Gorilla Pies Serves Pittsburgh-Fashion Pizza With California Soul

People in Los Angeles weren’t precisely clamoring for Pittsburgh-style pizza when Gorilla Pies opened there in 2021, however possibly that’s as a result of they didn’t know what they have been lacking. Now, because of the abilities and expertise of co-owner/chef Benjamin Osher, the pandemic pop-up-turned-restaurant is the discuss of the city, particularly after a latest section on CBS affiliate KCAL.

The Los Angeles Occasions ranked Gorilla Pies, which affords “Pittsburgh-style pizza with California soul,” as one of many metropolis’s “10 nice new pizza eating places” in 2022. In April 2023, Eater L.A. really useful it as certainly one of “21 prime stops for a meal” within the San Fernando Valley, describing Osher’s pies as “closely charred, severely tacky [and] impossibly crispy.”

What precisely is Pittsburgh-style pizza? The bottom line is within the cheese mix, Osher advised KCAL—particularly, a combo of half mozzarella and half provolone. “That’s a really Pittsburgh affect,” he mentioned. The result’s a very tacky pie, in line with Osher.

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Pittsburgh-style pizza has additionally discovered its solution to the American Southeast, because of a three-store chain referred to as Metal Metropolis Pizza within the Charleston, South Carolina space. Metal Metropolis Pizza’s web site affords a extra detailed description of town’s signature fashion: “The traditional Pittsburgh pizza is taken into account a vessel for cheese. In truth, there’s often a lot cheese piled on prime of the pizza that the crust needs to be very thick in order that it may well help the burden of the cheese. In some circumstances, the crust might be as thick as small rolls and have good char marks from the baking course of within the stone fireplace oven. A Pittsburgh-style pizza crust often comes out of the oven medium crisp, puffy, and chewy—an ideal mixture! If you happen to request toppings moreover the cheese, then be ready to return with a big urge for food and an expectation of taking dwelling loads of leftovers!”

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Gorilla Pies / Instagram

Osher has introduced his personal sensibility to the fashion, as Eater L.A.’s Farley Elliott wrote shortly after Gorilla Pies opened within the spring of 2021. “Osher laces every pizza with loads of mozzarella to make sure an extra-cheesy outcome, and he isn’t afraid to load up his pies with a number of, properly, no matter he needs. There’s pickled fennel on one pizza, pastrami and sauerkraut on one other, plus the same old array of greens, Italian meats and crimson sauce choices. There are even meatballs (together with a vegan take), wings, and among the greatest tacky bread—referred to as monkey bars right here—you will get wherever in Los Angeles.”

Osher previously labored for a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, Junoon, in New York Metropolis, and as a sous chef for the worldwide sushi chain, Nobu. After getting laid off from his job at Mama Shelter in L.A. in the course of the pandemic, he began making pizzas in his kitchen at dwelling. Like so many pandemic-era pizza entrepreneurs, he marketed and bought them by way of Instagram as an underground pop-up. “I used to take menus and go away them at my native espresso store,” Osher advised Eater L.A. “I’d put flyers on individuals’s automobiles, of their mailboxes. All of it.”

Earlier than lengthy, he’d constructed up a devoted base of shoppers, and he and his brother, Jake, opened Gorilla Pies as a brick-and-mortar retailer in a former kosher bakery. The Osher brothers are Jewish themselves, however they word that their pizzas aren’t kosher. In truth, an indication within the pizzeria states, “It’s Osher, Not Kosher.”

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“I’m impressed by pizza,” Osher advised KCAL. “Pizza is common. You’d be hard-pressed to search out anyone on the planet that’s like, ‘Pizza? No, I don’t need that.’”

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