$10 Tuesday: 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

Walking through the streets of Westwood, I smelled a hint of garlic and a whiff of basil. I followed my nose and arrived at 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, a wood-fire burning pizza parlor delectable enough for the an Italian palette and still affordable enough for a college student’s wallet.Inside, I was greeted by a row of chefs, ready and waiting to begin my custom pizza pie. Viewing the line of chefs, each behind freshly prepared Italian fares, it became obvious that 800 Degrees is the Chipotle of pizzerias. If you enjoy Chipotle’s build-your-burrito experience, with its basic menu, quality local ingredients, and speedy service, 800 Degrees will not let you down. Each order begins by choosing a classic pie from a basic menu: margherita at $6.45, bianca, a sauce-less white pizza, at $5.65 or marinara at $5.15. I started my pizza off margherita style and watched eagerly as the chef tossed and spread my own personal ball of dough on a wooden plank. He layered fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled garlic and basil creating a perfect pie on its own, but the magic does not end here. My mouth watered as I moved down the line to the next chef and I continued to personalize my pie. Laid out in all their delicious glory were tons of premium toppings to choose from at only $1 each. From rosemary ham to broccolini to artichoke hearts, these toppings cover all the bases. You want extra cheese? You can choose from gorgonzola, smoked provolone, or feta among many others, and it’s not an easy choice. They’ll even roll your cheese of choice into the crust at no extra charge. Pondering the endless number of culinary combinations, I finally settled on roasted garlic and ricotta cheese. My stomach rumbled in anticipation and luckily I didn’t have to wait long for this creamy, cheesy, pungent pie. My pizza was ready to eat in just one minute, cooked to perfection with an extremely hot wood-fire grill that inspires the restaurant’s name. After devouring the pizza, slow enough to savor the flavor, I still had half of my 12-in pizza left and I was stuffed. I managed to keep a pizza box full of leftovers, which is really two meals for the price of one, all under $10. For those looking for a lighter meal, 800 Degrees offers a variety of salads and burrata cheese plates for around $5 to $7, all with the option to add toppings at $1 each. If you’re able to restrain yourself from indulging on too many toppings and find you have a hankering for sweets, gelato is also available for $3. For those with a little extra cash and a valid ID, beer and wine are served for about $5 a glass. Once your dining experience is complete, staff will clear your dishes with no tip necessary, giving you a few coins leftover for your next $10 Tuesday trip. Located at 10889 Lindbrook Drive in the heart of Westwood Village, 800 Degrees is a trendy locale to visit with a group of friends or a casual date. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day of the week makes this pizzeria the perfect spot for lunch, dinner, or a late night splurge.