Armel de Leon, Head Chef, Diane Correa, Manager, and Julian Apparicio, pizza specialist at Flamzz in Monrovia. -Photos by Terry Miller
By SHEL SEGAL
The build-your-own pizza craze has come to Monrovia.
Located on the corner of Ivy Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, Flamzz Stone Fire Pizza features everything for the build-your-own pizza aficionado.
Jose Moctezuma, owner of Flamzz, said it would be silly not to open a build-your-own pizza establishment.
“There’s a trend going on in the U.S. with the build-your-own pizza,” he said. “Obviously, everyone’s following Chipotle’s success and Subway’s success. It’s the same thing. You go to the line, we press the dough, you pick your sauces, then you pick your cheese, your ingredients, your meat, your cheese. Then it goes in the oven and it comes out.”
He added it’s proving to be a successful model.
“That’s what’s happening at the moment,” Moctezuma said. “If you want to compete with the other pizza places, the other corporations you kind of have to do the same thing. Everyone’s selling the pie for $7.50. Everyone’s using the thin crust. They’re very high-tech ovens. They cook between 400 and 800 degrees.”
And while he makes no bones about growing, he wants to remember his roots.
“We’re trying to grow into a franchise,” he said. “The model for us is we’re more like the local boys. We do a lot of work in Monrovia already. Everything that’s going to go on the wall is based on Monrovia.”
One of the restaurant’s specialties is bacon jelly. So, what’s bacon jelly?
“It’s like marmalade with bacon, onions and spices,” Moctezuma said. “It’s more like sweet and spicy at the same time.”
And there’s also suicide pie.
“It’s for people who are a kind of crazy who like to try something completely hot,” he said. “The sauce that goes at the end is very hot.”
In addition, there is a Flamzz location on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena across from Pasadena City College.
You can call the Monrovia location at (626) 930-0973 and the Pasadena location at (626) 396-9669 or log onto www.flamzz.com.
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be followed via Twitter @segallanded.)