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Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzafe -- a whale of a sandwich

March 25, 2013|By Russ Parsons
  • Zdenko Pavic of Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzafe.
Zdenko Pavic of Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzafe. (Russ Parsons/Los Angeles…)

One of my favorite weekend activities just got a whole lot better. And no, I’m not talking about naps.

There aren’t many more pleasant ways to pass a weekend  afternoon than a visit to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center on the Palos Verdes shore. Take a sandwich, watch some whales, then stroll the cliffs afterward, enjoying the alternating aromas of wild sage and ocean breeze.

The sticking point is the sandwich. On Saturdays, we usually stop on the way over at Santa Fe Importers in Long Beach for one of their hot subs. But they’re not open on Sundays.

My wife and I were debating where we should stop in San Pedro -- A-1 Imports, maybe? What about the Busy Bee? When there, right in front of us as Summerland Avenue dead-ends into Western Avenue, I saw the sign for Pavich’s Brick Oven Pizzafe.

Weekend Eats

We used to go to Pavich’s quite often when it was in its old location in one of those very San Pedro-esque neighborhood commercial strips on Alma Street. But a couple of years ago, the restaurant closed to move to a new location, and my sloth being what it is, I never quite got around to tracking it down in its new digs.

But here it was, right in front of me. And what was even better, when we pulled in, owner Zdenko Pavic was there serving. Pavich’s pizzas are terrific; I particularly like the Croatian, which is made with thinly sliced smoked beef “prosciutto” very similar to speck.

But the restaurant's sandwiches, which I don’t remember from the previous location, are just as good -- and served on house-made somun bread -- a kind of flat crusty roll with a delicate interior crumb. We split a roasted pork (moist pulled pork, house-made white garlic sauce, roasted bell peppers and shredded lettuce).

Pavic is a talkative, likable guy and made us promise that the next time we came in, we’d try his “Mercedes” pizza, divided into thirds (like the famous emblem), with Croatian, “Romana” (tomato, ham, feta and mozzarella) and “Quatro Gusti” (tomato, ham, mushrooms, artichokes and mozzarella).

We sat in the sun in the amphitheater at Point Vicente, eating our sandwiches, and saw five whales, including three spouting together in unison. Then we went for a walk. And then it was time for a nap.

29701 S. Western Ave., Suite 103, Rancho Palos Verdes, (310) 832-1200.


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