Quality Neapolitan-Style Pizza On Wheels? - The Mobile Wood Burning Oven & Pies of Vivace Pizza

Thanks to a news blurb on Eater a while back, we read about a new food truck specializing in Neapolitan Pizzas called Vivace. Initially, we didn’t think much of it: After all, we’ve seen so many food trucks come and go, and there’ve been “Pizza food trucks” in the past.

However, this one was opened by Chef-Owner Erik Vose, who worked at Sotto, and his food truck supposedly had a real wood-burning oven(!). We were curious. :slight_smile:

The first you notice about this “food truck,” is that it’s nothing like the standard food trucks you see (the ubiquitous, converted lonchera trucks). Instead, it seems Erik Vose has converted a huge shipping container that’s 2 stories tall(!) :open_mouth:, with a real wood-burning oven, and slapped it onto a larger truck (like a mini-Mack Truck). Wow.

You can see the order taker on the first floor, and Chef Vose on the 2nd floor slinging pies.

This looked like it had potential. We couldn’t wait! :slight_smile: They only offered 2 types of Pizzas, so we ordered both.

Margherita Pizza (Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Basil):

As soon as it arrived, it reminded us of Sotto’s pies. The same leopard spotting on the crust, the same thin crust, Neapolitan-style Pizzas.

Taking a bite, this is the thin bottom, chewy (in a good way) type of pie, with no crispness or crunch if you were looking for that. It has a slightly wet / soggy middle, but not extreme like some of Steve Sampson’s earlier pies.

The Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella and Basil classic combination along with a flavorful crust was excellent! :slight_smile:

And this was coming out of a “food truck” no less. Impressive.

Sausage & Olive Pizza (Olive Oil, Fennel Sausage, Mozzarella, Olives):

This one was slightly charred up on spots (heavily), but I chalk it up to them being slammed at lunch (with multiple orders coming in at once).

The Fennel Sausage was delicious! :slight_smile: The Olives were an interesting topping, as you got that briny saltiness with Olives + the saltiness of Sausage, but the Fennel made it fragrant enough to stand out a bit.

It needed some other flavor profile to make it stand out more, but it was still pretty tasty. :slight_smile:

Like the Margherita, it had a wet middle, and was the thin, soft chew type of crust, but nicely seasoned. I’ll leave it up to @lapizzamaven @PorkyBelly and other Pizza lovers to chime in and compare. :slight_smile:

Their 2 pies ran $12 for the Margherita and $14 for the Sausage & Olive.

Vivace Pizza is still just starting out, but seeing an actual mobile food truck with a full-on wood-burning oven churning out real Neapolitan Pizzas that tasted pretty much just like Sotto is a welcome addition to the lunch / dining landscape. It won’t make you forget about DeSano (still our favorite) nor Settebello, but if I saw this truck in my area, I’d gladly stop by again. Here’s to hoping they add more variety to the menu and continue to improve their already solid pies.

Vivace Pizza LA
Check their website for latest locations:

http://www.vivace.la/

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I would stand in line for that . Just to see the awesome engineering and a very fair price for their pizza . And I don’t even live in L.A. :alien:

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Thanks @Chowseeker1999, looks legit for a food truck, would you say the crust is flaccid?

Hi @PorkyBelly,

Flaccid has negative connotations, but it’s definitely the soft, bendy type of crust. The outer edge has a chew to it (no crisp / crunch factor).

Despite the lack of crisp / crunch, it was an enjoyable pie. :slight_smile: The soft, tender chew in the crust, and with a good inherent flavor, made it more enjoyable than a Settebello Margherita (but Settebello wins out on far more flavor options / different pies, and Salads and Starters).

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But a Neapolitan style pie is “supposedly” to be soft all over and a bit wet in the center, yes?

Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Yah that’s what a lot of posts usually mention. I guess compared to DeSano (and even when Pizzaiolo Bachetti was doing his pop-up)), the ones from Vivace are far more soft and glutinous and chewy, and the middle is more wet. Thanks.

Yum. That’s my pizza sweet spot. Sotto-esque.
I’m gonna try o get lunch there tomorrow.

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31st and Ocean? Hmmmm… May try it myself tomorrow… :slight_smile:

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What’s the name of the truck the dudes from that Highland Park bowling alley have? Their stuff is great. Urban pizza too i think.

Tried it today. It’s very good overall, but I have some mixed feelings. The crust is fantastic. Nicely blistered w/o being burnt, supple but chewy, and, on its own, it has just the most subtle tang. Center is soft but, for me, was not at all wet. The toppings (at least for the sausage pizza, which was the only one I tried) are obviously of high quality. The thickness of the cornichione is “right.” I could honestly just eat the crust w/ a little butter and call it a day.

I agree w/ @Chowseeker1999, though, that the sausage pizza needs some other flavor. Maybe a more pungent cheese? It’s just all a bit too subtle (aside from the olives, which seem kind of random to me, actually).

So, after eating it, I felt like I had just listened to a concert by a virtuoso violin player. It was all technically perfect but just… a little boring? It sort of kills me to say that b/c these people obviously know what they’re doing. The crust really is amazing. Perhaps I should’ve had the margherita, which might’ve provided the “bite” of flavor I wanted.

It also ain’t cheap. Personal sized pizza (10"?) + a drink + small tip will set you back around $20.

Having said all that, I think it’s well worth a try.


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Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Thanks for the report back! :slight_smile: Sounds like you felt the same way as me about the place. Yah, especially for a food truck it’s pretty impressive that they’re churning out these pies like this.

But like you, the Sausage & Olive was just OK. Definitely needs something else. I liked the Margherita much more (flavor).

I’m hoping they expand and switch out different flavors / add more flavors to the menu because you can taste the quality and notice the skill in making the pies.

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If I was on the Westside on a sunny Friday like this, I’d get the Magherita, bring it home quickly and add some good anchovies, and try serving it with some Vigne Surrau Sciala vermentino, Vodopivec vitovska, or Bollinger rose. On second thought, a good root beer would do the trick, too.

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I went yesterday too.
Loved both pizza’s very much. The chili flakes which are “on board” (next to the napkins) did the trick – for me, anyway – to brighten up that sausage/olive pie. Crust was just fantastic. Tomato sauce on the Marg was exceptional. Can’t believe the cooks and the server/cashier haven’t roasted themselves in that contraption with a wood burning 6000 lb pizza oven.

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Tried that; didn’t make much of a diff, IMHO.

I think I’ll go back to try the margherita eventually. My waistline can’t have too many pizzas too quickly. :wink:

The truck itself is quite a work of art. Nearly the entire windowed side of the truck hinges open (as I notice when the cashier handed someone a soda). And the pizza making area is actually like a mezzanine level. It’s so pretty, minimalist, and sleek, it’s kinda like the Getty Center of pizza trucks.

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Hi @CiaoBob,

Thanks for the report back also! Glad you liked it. :slight_smile: Yah it’s a pretty amazing feat (what they’re doing in a small confined space). Thanks for the tip on the chili flakes; will have to try that next time.