DINE | Pizza lounge

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Laguna’s new Home Slice

Pizza Lounge brings cool, quick pizza to town with boba to wash it down.- By Jason Sanford 

People want to get something and take it to the beach, and pizza by the slice is our big seller,” says Gary Decker, owner of Pizza Lounge.

Gary has a prime location, being on the corner of Coast Highway and Laguna Avenue, as passersby, tourists, local school kids and anyone else out taking a stroll can smell the freshly baked pizzas wafting out from the kitchen of the corner pizzeria.

“What makes us different is our topping selection—and we make our own dough and our own sauce. The mark of a good pizza is the dough and the sauce,” Gary explains.

Pizza Lounge has an interior that’s crisp, clean and vaguely familiar—the type of place that feels like you’ve been there before, whether it’s in south Orange County or South Carolina. However, Pizza Lounge (for the time being) is available only in Laguna, where it’s been doing brisk business since it opened in 2010.

Thin crust is the house standard at Pizza Lounge, which offers a whopping 27 designer pizzas to its customers. Some of the acclaimed customer favorites include BBQ chicken, goat cheese and sausage, chicken artichoke and the California pepperoni, which are all available in three sizes: the personal-sized, oblong-shaped, oddly-named Schmizza, 14” medium and 18-inch large.

“We’re inexpensive, fast and good quality. But also, we’re very service-driven,” Gary says. “Our food is consistent, and we have a quality product.”

Aside from just offering whole pizzas and pizza by the slice, Gary plans to add a boba bar in April that will transform it from a pure pizza, panini and pasta joint into a local destination for boba milk tea. Boba is today’s newest beverage sensation that blends tea, milk or fruit juice and tapioca jelly (yes, tapioca jelly) into a sweet and refreshing cold drink. Boba is served with an extra wide straw that allows the drinker to get all the tiny bits of jelly that sink to the bottom of the cup, giving them a sweet taste and a chewy texture to enjoy. The Boba Bar at Pizza Lounge, as it will be called, will be Laguna’s first boba hotspot, and Gary hopes that it will become the next great grab-and-run spot near Main Beach.

“Hopefully people hanging out at the beach will come in and grab a boba and a slice. Or people will want to get something and take it down to the beach, ” he says. LBM


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