn tired and not too excited about the prospect of spending all day Friday driving.
When I woke up the next morning, I called C and asked if she’d be okay with leaving in the early afternoon instead of the morning. C was fine with it, so I decided to tackle a few errands.
Breakfast (cereal+yogurt+berries+iced coffee) was had. Lunch (power wrap + sliced cukes & berries) was prepped; and rooms were cleaned.
I also sent a foodie package to the lovely B in Rhode Island, with a . I would call it a lovely wrapped package, but who I am kidding. Crafts are not my forte. Instead, I’ll just call it wrapped with love.
B sent me a package that arrived on Friday, but the contents of that magical box are a story for another day! Instead, let’s talk LA.
I intended to pick up C from her house at around 1:15ish, but by the time I dealt with the mysteries of the post office, it was 2 ‘o clock. In other words….
^ Hahah why yes, yes it does. You can thank B for that one. Anywhos, C and I laughed and joked up to LA, making good time until Venice Blvd.
Sadly, by 3 pm, the fantastic wonder of LA traffic began…Chaos like clockwork.
Without air conditioning (it was broken in the car I share with my brother), we were both rather delirious. That, of course, resulted in singing just about every Top 40 hit on the radio loudly, and obnoxiously off-key in my case.
Yes, this happened.
And plenty of reminiscing about old high school dance moments. Sunburned from sitting in traffic, albeit in high spirits, C and I finally made it to our destination…..UCLA!
That’s the University of California, Los Angeles—for those of you snazzy out-of-staters.
We parked (haha, take note of this) in a two-hour metered spot in Westwood and then made the trek across campus to meet best friend, C.
Wait, another C? Yep! We’ll call her C2 for now.
After plenty of greetings, spontaneous laughing, and bear hugs, the three of us walked around for a bit and then headed back to C2’s room. College stories commenced. We talked for almost two hours, before deciding that it was most definitely time for dinner. C2, being a legit LA pro, picked the place.
800 Degrees Restaurant!
We were on our way to the restaurant, when I freaked out and saw that my watch read 6:40 pm.
6:40 p.m., as in the time our parking meter expired.
“Holy *&#@! Crap! Effin dangit!”
Something like that ensued, before I bolted like a crazed racehorse and ran to our parking spot two blocks away. When I saw the car still there, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Until I spied a little red-embellished enveloped. And then, there was more of this:
Holy *&#@! Crap! Effin dangit! SHIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!
And finally, “Whatevs, just give me pizza.”
I reparked the car in a different spot and then met C & C2 at the restaurant.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: 800 Degrees Pizza
As soon as I walked up to the restaurant, I realized why C2 had picked the place. The line was around the block, and the wondrous smell of freshly-baked pizza wafted out the door.
Homemade, gourmet Neapolitan pizza? Oh yes, I needed this.
C & C2 were near the front of the line by the time I arrived, so I hopped in line with them and we tossed around ideas for ordering.
The Menu & Order
800 Degrees has a shortlist of specialty pizzas but also gave diners the option to create-their-own pizza from lists of veggies + proteins. Both lists were extensive in nature and artisan in description. The protein list included various authentic Italian meats, both cured and fresh. Pancetta was even sliced to order from a big honkin’ machine. The veggie/cheese list—clearly my main squeeze—included everything from roasted eggplant to caramelized onions and buffalo mozzarella to truffle cheese.
Instantaneously agreeing that we wanted to try both a pizza with mushrooms and a pizza with red sauce, we ordered two pizzas and a side salad to split.
1 Tartufo Pizza
1 Margherita Pizza
1 Gorgonzola Salad
The Food & Experience
Both pizzas were good, but the Tartufo was my favorite. I loved the extra garlicky olive oil and earthy mushrooms. I don’t know that I could taste the truffle oil, but I liked the pizza nonetheless. The salad was pretty standard (fruit+nuts+cheese). It was good, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to order it again.
The restaurant itself was wonderfully decorated. We chose to eat-in, which made for a rather noisy experience, but it wasn’t entirely a bad thing. For a medium pizza, it was around $6 for the margherita and $12 for the Tartufo, making the restaurant within reasonable means for a college student.
I preferred 800 Degrees to Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, both because it was quicker/more convenient and better in terms of food.
The Big, Fat Bottom Line: 800 Degrees
Pretty good! I would definitely come back. I’m a still a homemade pizza girl at heart, but as far as restaurant Neapolitan pizza goes, this was delish
We left the restaurant pretty darn full…but with just enough room for one thing:
C2 had one meal swipe left, so we decided to split a gelato from one of the campus eateries. As in every decision, all three of us said, “I’m okay with anything—you pick!” Typical. I finally (wo)manned up, and ordered.
Deliciousness in two varieties: “cookies ‘n cream” and “cookie sensations.”
Which basically translated to Oreo and cookie dough. Plus a pirouette cookie and a water (to share of course!).
Yum! I haven’t had gelato in years (maybe since going to Switzerland), so this was fantastic. The eatery also had gourmet personal pizzas, including a vegan option at that! Such a win. If only Georgetown had food that good…
Post-gelato, we entertained the idea of heading to Trader Joe’s with C2’s friends but then decided to hang in the dorm instead. More gossiping, storytelling, and catchup on each other’s lives ensued. I’d like to think of it as necessary chilling.
A little past midnight, C and I said our goodbyes, promising to plan an East Coast reunion for the three of us soon. On our way home, C & I just talked and laughed. Nothing fancy but oh so wonderful, considering we don’t get to do that often.
And thus, the LA adventures came to a finish.
Two days to remember, for sure!