By Joshua Inglada
Not far from East Los Angeles College is Bollini’s Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant that succeeds in both quality and quantity.
With several authentic recipes handed down through tradition, their goal is to satisfy customers with the freshest ingredients California has to offer.
The menu offers pizza, both in small and large sizes, but also lists pasta, salad and appetizers. They also offer roasted chicken and a 20 oz. rib-eye steak.
Besides having pizza on the menu, customers are also given the choice to build their own pizza with toppings and cheeses of their choice.
Their beverages include soft drinks, lemonade and alcohol.
The waiters serve a plate of pesto pizza bread as a complementary dish. The pieces were sprinkled with bits of cheese, garlic, nuts and other spices. The bread pieces were all toasted, which made them crunchy and addictive to eat.
The arugula salad is included and cost $9. It is fresh arugula coated in red wine vinaigrette, with shredded carrot, corn, smoked bacon-bits, mushrooms, teardrop tomatoes and goat cheese.
It’s served on a large square tray and is big enough to serve four to five people.
The salad is crunchy and the goat cheese just melts in the mouth. The vinaigrette gives the greens a tangy flavor and an extra kick. The cooks did not skimp on the bacon either.
The Rocco pizza cost $12 and comes with sauce, cheese, pepperoni and basil. Additional toppings, such as mushrooms and bacon can be requested for $1 each. The pizza is large enough to feed four people.
The cheese is piping hot and there’s a fine amount of sauce per slice. You can really taste the smokiness of the oven on the thin crust.
Just like with the salad, bacon was not ignored on this pizza. The mushrooms were fresh and tender. These dishes alone make a filling meal.
The seared pork-chops cost $15 and come with garlic mashed-potatoes, roasted asparagus seasoned with lemon and chili and are finished with a sweet brandy reduction.
The pork-chop slices are soft to chew and savory. The meat portions are large so order it medium to medium-well to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.
The potatoes have pieces of mushroom and potato skin in them. The asparagus is tender and the seasonings give it spice. wThe reduction that comes along with the food brought an extra zing to the dish’s flavor and has a slight sweetness.
The establishment has a large interior and contains over 15 tables, each seating two to four people.
Paintings decorate the walls of the dining area. The wall right next to the entrance is covered in framed newspaper articles of the restaurant’s staff, history and accomplishments.
There are several flat-screen televisions stationed around for customers to watch as they wait for their food.
The lighting of the restaurant is low, but makes the atmosphere feel relaxing and casual. Everything is clean and taken care of.
The kitchen and deli area has an old-fashioned fire oven near the entrance that they use to bake their Neapolitan style pizzas.
Service is excellent, as the waiters quickly bring out food with a smile and are patient with those who need extra time to make an order.
If a person’s drink appears close to empty, a server will collect the glass during a run and refill it for the customer.
Bollini’s Pizzeria is in the process of expanding, and will be opening two more restaurants in Orange County and Long Beach in the future.
Bollini’s is located at 2315 South Garfield Avenue, Monterey Park.