For Italian food in the valley look no further than L.A. Lasagna Co. It doesn’t sound like an amazingly wonderful food adventure, but this small pizza place serves up mouth-watering cheese pizza, pastas, salads and subs at wonderfully low prices.
A friend introduced me to this place about six years ago and I fell in love with their specialty, arancini. It is something everyone must try when going there. Arancini is a rice ball mixed with ground beef and cheese, it is then deep-fried and served with homemade marinara sauce. The contrasting textures of a crunchy outer shell and the with soft cheesy rice on the inside is a wonderful combination. This dish is perfect for anyone who wants to try something new and different. For an extra kick, sprinkle crushed red pepper on top.
One of the best things about L.A. Lasagna is they serve pizza by the slice with additional toppings for 30 cents. It is easy to tell if a place knows how to make great pizza by examining their proportions of cheese to sauce to crust ratio, so I had to try their cheese pizza.
It was nice and cheesy with the perfect balance of a light sweetness from the sauce and reinforced with a crunchy yet soft crust. It was a little greasy but not too much, the crust was still dry. One slice of cheese pizza cost $1.50 so it’s easy on your wallet, but filling for your stomach. If you do order a whole pizza, a large is only $9.99, a little cheaper than brand name pizza places like Pizza Hut and Dominos.
Although they only offer five different kinds of specialty pizzas, this is the place to go for classic dishes. Specialty pizzas here are fairly cheap, compared to other places. They offer a Florentine pizza, which is a ricotta and mozzarella pizza with spinach, for only $11.79. Additional toppings can get pricey at almost a dollar per topping. This is similar to the larger pizza joints.
Another favorite at L.A. Lasagna is the manicotti. The tubes of pasta are soft but firm and the ricotta cheese stuffing was piping hot and melty; all topped off with a generous amount of yummy mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. They also offer combination plates, like chicken parmigiana with spaghetti and garlic bread for $6.95. For vegetarians, the eggplant parmigiana combination is a good way to go if you’re not in the mood for a veggie pizza.
They also offer a variety of sandwiches. Classic items like meatball subs and Italian cold cuts are less than $5. Vegetarian options are, veggie pizza, cheese pasta, and the cheesy provolone sandwich on crunchy toasted sesame bread that is to die for. Their side orders are also cheap but plentiful; garlic bread for $1.50, perfect for dipping into marinara sauce. They also serve sausage and meatballs on the side as well, for $1.95 a pop.
The only downside of L.A. Lasagna is the location. Although only a couple of blocks away from CSUN, this small restaurant is nestled in a plaza across the street from Burger King on busy Reseda Boulevard. The plaza parking lot seems roomy enough but can often be full; the small side street next to the Vallarta Market is a frequently crawling with traffic.
A huge perk is that they deliver and they are usually very flexible about the distance. They are willing to deliver down to Reseda and Sherman Way. Since they are usually on time and travel outside of their delivery range it is appropriate to tip them well.
L.A. Lasagna also caters their most popular dishes for business meetings or parties. There are two options, half tray and full. The half pan serves about 6 to 8 people, while the full pan serves up to 20 people.
I’ve tried many things from this little Italian spot but for some reason, I realized I have not tried their lasagna. It’s so hard to go back to a place you love without getting your usual, which for me is a slice of cheese and an order of arancini. What’s your usual?
LA Lasagna Co.
8501 Reseda Blvd., Northridge
(818) 885-8107 Fax