Chef and restaurateur Jackson Kalb seems to be on a tear as of late, announcing another restaurant today on Instagram. Jemma Pizzeria is a standalone pizza spot opening in the former Roca pizza in Pacific Palisades at the Palisades Village development owned by Rick Caruso.
Jemma Pizzeria will serve personal-sized pies using the same dough and sauce recipes developed for Kalb’s recently opened Hollywood restaurant Jemma. While Kalb hasn’t finalized the exact menu he’ll serve in the Palisades, Jemma Hollywood has a typical margherita, plus a spicy sorpressata variant with honey and Calabrian chiles. Other pies include a cacio e pepe, barbecue chicken, vodka sauce, and chicken pesto. Like his other restaurants, Kalb doesn’t adhere strictly to traditional Italian cuisine and weaves in popular American elements like serving pizza with ranch dressing. Kalb will also serve stacked sandwiches in the style of the ever-popular schiaciatta bread served at places like Venice’s All’Antico Vinaio.
Kalb tells Eater that virtually all of the equipment that Roca left behind is new, which means the switcheroo into Jemma Pizzeria should just take a few weeks. Given the lack of space inside and the small available outdoor seating, the pizzeria will likely be more of a takeout and delivery operation.
And because the space was a quick turnaround, Kalb says he plans to operate Jemma Pizzeria for one year to gauge how business goes and will renew the lease if it proves successful. The new pizzeria will make this a trio of Jemma-branded restaurants for Kalb, including Brentwood’s Jemma di Mare, which opened earlier this year. He also owns Ospi in Venice and his original Jame Enoteca in El Segundo. Kalb operates the restaurant group Memento Mori with his wife Melissa.
Jemma Pizzeria should open in the next few weeks at 1061 N. Swarthmore Avenue, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 with hours from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.