Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pizza Fusion: Going Vegan and Gluten-Free for a Night

Pizza Fusion is NOT a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free place.
It does, however, carry options for all of the above, and is pretty well-known for their gluten free crust, giving those with celiac disease the rare opportunity to eat a pizza. So when the owners of Pizza Fusion invited me over to taste the food they offer, I decided to try these vegan and gluten-free stuff for myself.

DISCLAIMER: I went for an invited tasting, so we ate for free.

I went with LA & OC Foodie, the perfect partner in crime since he was doing a Meatless April (and I guess now he's attempting a Meatless May too ... tsk tsk.)

I don't know if Pizza Fusion is the first sustainable chain, but this franchise that started in Miami not only serves organic and sustainable products but also didn't stray from their environmental mission in building their locations. Even their floors, walls and toilets.

Pizza Fusion carries some microbrewery beers on taps and also a selection of organic wines. LA & OC Foodie ordered a flight of 4 beers (20 oz total, %10).
I don't remember what beers he ordered but I remembered I liked the Unibroue Blanche de Chambly the best.

I opted for the lemonade instead ($3.00) at first... I gave in and got a beer later - the Blanche de Chambly. Uhm.
The lemonade is not too sweet like most others, which makes it even more refreshing and thirst quenching.

The owner recommended the stuffed zucchini, "Zucchini al Forno" ($6.99), so we got an order of those too.
Roasted zucchini stuffed with walnuts and vegetarian stuffing. We definitely didn't miss the meat or the chicken/turkey broth in this, the stuffing had plenty of flavors already. Perhaps too much actually. I thought the zucchini didn't need so much stuffing and less would actually balance the flavors better. I did enjoy the texture that the walnuts gave to this.

Because those flip-up menus and ads sometimes do work and this looked good, we got a half order of the Pear & Gorgonzola salad ($5.99)
Using great fresh products, can't go wrong with this salad.

We ended up getting a non-vegan (but vegetarian since LA & OC Foodie is doing his meatless April!) on a gluten-free crust, and a vegan pizza (with vegan cheese) on a normal crust. Hedging our bets, so to speak.

Here's the Farmer's Market Pizza with Gluten-Free crust (personal size, $9.99)

As you can see below, the gluten free crust is noticeable thinner than a normal thin crust. It's rather cracker-like also, probably what one would expect from a non-gluten crust.

For the vegan cheese at Pizza Fusion, you have 2 options: either the Follow Your Heart soy cheese, or the Daiya cheese for a bit extra - $0.50-$1, can't remember. Because Quarry Girl raved about the Daiya cheese (which she then asked Pizza Fusion to carry), we opted to try it.

We got this cheese on the Very Vegan pizza (personal size, $8.99+extra for Daiya).
Upon first taste, Daiya cheese certainly had strong flavors, one that you wouldn't expect from a vegan cheese, and one that you wouldn't get from the Follow Your Heart soy cheese (according to LA & OC Foodie)

I ended up liking the normal-cheese-gluten-free-crust pizza better but LA & OC Foodie liked the vegan-cheese-normal-crust better.
It's certainly wonderful that those with celiac disease can have things they normally wouldn't be able to at Pizza Fusion, like the pizza, and also brownies. We tried a gluten-free vegan brownie ($4.99) a la mode (with vanilla gelato - not vegan).
The brownie was surprisingly chocolate-y and decadent, almost reminiscent of fudge though not as rich and thick. It was moist but the flavors are there, although the texture was just a little bit off. Not necessarily bad, but I definitely noticed a difference between this gluten free version and others.

I have some vegan friends and I also know a couple of people with celiac disease. It was really nice to find this place so I can take him later and let him have some pizza and brownie. Personally though, I'd still go with the bbq chicken, sinful cheese, and gluten crust :P Luckily, Pizza Fusion has all that, too. Something for everyone.

They also have the following weekly specials, in case you're planning a visit!
Vegan Monday- Free Daiya Cheese Upgrade on Any Pizza or Free Vegan Strawberry Sorbet on any Large Vegan Pizza Soy or Daiya
Wine and Dine Tuesday- Up to $20 off Organic/ Sustainable Bottles of Wine
Draft Beer Wednesday- $1 off Any Draft Beer
Gluten-Free Thursday- Free Gluten-Free Vegan Brownie with Any Large Gluten Free Pizza

Pizza Fusion - Hollywood
7950 W. Sunset Blvd.
Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 375-3390
Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon



Also at 2901 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405


I am totally going to tell my vegan and celiac friends about this place! Thanks!

Banana Wonder

Awesome! I've been dying to try these place out after my lent vegan buddy told me that we have to go here regardless of whether we are fasting from animal products or not. And good beers too :) Have you tried Pure Luck yet?

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me!

hmmm vegan pizza crust i'm skeptical but if you liked it i'm willing to give it a try... lots of zucchini going around the stuffed ones look good!

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