The first time I walked into Pieology Pizzeria at the Irvine Spectrum, I expected the typical pizza joint that displayed slices and large pies for patrons. But walking into Pieology, I was struck by the Chipotle-esque style of ordering and building your own pie, much like Blaze Pizza in UTC.
Each pizza is made individual-sized and can either be ordered as one of the set menu pizzas, or customized to the individual, known as the “create your own” pizza.
Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the “create your own” pizza since I can get creative with the choices. With this option, every customer starts off with the base dough and can add a sauce from the options of red sauce (marinara), herb butter, olive oil or even a mix.
Next are the cheeses and meats, with four different types of cheeses and six different meats, including bacon and ham. For someone who loves cheese, being able to add a variety to my pizza is truly appreciated.
After the meats, come the multitude of veggies, ranging from typical toppings of onions, black olives and green peppers, to some not commonly found, such as artichokes or basil. You can even add some sweet or spicy, or even both, to your pizza by adding pineapples or jalapeños.
Everything, from the sauce to the cheese to the toppings, was added right in front of me as I observed through the glass case. Once my order was complete, the pizza was popped into the oven for about five minutes.
What came out was a hot, crispy pizza with an amazing (and personalized) combination of toppings and cheeses.
Although Pieology doesn’t have many options for people like me who prefer thick crusts over thin, the freshness of the pizza overrides the fact that the crust is so thin.
The real downside is not being able to get slices, although Pieology does offer salads. For a price range of $7-8 dollars, it is pretty easy to split an individual pizza with a friend and get full from eating half, especially with the amount of toppings on the pizza. Even without splitting, there are enough leftovers to last until dinner or to share with family.
The atmosphere of the eatery is also pleasant, though a little cramped, especially during rush hour. One of the walls is covered in a multitude of quotes from a variety of people, which are interesting to read while waiting in line, especially when it gets busy, which happens frequently.
Whether coming for lunch or dinner, Pieology always seems to be packed with the line out the door and the tables filled, inside and outside. As people leave and the crowd dies down though, it’s a comfortable place to sit inside, split some pizza and chat with friends.
Although there are currently only two locations, with two more on the way, I look forward to many more Pieology Pizzeria stores opening up as people realize how crispy, fresh and delicious these individual-sized pizzas can be.