100 Favorite Dishes: No. 5 -- "The Basic" from Pizzeria Oceano
|Photo by C. Stiles|
No. 5: "The Basic" from Pizzeria Oceano
"Pizza is the Cheers rerun of the food world," my friend once told me as we were sampling a slice at Pizzeria Oceano. I paused for a minute to consider the comment before he explained. "Ninety percent of both are completely average. Satisfactory."
I crinkled my brow a bit, but then realized he was right. Most of the time, both Cheers and pizza are just OK; something I'd watch -- or eat -- if nothing else better was available.
"So what about the other 10 percent?" I asked, eager to hear the rest of his analogy.
"Well, you've got five percent that's just plain awful."
I nodded in agreement as I picked up a thin slice from the tray in front of us.
"And about four percent of it," he continued, "is pretty darn good." As he spoke, I maneuvered the slice towards my mouth, amazed that the end didn't flop over like most pizza slices do. Instead, it stood straight up like a flag in the wind.
"You're missing the last one percent," I told him just before I took a bite.
"That last one percent?" he asked rhetorically. As I took a bite of the cracker-thin slice, he held up his finger. My teeth cut through the crisp crust, doughy-sweet yet rigid. Then through the strata of house-made mozzarella and tart-sweet tomato sauce, which clung to my lips as I chewed. It was wonderful.
"That last one percent is pure magic," he finished, looking completely self-assured.
I wiped the sauce from my face and smiled. I couldn't have agreed more.
201 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana
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