My wife and I live just eight blocks from East Glisan Pizza Lounge (at least until next week, when we move to the Woodstock neighborhood), so we hustled through the snow to eat here tonight. Started with the wedge salad ($8).
The salad uses romaine hearts instead of the more typical iceberg. I guess it could have started as a "wedge," but it fell apart and no longer bore any resemblance to a wedge. The name aside, I thought the salad was okay. The dressing had hunks of blue cheese in it, but overall it could have used a little bite from lemon or buttermilk. The bitter sun-dried tomatoes felt totally out of place, but I enjoyed the crunchy fried onion strings.
We tried the sausage pizza ($14 for a 12-inch small, $26 for a 16-inch large), which comes with fennel sausage, mozzarella, big dollops of ricotta, and lots of green olives.
The fennel sausage was interesting. There was a sweet aspect to it that felt a little strange to me--maybe sugar in the mix?--but the hunks were meaty and generously distributed. The sauce is just hand-crushed canned tomatoes with maybe, maybe a pinch of salt, nothing else. Because they aren't pureed, the tomatoes are laid out in large pieces. It lets you really taste the flavor of the tomatoes, although to be honest they just didn't have a whole lot of flavor. Frankly, they probably just need more salt. The mild ricotta helps cut the puckery brininess of the very flavorful olives.
The crust needs some work. It was quite dense, with little to no rise around the outer rim, and not much flavor. It was also a bit too crisp, to the point that the bottom of the crust was sometimes difficult to bite through. EGPL is using a unique oven setup: a Blodgett gas deck oven with a steel plate as a base instead of the usual stone. Much like the recently popular Baking Steel, the steel plate conducts and transfers heat much more efficiently than stone, hence a very crisp crust. I think it's a great idea; the restaurant just needs time to figure it out in order to produce optimal pizzas.
There is large potential for EGPL. The pizza's decent at the moment, but I think it can get much better. I'll be going back in a couple weeks to try them again and see if things have improved. As Jill-O noted, the space is very recently finished, so the paint smell is quite prominent. It was also very cold in there--turn up the heat, guys!