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Lucifers: Devilishly Good Pizza

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When it comes to pizza, I don't have the kind geographic allegiance that stipulates anything in particular about crust depth, fold-ability, or sauciness. As a kid in the mid-1980's in Toronto I was introduced by a trend-savvy relative to something called Joel's Gourmet Pizza, which provoked gasps because you could get yuppie toppings like Feta and the whole thing was square. This was a serious game-changer. Hold the phone: It's square, like ohmigod, okay?

Once I came to Cali, I went through the obligatory pizza phases: BBQ Chicken, make your own with that Boboli crust, and write a check and hope it clears at whatever big chain just left a coupon swinging from your apartment door. I've had Chicago pizza, New York pizza, flatbread pizza, white pizza, and so on. Usually when my gut cries out for pizza it's a distress call signaling a need to touch in with comfort food. You're probably familiar with the "Must. Have. Pizza." yen.

Recently I was invited to try the pizza from Lucifers in Los Feliz, which is a fiery hot hot-spot, from toppings to the wicked burn of the spice-levels available. Chef and owner is New Zealander Adam Borich, who sees pizza crust as a sort of blank slate opportunity to create gourmet flavor combinations.

Recently Lucifers rolled out a new menu that includes some pretty tantalizing toppings. Whether you grab a seat inside the cheekily macabre restaurant (coffin-shaped table, goth accessories, and tunes from Lady Gaga and Rhianna rocking on the sound system) or take a pie to go, the party will be on your tastebuds.

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Say what you will about quirky pizza toppings, if it's good it's good, and that's my bottom line. I'm all for having my idea of pizza shaken up so long as it hits that hot cheese-on bread point of satisfaction. Some of Lucifers' winning combos include Greek Lamb with Rosemary (Lamb, caramelized onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, rosemary, garlic, lemon pepper & chopped parsley), Roast Pumpkin & Prosciutto (Pumpkin, prosciutto, roast garlic, basil & spinach), and Chicken Basil Pesto (Chicken, bacon, sun-dried roma tomato, cashew nuts, basil pesto & black pepper). Thoughtful mixes of herbs, veggie, and protein make the pizza something worth talking about as you gobble it down, instead of passively chomping on the same-old same-old you order by rote from your local delivery spot.

Though the vibe of Lucifers is playfully devilish, they aren't enemies of those with dietary needs, and they offer a ton of veggie options, as well as vegan cheese, and gluten-free crust you can order up to customize any of their pizzas. And speaking of crusts, Lucifers' is good from tip to end, where it's fluffier and less dense than most, though this seems to only work on the share-able sizes; the personal pizzas pack the same flavor win, but the crusts don't seem to have the room to expand to their lighter, airier best.

"Are you HOT or are you NOT?" asks a sign on the wall. Lucifers doesn't care where you buy your duds or who styles your hair, though. They want to know if you want your pizza with zero, medium, fiery, or blazing spice. Brave pizza-eaters may want to try the Ring Burner, which comes with Pepperoni, jalapenos, black pepper, bell pepper & hot chili sauce, and is hell-bent on raging through your mouth and into your gut with the firepower only Satan can muster. I sat back and let my brave friends tear into pieces of this one--just the wafting scent of blazing-hot spices was enough to make my eyes water.

Pizza as destination dining depends on how devoted you are to the endeavor, but Lucifers is well-worth checking out if you're looking for heat or unique toppings. And if you become devoted to Lucifers' pizza specifically, you could wind up being rewarded, thanks to their new R.I.P. club, which stands for Rewards In Pizza. Buy ten pizzas and not only is the 11th free, but you can then sign up for the club and be entered to win a trip to--where else--Sin City, USA (aka Las Vegas).

You don't have to have a wicked streak to enjoy Lucifers--the zero or medium spice is perfectly nice for those leery of the Ring Burner or cranking up the peppery-hot heat. Plain and simple, Lucifers makes devilishly good pizza.