Xlixe Pizza – Dumb Name, Pretty Good Pizza

13 Dec

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Xlixe is the year-or-so-old pizzeria that brought actual pizza to Little Tokyo. Since we talked about Mr. Pizza yesterday, let’s talk about a Korean-American place that puts non-traditional stuff on their pies.

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Unlike Mr. Pizza, Xlixe (pronounced “slice”) has one foot in the Arts District. Well-curated craft brews, growlers to be filled, and street-art-ish looking art on the walls. Deliveries are made on a scooter parked right outside. Hipsters, rejoice.

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Cheap bastards like me, rejoice, too. At least for lunch. $6 at lunch gets you two slices and a can of soda. And their slices are huge – as wide as a Costco slice, but much thinner. This picture is the $7 deal: a slice of mushroom, a side salad, and a coke.

Here’s a shot of the seedy underbelly. Not great char, so you won’t be getting Mozza/Sotto style bubbling. It’s too bad because the slice is pretty good otherwise.

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And here’s the surprisingly decent side salad. The vinaigrette is weirdly viscous, but a nice blend of sweet and tart. The mix is mostly forgettable, except that they slice pepperoncini on it. Sliced red onions and cubes of jack cheese make it just slightly above the norm for a side salad.

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Ah, and here’s a slice of the Furious Pig – Korean BBQ pork on a pizza. This is great, as the spiciness and sweetness of the pork are a great topping, and Xlixe has a good hand in not overdoing the cheese. The only problem is that the oil pools on top of the slice. That they sautéed the onions with the pork is a nice touch.

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And here’s their excellent garlic roll. A cheap treat at $2.50 for 3 big rolls, this would make a big snack or a small meal for a carb-lover who doesn’t mind suffering ostracism for crazy garlic breath. At happy hour, they are only $1.50! These remind me of C&O Trattoria’skiller garlic rolls. My favorite part of Xlixe.

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Ah, and here’s where critical race theory and my love of a good lunch collide. This sandwich is their Slanted Philly – Korean bulgogi with onions and cheese. Available on a sandwich or on a pizza. First off, it’s good. A lot like what my mom used to make but with cheese. Korean BBQ goes great with any carb, so a sandwich roll is almost as good as a bowl of rice. Xlixe’s is too salty and a bit overcooked, but still tasty.

But how do I feel about a “slanted” anything? Sure, they needed a clever name to show it was a Korean take on a Philly cheesesteak. But “slant-eyed?” Really?

Xlixe is Korean-owned and operated, even if the guys you’ll usually see taking your money and cooking are Latino. But does that excuse what, if it were coming from a white guy, would be grounds for a boycott?

It reminds me of the Bryan Cranston episode of Seinfeld, in which he plays a dentist who converts to Judaism and then starts telling derogatory jokes about Jews. Jerry says he’s offended, not as a Jew, but as a comedian.

I must be the same, because I keep going back to Xlixe.

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Anyways, you order the sandwich for $8.50 and you get the side salad. Pretty good deal. Or if you want a drink, $8 will get you half a sandwich, the salad, and a soda.

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Xlixe Pizzeria
432 E 2nd St, Los Angeles 90012
(Btwn S Central Ave & Alameda St)
Phone: (213) 620-0513

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