When a certain franchise take and bake pizza spot opened up in town, Santa Clarita residents weren’t too quick to embrace the concept. A few months after opening, it became apparent to the franchise owner that it simply wasn’t working out. People would stop by wanting to pick up a pizza for dinner only to realize they would have to bake it at home. Sure, baking a pizza at home isn’t that difficult, but with a scorching hot summer, people just didn’t feel like firing up the oven at home. I’m sure there are other reasons the concept didn’t take off locally, but that (according to the owner) seemed to be the most common excuse. That was certainly my excuse.
The owner recently decided to leave the franchise, rebrand, and open up a completely independent concept named Lava Pizza and Wings (seemingly unrelated to the Canadian restaurant by the same name). The idea is to provide the same fresh ingredients, at low prices, but with the addition of a pizza oven. No more take and bake! I actually stopped by last week as the owner was putting the finishing touches on the space. He is a former contractor with a lot of ties to the community.
Another difference? Seating! The addition of counter seats is simple enough to accommodate people wanting to stick around and eat there, but I’m going to assume most people are going to take their baked pizza to go. We actually ended up sitting outside and pairing our lunch with Starbucks, which was perfect. There are a couple of tables outside and the weather was nice, so why not! As we were eating more than one person said something along the lines of “wait, they bake it there now?” Yes, yes they do!
Like any typical pizza place they have pre made combinations like chicken bacon garlic, Italian, gourmet veggie, for example, but they also have a create your own option at a set price with unlimited toppings. You walk in, grab a menu sheet and circle your options. Your pizza is then ready in a matter of minutes. The pizza has a thin crust, but they also have gluten free options. They have some grand opening specials at the moment, like reduced prices on pizzas and wings but check your receipts, because I’m pretty sure I was charged full price.
In the next month or so they will be rolling out delivery options which will be very convenient for the new neighborhoods nearby. There are a lot of pizza places in town, this is true, and I’m sure that’s going to be the number one comment people have. Yet for people that work and live nearby and want a convenient option? It works.
They have salads and wings (I actually did like the wings a lot – natural chicken wings, no hormones, no antibiotics) and calzones, as well as bread sticks. Individual pizzas are priced at $4.50, gluten free large pizzas are $15 and traditional large pizzas range in price from $10-$12.
Will this pizza change your life? No. Is it the best in town? Probably not. But, I’m sure that this concept will be much more accepted than the previous take and bake concept, especially once they start delivering.
Lava Pizza and Wings is located at 26583 Golden Valley Road, next to Starbucks (think in the general direction of Sam’s Club).