The 80’s meets the present at the Pizza Cookery in Woodland Hills. As soon as you step in you’ll be instantly transported back in time – large dark wooden booths, a Ms. PacMan machine in the waiting area, and sawdust on the floors, something you rarely see these days.
Although the decor hasn’t changed much in the 40 years Pizza Cookery has been in business, the menu has. In keeping up with the times, there’s a gluten-free menu with pizzas and pastas, a vegan menu using Daiya cheese and even gluten-free vegan selections.
Back in the days before gluten-free vegan diets were a thing, my teenage friends and I would come here for the garlic cheese rolls. Served with whipped butter, the rolls were glorious, seducing us with their pillowy soft insides. To my surprise, even though the decor hasn’t changed, the rolls have. Instead of rolls the size of your fist, with layers of garlic and cheese inside, these were much smaller and lighter. There was less dough to coat with butter, though we tried our best.
After gorging on rolls, the only necessary addition would be a salad, to help balance out the carb load (and to distract the server from the fact that you’re only here for the free garlic cheese rolls).
The house Italian salad is part of the Mini Pizza Special (8″ individual size pizza with two toppings, salad and drink) for $15.50, which I always felt obligated to order so I didn’t look like a cheapskate. The salad comes in a bowl, within a larger bowl – romaine, mozzarella cheese, garbanzo beans and a tomato slice. In order to toss your salad, you dump it into the larger bowl and then pour the dressing on top. Once emptied into the larger bowl, you’ll see that the serving is huge and could easily feed two people.
Pizza Cookery pizzas are the old-fashioned American Italian kind. The crust is thin, but not NY-style thin, hearty enough to hold your toppings. If you order it with pepperoni, pools of grease will be sitting in each pepperoni (which is why I go for the sausage). The pizza itself is fine, not worth driving out of your way for. The Mini Pizza Special can feed two, with some assistance from the rolls, or reward you with leftovers (which taste even better the next day).
Payment is at the register up front, where they have a basket of lollipops. My friends and I each grabbed one, immediately erasing the years and making us feel like teenagers again. Even though the garlic rolls weren’t the same, it was a great trip down memory lane.
Location – 6209 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills 91367
Website – http://www.pizzacookery.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes