The pizza chef at Falora Pizza + Espresso doesn’t seem to mind.
We’ve come in for a late lunch, and, since the Neapolitan pizza restaurant isn’t crowded, we stand and stare into the open kitchen as she makes the Giardino ($14) pizza we ordered.
She picks up a square of dough, dusts flour on it and the counter, and quickly, deftly, works the dough into a small round.
Then she begins constructing: A liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil, a gorgeous golden color, is spread over the dough. Next, sprigs of fresh oregano are scattered, topped by lots of fresh spinach, tiny cherry tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers that had been roasted in the wood-burning oven, a generous sprinkling of sliced portabellini mushrooms, clumps of mozzarella, and, on top of it all, fresh Parmesan cheese shaved off a big wedge directly onto the pizza.
She picks it up with the pizza paddle, slides it into the oven, and about three minutes later, it’s brought to our table.
The pizza is sublime.
Not just that Giardino. We visited the restaurant several times, and not once were we disappointed.
Ari Shapiro, the force behind the Xoom Juice smoothies shop and downtown’s Sparkroot, opened Falora in early March. He’s fashioned a cozy eatery out of a 1,000-square-foot space with exposed brick walls, a wood-burning pizza oven from Italy, and floor-to-ceiling concrete-brick shelving with cubbyholes stuffed with the pecan logs that feed the fire.
Read the full review and more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.