Former James Republic chef Maurice Yim just took over a longstanding Long Beach pizzeria to convert the joint into forthcoming Powwow Pizza. They’ll close on Thanksgiving and reopen December 1 with a pizza menu that spans across the international spectrum, including one inspired by Yim’s Cambodian background.
Yim will bring Powwow to fruition in a few weeks. When open, pizza flavors hail from all over the map, with options like mole instead of a tomato-based sauce, a Filipino-style pizza, or traditional pies. And in a nod to his Cambodian heritage, Yim created one with lemongrass, tumeric, galangal, garlic, ginger, chicken, watercress, and mozzarella. The prices vary from $10 to $20, and all in a bright pink pizza box. The packaging choice is another nod to Southern Californian culture, as many Cambodian refugees opened donut shops throughout LA upon arrival in the 1970s and 1980s, where pink boxes prevail.
And because Bixby Knolls is fast-becoming a hub for new restaurants and breweries, Yim will collaborate with both. Bixby Knolls has Liberation Brewing Company and the soon-to-open Ambitious Ales, so locals bestowed the neighborhood with the nickname, “Brewery Knolls.” Yim created the Ambitious Pizza, where he’ll incorporate spent grains from the brewing process into his pizza dough, and sauce with Ambitious Ales’ beer. Ambitious customers can also order a pizza while downing a local ale.
Yim has a lengthy Long Beach food presence. As former chef at James Republic, Yim utilized a modern take on Cambodian food with global flavors. He’s also keeping the former Bella Pizza employees on, as part of the agreement with the former owner. Powwow will make good use of the 1,200 square feet with patio. Hours will be 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.