Forever Pie, an all-vegan pizza shop from the minds behind Monty’s Good Burger, Nic’s on Beverly, and 800 Degrees Pizza debuted last week at 8010 Melrose Avenue. It’s the latest contender to jump into LA’s vegan pizza market, which is already stuffed with spots like Purgatory Pizza, Cruzer Pizza, and Silver Lake’s Hot Tongue. With throwback 1990s hip-hop vibes in a nightclub-like atmosphere, the restaurant fits in nicely in the neighborhood, just blocks away from the bustling Fairfax Avenue full of hypebeast streetwear shops, hot restaurants, and vintage bakeries alike.
Nic Adler, a restaurateur who doubles as Goldenvoice’s vice president of festivals, made Forever Pie his love letter to the Balistyx hip-hop parties he used to throw as an 18-year-old with Married with Children actor David Faustino in the early ’90s. Those nights at the busy Roxy club often featured big-name performers like N.W.A., Will.i.am, Xzibit, and Dilated Peoples.
“Forever Pie was born out of those memories of that summer in ’91 when hip-hop was just starting to explode,” says Adler. “I had an amazing group of friends and we somehow always ended up at the Rainbow Bar and Grill at the end of the night and had so much late-night pizza. It was a special time in my life.”
There are many nods to Adler’s memories of that period. Artist Jax painted a mural on the wall in the style of LA and New York graffiti seen during the ’80s and ’90s, with some references to Adler’s vegan restaurant Monty’s Good Burger and his dog Charlie. At night, the dimly lit interior that seats about 20, is highlighted by neon purple reflecting on the dark leather booths. Hip-hop music blasts at the restaurant, with many of the playlists made by Adler and guest DJs. Even its phone number (424) 77-PIZZA, when it’s up and running, will have voice recordings from Adler’s friends — actors, musicians, and artists who were popular in the ’90s.
As a 25-year vegan and creator of LA’s Eat Drink Vegan food festival, Adler has had a lot of experience with plant-based foods. He partnered with Anthony Carron, the founding chef of 800 Degrees Pizza, to create the menu for the restaurant. They’re going for simple at Forever Pie, hoping to make pizzas that taste good to all. “I grew up with my parents ordering from Johnnie’s NY Pizza like once a week,” says Adler. “You didn’t have to go through the menu and spend 20 minutes on it. It was pretty simple: There was pizza, salad, pasta, garlic knots, and maybe a dessert.”
Forever Pie boasts New York-style, thin-crust pizzas cooked in a 1960s stone-floor oven. The dough, which uses filtered water and high-protein flour, is aged for a couple of days. While there are classics like pepperoni made with Beyond Meat, there are also more inventive combinations like Korean barbecue and cheeseburger pizzas. Forever Pie also features ziti with Bolognese, Italian chopped and Caesar salads, and barbecue and hot chicken wings made with Bealeaf’s products.
One of the most important things for Adler and Carron was to nail down nut-free cheeses that would work for its pizzas. “People will eat Impossible, but are very sensitive when it comes to whatever non-dairy cheese option there is, which is understandable,” says Adler. “We worked a lot on the cheese, trying to create a blend that comes as close to what someone would think a slice of pizza could be — and I think we’ve achieved that.”
It seems like this Melrose Avenue is just the beginning of a chain, as Adler sees a future for Forever Pie with multiple locations. He’s already working on building out a second location in Echo Park, with hopes to open it by April 2023.
Forever Pie is open daily from noon to midnight at 8010 Melrose Avenue.