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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Village Pizzeria

     I'm convinced our trip to California was a divine birthday gift meant to quell my thirst for Italy, if only for a spell. Coronado is a beach town in the southern San Diego area. It is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, setting of the iconic film "Some Like it Hot". Before we began our exploration of the hotel, we felt a bit peckish. Several attractive restaurants beckoned, but we weren't feeling a formal lunch. The sleepy little Village Pizzeria with its ceramic centurion advertising a 3:00 pm happy hour caught our attention. Now, I've already said I'm not a pizza enthusiast, but this place was exactly equidistant from our car and the hotel we wanted to explore, so why not?
     The menu seemed standard with all the usual choices of toppings, sizes and varieties of crust thickness. There were some pasta dishes, hoagies, calzones and a few appetizers, one of which grabbed me immediately. I am so happy that crispy Brussel sprouts have become so popular. I am quite fond of them, and I feel a minimum of guilt when I indulge.
     The specialty pizzas are what sets this place apart. Their careful combination of fresh ingredients is quite reminiscent of Neapolitan pizza-making. We ordered a 12" pie divided into two customized sides. John's half was called the 'Whitestone' which came with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. He added pepperoni and sauteed red onions. My side was called the 'Billy Goat', and it had roasted vegetables, goat cheese and garlic olive oil. John was quite satisfied with his half, but he likes pizza more than I do, so I wasn't surprised. What did come as a pleasant surprise was that today turned out to be one of those rare days when I happily jump on the pizza bandwagon. The vegetables were bright and fresh and roasted to sweet perfection. I have to learn how to roast vegetables until the exact nanosecond when they release their sugary secrets yet retain their brilliant colors. Every bite was sweet ecstasy, and just when you're about to surrender to the trance, the goat cheese gently taps your taste buds with a pop of saltiness.
     This little excursion almost didn't happen. It was the last day of our vacation, and the original plan was to spend it leisurely near our hotel in Torrance and turn in early in expectation of our crack-of-dawn flight home. At the last minute, we decided to squeeze as much adventure as possible out of our trip to California. There would be time for rest when we got home. Serendipity is the best consequence of not having a plan.

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