“Pies and Pints” have finally infiltrated the Little Tokyo community by way of Xlixe Pizzeria. Occupying the former Pho 21 space next to Sushi Gen in the Honda Plaza, Xlixe already has one big advantage over the other small pizza store in the Little Tokyo Marketplace – the option of adding a fine craft beer or wine to your favorite slice or pie.
The libations are impressive for such a small establishment. From Escondido’s Smoked Porter Stone Brewery to Colorado Dale’s Pale Ale, the pairings of pizza and pints could keep you coming back to try the varieties, especially if you’re with a group. You could order a Growler, 64 ounces of fresh brew, and a whole pie and be set.
To say the pies at Xlixe are imaginative is an understatement. In the restaurant’s own words “Xlixe, like the quirky love child of a tree hugging hipster and a Lacoste donning yuppie, encompasses all things radically charming – leave your inhibitions and attitude at the door.”
Toppings on these bad boys include braised oxtail with roasted peppers, as found on the Matador, or spicy marinated pork belly on the Furious Pig. Vegetarians have options like the Forager with an array of mushrooms, including heavier textured portabella and chewy white button. Xlixe also offers specials, like the Little Tokyo, a curious pairing of persimmon and rabbit pizza.
I like my pizzas simple, because I like to be able to taste the crunch of a good crust. So I went with the New Yorker, topped with “grandma sauce,” mozzarella, parmesan, bacon and basil. Not quite sure why bacon and New York go together, but for the sake of being a good sport I wasn’t complaining. I continued to not complain because the pizza was just as I had hoped with the crisp texture of the dough and not one bit of sogginess.
I paired that with the obligatory salad, thank goodness, this time being the broccoli salad. It’s always nice to be able to pair your pizza with a little green … I know that’s more of a California tradition, but it does help cut the heaviness of ingredients on the pie. The broccoli salad however, also contains bacon, so I wasn’t really fooling anyone. Still, it was great with the cashews, raisins and tangy house dressing that accompanied it.
Next time I’ll probably try the chopped salad, a megabowl of greens with chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, salami, onions, tortilla chips, Swiss cheese and lemon garlic dressing, emphasis on garlic. I could smell it from the neighboring table. Too bad I didn’t know them, otherwise I surely would’ve eaten theirs too!
Another thing that sets Xlixe apart from the competition are the offerings of sandwiches, calzones and appetizers. No, fried calamari is not an option, come to think of it, there isn’t any seafood on the menu at all. There’s so many things to keep you interested though, like the potato twists, garlic knots and chicken wings. Should you choose to have a sandwich, try the marinated ribeye Slanted Philly. The ribeye is so tender, and it’s surprisingly more meat than fat. Or you could build your own made to order Calzone and call it a day.
Well, almost a day because your visit is not complete without a scoop of gelato or sorbet. For me, the non-dairy options are awesome, I can satisfy my sweet tooth and stay within my dietary guidelines. You can also turn the gelato into a root beer float!
Even though the regular prices are perfect for the college crowd, with the 18-inch pies being $25 or less, Xlixe’s happy hour is going to be pretty popular. Among other specials, you can get three garlic knots for $1 and all of the rotating pints for $4. You can take advantage of the Happy Hour all day on the weekends. Even better, Xlixe offers free delivery!
For more information, call (213) 620-0513 or visit xlixe.com.
Xlixe: 432 E. 2nd St., Little Tokyo
By Erica Carter
Article posted on 8/17/2011
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