GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

November 14, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | FOOD ROCK OF AGES Downtown's Pizza Rock has every style of pie you've been craving—and then some BY BROCK RADKE If a new pizzeria opened anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley serving one specific style of superdelicious pizza, I'd eat it and write about it here. I believe we all love pizza, and I don't think I'm overestimating your interest in outstanding pies and slices. That said, I'm trying to decide how much we should all freak out about Pizza Rock, which has not one, but eight different, specific styles of superdelicious pizza. If the only thing on the menu was the tomato pie ($21), a crisp 16-inch beauty cooked in an electric brick oven with a PIZZA ROCK three-tomato blend, sliced 201 N. Third St., 385-0838. mozzarella, shreds of fresh Sunday-Thursday, basil, oregano, olive oil and 11 a.m.-midnight; garlic, I would still be in Friday & Saturday, love with this place. But the 11 a.m.-4 a.m. tomato pie is just one of four New York/New Haven pizzas on the menu, so now we have to fight over ordering it again or trying different toppings on this almostcrunchy, wonderfully charred crust—like bacon, clams, roasted garlic, mozzarella and pecorino. And those New York pies are just one small section of the menu, culled from the mind of Bay Area-based Tony Gemignani. His classic margherita Napoletana earned him the title of first American to win the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy, something those Neapolitans were not happy about. But it makes me happy. Pizza Rock makes only 73 of these each day—hand-mixing the dough made with San Felice flour; proofing the dough in wood boxes to remove moisture; adding only tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and sea salt; and then giving them 90 seconds in the 900-degree wood-burning oven. A study in the beauty of simplicity, these pies are on par with the best Neapolitans in town, your Settebellos and Due Fornis and D.O.C.G.s and Novecentos. There's so much more. I'm obsessed with the > PRIZED PIES Pizza Rock's sweet and savory Cal Italia, here, and Old Chicago cracker-thin, below, will have you swooning. Chicago cracker-thin, another thin-crust pizza with significantly different flavor thanks to rare Ceresota flour, plenty of corn meal and a liberal crispifying scorch from the oven. The Frank Nitti ($21) is an utterly satisfying meatless pizza, crowned with spinach and ricotta. Or opt for the Old Chicago ($22) and its savory sliced meatballs. If you've got a hungry group, Pizza Rock's huge, deep-dish Sicilians RAMEN OR FRIED CHICKEN? Maybe try both at the small but versatile Fukumimi FUKUMIMI RAMEN 4860 S. Eastern Ave. #2, 631-2933. Daily, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. tonkotsu (pork) broth with salt, soy and spicy miso broths, serves a chicken-based ramen, and all summer long offered cold tomato ramen with chilled pork soup, sesame sauce, vinegar and vegetables. Fukumimi's flexibility continues with its non-ramen dishes, ranging from chashu pork or curry rice bowls to deep-fried agedashi tofu ($3.90). Then there's one of the Valley's best versions of karaage ($3.90), juicy scraps of dark-meat chicken deep fried in a light, cornmeal-laced batter. All it needs is a quick squeeze of lemon, but I experimented with dunking the chicken in my spicy soup broth. Is that against the rules? –Brock Radke PHOTOS BY STEVE MARCUS Only two area ramen shops—Monta and Sora—participated in the recent ramenfest at the annual Las Vegas Aki Matsuri Japanese Festival. That's a shame, because there are lots of great soup noodles that deserve some shine. Shoku and Tatsu, to name two, but also the tiny and versatile Fukumimi. This unassuming east-side eatery blends can handle your needs in flavorful style, thanks to a hearty-yet-light, buttery focaccia crust. Get the Boss ($32), loaded with salami, bacon, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives and cherry tomatoes. There are gluten-free pizzas, Roman pizzas with three different sets of toppings on one pie, Californiastyle pizzas with honey and piave cheese, and New York slices as big as your head dotted with those little pepperoni coins that curl slightly when cooked. This is the pizzeria of a pizza nerd's dreams, and we're all pizza nerds. Adding to the experience is a classic, easygoing bar-and-grill setting with a lot of energy and a totally respectable beer and wine list and cocktail menu. Once you've checked off all the interesting pizzas you need to try, work your way through sandwiches, house-made fresh pastas, and sides of wood-fired asparagus or deep-fried artichokes. Clearly, Pizza Rock is built to be a place where you keep coming back. It's already got me hooked. 54 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 14–20, 2013 54_Food_1_20131114.indd 54 11/13/13 4:47 PM

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