Lodge Bread Co. is Open Again, with Wine, Pizza and a Confusing Menu

my understanding, Bigmouth, is that the pizza oven IS NEW.

will ask the next time i go.

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Awesome! That’s what I thought initially. And I agree @helen_s, there’s very little margin for error on these super hot ovens, so I definitely cut them some slack.

so beer and wine ?

Not yet. I promise, you’ll be the first to know. :wink: :beers:

danke, Bookwich

We were one of the early FTC’ers who really enjoyed Lodge when it first opened up.

Indeed, @kevin @bulavinaka helped “push” us to check it out and during the early days they had great potential. Their Toasts and Bread while uneven at times, were also very good.

And they were not burnt, like they are now.

Something changed. I don’t know if it’s one of their bakers, or a new recipe, but even before the build out, @bulavinaka and others noticed super black / charred / burnt Bread loaves that looked nothing like their original offerings. Their Toasts seemed off as well. :frowning:

With the new build out, with Pizza and other dishes, I was hoping for better. We decided to stop by, even with all of the uneven reports, hoping for the best!

Walking in, the new larger space is indeed nice and spacious. It feels like a great place to hang out and eat now. :slight_smile:

Looking at their Bread selection, and sadly, it is the same as before @bulavinaka. :frowning: Overcharred, blackened loaves that are just disappointing.

Here’s a picture of one of the loaves of Bread we got from Lodge when they first opened in 2015:

Here’s some of their excellent Nut Butter Toast back in 2015:

This is their (Burnt) Bread now (2017):

Sorry, it’s CLEARLY different. :frowning: :rage:

I just don’t eat Burnt Bread. :frowning:

But onto the new menu, we were hoping for better.

English Pea with Burrata Pizza:

The Pizza arrived and this looked pretty decent! No excessive burnt marks on the outer crust. I was cautiously optimistic. Maybe they figured out their problems?

Bottom Crust:

Slightly burnt in one section, but generally OK!

Taking a bite, the Pizza has a slight crispness to it, the Tomato Sauce is a bit light, but has enough acidity and subtle sweetness to keep it tasty. The English Peas are OK. They are nowhere near as bright and naturally sweet as the English Pea Pizza we had at Pizzeria Mozza the last 2 years (during this season). But it might just be the batch of crops.

The fresh Burrata was delicious! :slight_smile: Overall, a pretty solid Pizza. The crust had a subtle tang from the Sourdough base.

@PorkyBelly’s concerns about Crust-to-Filling Ratio is valid: There were 2 slices where it was uneven, with the Crust taking up easily 60% of the slice(!). :open_mouth: So all you got was mainly outer Crust. And Crust itself isn’t that tasty (not as fragrant as, say, Mozza’s unique pie).

Flowering Broccoli with Cheddar and Calabrian Chili Pizza:

This 2nd Pizza arrived about 5 minutes after our first one.

We noticed one of part of the Pizza (left side) being burnt on top. :frowning:

And the Bottom Crust:

Burnt! :frowning: :sob:

The other side of the Pizza (the pic was taken too fast) was even more burnt! :frowning:

But maybe this wasn’t so bad. Taking a bite, the Cheddar and Calabrian Chili (nice bit of fragrant heat) dominated our taste. It was delicious for the first 2 bites. :slight_smile:

But then I could taste bitterness. Burnt bread. :frowning:

As you get away from the Cheese and on bites that didn’t have the Calabrian Chili, and especially towards the Crust, all we could taste was Burnt Bread. :confounded: This was just burnt.

We had to ask ourselves: “How could 2 Pizzas, from the same person cooking them, coming out within 5 minutes of each other be that drastically different?!” :confused:

At this point I stopped and observed the person cooking the Pizzas for the next 20 minutes.

There were some interesting observations:

  • There were 5 people in the Pizza section preparing, prepping and doing stuff.
  • Only 1 person seemed to be making Pizzas (laying out the dough, adding toppings).
  • That same person was sliding them into the Oven and cooking them.

That was a problem:

  • There were times we saw this Pizza maker get busy laying out dough, adding toppings, and we suddenly saw him “remember” about the Pizza in the oven and turn around and pull one out quickly (in a hurry). The crust was super dark / burnt. :unamused:

  • There were times I saw him sitting around (no new orders coming in), and he pulled out a Pizza at the correct time, because it looked like our English Pea Pizza (just a little color, light leopard spotting).

  • There were 2 times I saw him pull out a Pizza, prod it and poke it, check underneath the Pizza in multiple sections, before putting it back in the Oven(!). :open_mouth: It was clear he didn’t know if it was “done” or not.

This seems like a workflow problem: They had 5 people crowded in the Pizza section, but only 1 person was prepping the dough, laying out ingredients and he was busy having to cook the Pizzas. Clearly this is part of why some Pizzas come out burnt or not.

It also seems like he’s inexperienced and still learning.

We were one of the early supporters of Lodge Bread, and like @kevin @bulavinaka @PorkyBelly early on, we hoped they would succeed and do well. And early on they had potential.

I understand they might have gotten a new oven, but seriously, don’t use your customers as guinea pigs to experiment and learn how to cook Pizza! :weary: :rage:

That’s what all those months prior to you doing this new Grand Opening is for right? That’s what Friends & Family Nights are for (prior to your big, new re-opening). Heck, stay late, or come in early and train your staff and have them cook more often. But don’t expose your customers to “on the job training” when it comes to food.

L.A. has enough great Pizza makers that we just have no reason to come back while they’re still experimenting / learning the ropes. Maybe when they sort things out and the Pizzas start coming out like our English Pea Pizza, we’ll be glad to return.

Lodge Bread Company
11918 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Tel: (424) 384-5097


That was better than anything I’ve seen on 60 Minutes.


I think @Jase was first to post on Lodge - where is he?

I liked Lodge Bread before I ever heard of FTC.

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On my 2nd trip to MiDiCi, I was waiting for my pizza. One of the cooks came over to tell me that the original pizza wasn’t cooked to their standards, so they were making me a new one. :slight_smile:

I don’t mind being used as a guinea pig, actually, but I do mind a process that lacks adequate quality control.

Having said that, I do get that some people don’t mind the super dark bread or the crust-to-filling ratio. But I’m not one of those people, so…

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Hi @Bookwich,

Yah, I really hope their Pizzas come out more consistent like the English Pea we had today (which was very good). We’re still pulling for them, and I do want to go back and try the sandwich you recommended. :slight_smile:

I think it looks a wee bit undercooked. :wink:

Many places have just one guy working the pizza station, bestia, sotto, jon & vinny’s, i think lodge just doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing.


Don’t most restaurants have a chef checking that mistakes don’t leave the kitchen? #dontgiveafk

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The pictures don’t lie.


i went there last night and absolutely the dedicated pizza oven is an entirely new addition.
in the beginning they were making their pizzas in the bread oven.

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Finally made it out to Lodge for a light lunch.
We had the roasted cauliflower and a pea/burrata/tomato pizza. I’m not usually one to photograph my food (just a personal choice), but I thought in light of the “burnt” controversy I should.

So yeah. I mean. That’s burnt, right?
Except it’s not. I get that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is just right for me. I’m with @CiaoBob here. Don’t #fearthechar. Yes, there is a bitterness that comes from the char, but it’s a complementary flavor to the pizza.

I liken it to the difference between a brown v. black butter sauce. Or a standard caramel v a “burnt” caramel sauce.

So a personal preference, but I’ll take a little chat adding some interesting flavor to the insipid, undercooked bread and pizza most places truck in.

Color me a fan.


Yeah, but the crust-to-topping ratio is still (for me) totally off. The char doesn’t bother me a ton, but the untopped crust does (did).

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Yeah. The crust with toppings is exceedingly thin, so I think a larger cornicione is called for. It photographs differently than it eats, but you’re right that it’s crust heavy.

My only issue with the pizza is that the dough is hydrated more than I like. To me, the cornicione can eat a little gummy because of that. My love didn’t agree. She was over the moon about the whole thing.

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I had to look up “cornicione.” :wink:

I actually think the only reason they can get away w/ so much cornicione is b/c of the high hydration! They’d otherwise have to give you a side of marinara or something to help wash it down.

I can’t remember the thickness very well, but I don’t remember it being, say, cracker-thin. It’s sufficiently soft, and I can certainly understand why someone would like it that much untopped crust. It’s just a different philosophy than what I prefer. :wink: