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LA’s Ultra-Crowded Fast Casual Pizza Market Spells Trouble for 800 Degrees

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Plus a guide for getting out of town, and a new burger deal in the Valley

800 Degrees in Pasadena
Elizabeth Daniels

Pasadena pizza moves on

As of a week or two ago, 800 Degrees has vacated the Old Pasadena market, leaving behind one of the spiffier fast casual chain locations you’ll find. The gorgeous build-out was seen as an anchor for the growing restaurant group when it opened in 2014, but now less than three full years in the end has come.

Of course, the landscape is much more treacherous now for fast casual pizza restaurants than it was back then. There is no shortage of quick fire pizza options around town — most operating at a cheaper price point, too — and other casual sit-down pizza spots like Pitfire. So what is 800 Degrees to do? They still have a bushel of outlets here and abroad and is even slated to cook for Pasadena’s upcoming music festival, but they’ve also flipped CEOs twice in less than a year, and face a tough proposition in and around Los Angeles, it seems.

A North Hollywood block party

The Garland in North Hollywood is throwing a block party with proceeds going to the charity TreePeople. Cost is $25 a head and will include live music, tastings from breweries and wineries and small bites from chef Larry Greenwood from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.

Pok Pok’s farewell tour

Now that the world has learned of Pok Pok LA’s imminent demise, some of the city’s best chefs are coming out in support of the place itself, as well as chef Andy Ricker. Among them, of course, is chef and Ricker friend Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market.

One year in at Mega Bodega

It’s the one year mark for Downtown’s Mega Bodega on Saturday, with a party kicking off at 5 p.m. and running until midnight. There will be some special kegs tapped for the party and $5 micheladas until 7 p.m., so get there early.

Worth the drive

Feel like getting out of town? You could opt for Oceanside, north of San Diego. Food GPS provides a roadmap (literally) on where to go and what to eat near the beach down that way.

Gwen changes it up

There are some menu changes landing at Gwen, Curtis Stone’s luxe house of meat in Hollywood. According to LA Weekly, there will be a new $55 three-course meal for folks looking to dine without all the associated spending, and a glitzier ten-course option for $185 that will be offered as a splurge. Basically, you can do whatever you want at Gwen now, with a price point to match.

Burger Mondays

Longstanding restaurant La Frite Cafe in Sherman Oaks is switching things up, adding a new Monday burger deal some 45 years into their run. The new deal by young chef Andres Martinez pairs a burger with fries and a drink for $17.

Glendale loves fast casual

There’s a new fast casual burger option coming to Glendale soon, called Mix & Match Burger. The place lands next month at 112 W. California Avenue, not far above the Americana and around the corner from Porto’s and Damon’s Steak House. Expect $6 base level burgers, with unlimited toppings to let customers choose their own pathway to success.

Mix & Match Burger, Glendale
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