Zelo: Pizza for grown up’s

zelosign.jpg If CA DOT is correct some 10,000 people a day pass this non-descript little restaurant on Foothill Blvd in Arcadia as they attempt to avoid the jam packed 210 Freeway. Most have no idea that “Zelo” is Italian for “Zeal” as in “Zeal for life”. Even fewer know that it is one of the best Pizza’s in the SGV if not the whole city.

What make’s it special? Corn meal in the crust. Not corn flour but corn meal for that wonderfully sweet, slightly corn bread nutty crunch. Not chewy or yeasty and a nice alternative to the thin crust, thick crust debate.

More after the jump.

Zelo’s is our favorite spot to go when we have a lunch date, no kidlets just us for a nice quiet meal. The place has gotten good reviews all over and they are well deserved. Be warned it really is a pizza place for adults, my kids did it once and just did not like the crust. You also get your choice of inside or sidewalk dining, I prefer inside as there is so much to keep one amused with on their walls.

Today we debated over what to order we grazed on the beet salad, a perennial favorite of ours. The specials are always tempting, todays list included a calzone that got my attention. The better half craves her usual “roasted corn, bacon and basil” from which she rarely deviates.

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We grazed on the Beet Salad, a mix of pickled beets, greens, walnuts, gorgonzola with in a vinaigrette. Quite tasty even though I prefer fresh roasted beets over the pickled variety for that extra sweetness.

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While waiting for our order Kath pointed to a framed album hung by our table. She commented on the title “music to eat pizza by”. I looked close and nearly died. What…”Jeno’s Music to Eat Pizza By” performed by the “Duluth Accordianaires”. Crap…my mother had that album when I was a kid. My cousin Terry played with them and was also on that album. It has been a bajillion years since I last saw that album cover and there it was in front of me. Spooky…but you get the idea on their obscure and entertaining wall decorations. Thanks for the memory guys.

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I was not disappointed when my calzone arrived. It was a complete aroma treat before you even cut into the first bit. Encased within the perfect cornmeal crust was little red potatoes, roasted sweet red peppers, mozarella and lots of BLEU CHEESE. It just was the best thing I have had to eat in ages. Zelo’s…you exceeded my expectations today. Thanks.

All told, Salad, drinks, a slice of the corn/basil/bacon pizza and my calzone came to $30 including tip. Not a cheap lunch, but certainly inexpensive and perfect for date day. Do note that they will be closed December 24th for the holidays, reopening for lunch on January 2, 2008.

The details:
Zelo
328 E Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA
626-358-8298

Pics by me with the trusty cell phone cam.

7 Replies to “Zelo: Pizza for grown up’s”

  1. I’ve been there more than a few times. The wild mushroom pizza (or something like that) is the best one I’ve had. I also like that they hand cut the lettuce for the salad on the spot, or at least they did since I was last there.

  2. Serio? Best in the whole SGV? Better than Petrillos in San Gabriel or Red Devil in Monterey Park? You better be right frazgo or I swear I’m stealing the giant bra from the lingerie store on Myrtle.

  3. I’ll take your advice. I’m an avid pizza enthusiaist, bring on any more recs por favor. I stayed in NYC for a few months and tried every pizza joint i could. BTW, have you, or anyone else, tried zachary’s in Berkeley? I have been trying to find a similar place down here to no avail. I heard palermo’s has good “chicago style” deep dish (I dont know what that actually is, zach’s has a thick layerof the toppings mixed with seasoned tomatoes mixed together) but I never tried anything beyond pasta dished there. Thanks for the tips and keep them coming, my mechanic’s in monrovia so I’ll be stopping by soon.

  4. Berkley is way off my beaten path. But any neighborhood with a strong Italian community will have a good pizza place or 2, 3…
    Palermos I have heard of never ventured over.

    “Chicago Style” is a breed of pizza all onto it’s own. A varietal I got turned onto in college where 3/4 of my classmates were from Chicago. I haven’t found much luck duplicating the great ones I had back there as too many think that thick crust is what makes it “chicago style” when it is a lot more than just that. Thick cut vegies mixed with the cheese is part of it. Good luck with the search if you find a good one let me know as that is one I do miss from college at SIU.

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