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Ocean Park Pizza:

“Pizza by the slice, any time, day or night.” So proclaims the slogan on the cover of the menu of Santa Monica’s latest independent pizza parlor, located on the increasingly well-serviced west stretch of Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica. What leaves me a touch confused is that the hours are also listed as Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. ‘til closing. Hmmm.

That aside, I noticed this new little eatery recently, while taking a leisurely stroll, and couldn’t resist the telltale olfactory stimulus of fresh-baked pizza pie wafting along the boulevard like a beacon to the hungry.

Mention pizza, and most of us picture the ubiquitous national and regional chains, such as the one named after a Chinese game that started in 1120 AD and involves dice and small rectangles of wood, or the other one called Pizza house, er, I mean Pizza shack, or whatever.

Fortunately for Santa Monicans there is an ever-growing ensemble of privately owned independents creating, serving and delivering pizzas, pastas and related sustenance of a more unique nature. Less production line oriented, if you will.

Ocean Park Pizza has a small, unassuming and somewhat benign frontage that belies the tasty temptations born within; in fact, had I been driving I may well have missed out altogether!

Although most people tend to choose pizza to go, or have it delivered, this parlor does avail the diner of a couple of tables outside, a couple of tables inside, and a very cute, well hidden patio out back that would be a fun place to enjoy a spontaneous mini pizza party with a few friends, I’m sure.

All the standard pizza options are available, with 14”and 18” pies starting at $9.25 and $12.95 respectively. Toppings are $1.50-$2.00.

The New York Pizza Pies are the real specialty here, with an adequate choice of nine pizza options, such as BBQ Chicken (diced BBQ chicken breast, smoked mozzarella cheese, red onion, garnished with fresh cilantro, 14” $15.95, 18” $19.95), and a tempting Ocean Park New York White Pie (made with a special garlic sauce, fresh ricotta and sautéed spinach, 14” $14.95, 18” $18.95). However, since I wanted to have a point of reference, I chose the trusty (hopefully!) Veggie Delight (mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, black olives, artichoke hearts, garlic, onions and green pepper, 14” $14.75, 18” $18.75), with a dinner salad and diet coke.

After a 20-minute wait (better fresh than fast!), I took home a dinner salad that was better than most of this type, with garbanzo beans and black olives adding a nice touch, and a 14” New York-style pizza that was blessed with a cornucopia of vegetables evenly spread over a generous layer of piping hot and tasty mozzarella, giving me a complete taste experience with every bite.  This was, quite simply, very good pizza.

I was stuffed, I was happy and I had plenty left for the next day.

Ocean Park Pizza is located at 2819 1/2 Ocean Park Blvd., just a couple of blocks from where I live.  Lucky me!  The phone number is 310.450.9949.

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