There are few things more pleasurable than sharing a meal with close friends, but even more enthralling is taking non-vegan friends to a vegan establishment to see how the food really stacks up.

So when I heard the owner of Downtown LA’s Purgatory Pizza had expanded its pop-up delivery service into an unassumingly vegan brick-and-mortar pizza shop, I knew this was the perfect place to take them, because dietary restrictions aside, who doesn’t like pizza?

Named after owner Alex Koons’s former band, Hot Tongue Pizza embodies the finer
things in life: Killer slices, good vibes, and a major focus on being veggie-forward. Instead of
marketing the shop as plant-based, Koons wanted to make great pizza for everyone, that
happened to also be vegan, and I’d say, mission accomplished.

The space is simple but inviting, and truly highlights what Hot Tongue is all about – amazing dough and fresh ingredients. Aside from the spices, Hot Tongue makes every ingredient in-house and buys organic when possible, steering clear of faux meats and cheeses, only featuring one house-made spicy sausage. You can’t miss the neon pink sign and storefront in this Silver Lake strip mall location.

Arriving on a Friday afternoon, we were whisked away by the intoxicating aroma of
pizza, and greeted by the best pizza maker in town, Michael, who was slinging dough like a pro. He walked us through their offerings, including a generous variety of slices, a few knockout appetizers, and full-sized pizzas, including a build-your-own option. With the knowledge of our pizza guru, we made our selections and went on a pizza journey.

We kicked things off with the Garlic Knots, served with marinara sauce, the knots
perfectly garlicky, and the dough perfectly chewy. I picked up the Gluten-Free Detroit slice, the thick crust had the right amount of crunch and airiness to it, topped with chunky marinara, mushroom, spinach, garlic, almond ricotta, and sesame seed, this slice was perfectly balanced, and I could not tell it was gluten free.

My friends ordered the thick crust Sicilian, a pan baked, thick crust, garlic slice featuring red sauce, pesto drizzle, almond ricotta, and basil, as well as a Buffalo thin slice, which is covered in buffalo cream sauce, broccolini, shiitake bacon, hot agave drizzle, fresh parsley, and the perfect amount of heat.

Then arrived the MVP of the day, the White Pie. We decided to get a whole pizza of this, and boy we are so glad we did. Everything about this pie was exceptional: The garlic olive oil base, caramelized onions, almond ricotta, mushrooms, oregano, and almond parmesan, but the best part was the everything bagel crust.

I did not know I needed everything bagel crust in my life, and I’m afraid I can’t ever eat pizza again without it. We were all blown away by the simplicity of the ingredients of the White Pie, but the complexity of the dough was outstanding. My friends loved everything and had no idea it was vegan. We left full, happy, and with some leftovers for the weekend, success!

Hot Tongue Pizza is LA's Best New Plant-Based Pizzaria

 

The Vibe: Laid-back counter service-style pizzeria with a rock and roll vibe. Great for the whole family, with seating inside and a few tables outside. Grab a slice to go, order a whole pie, or both! Live nearby? get your za’ delivered!

Must Try: The White Pie Pizza, it has an everything bagel crust, need I say more? Don’t sleep on the Caesar salad, the shiitake bacon, and crispy chickpeas.

Gluten Free: Hot Tongue has really delivered the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever tasted. You
can build your own pizza with GF crust, or grab a slice or whole pie of the Detroit-style pizza, it
will rock your world. Everyone loves Crispy Cauliflower with buffalo sauce, and they made sure that was gluten-free as well. Hooray!

Address: Plentiful parking lot located at 2590 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
90039. They are open Monday-Sunday 11 am-9 pm.

To find delicious plant-based fare in your neighborhood, visit The Beet's Find Vegan Near Me articles