Monday, December 17, 2007

'Tis The Season

I don't have a wine-related post for today. I wanted to mention something nice from the weekend, though.

On Saturday my daughter and I returned to Bollini's restaurant in Monterey Park, a rare bird being that it is excellent sit-down Italian food mired in a sea of Chinese restaurants and fast food. I hadn't had a pizza since September and figured it was time to pig out.

And pig out we did, ordering two 12" pizzas: The Nonna, with sausage and mushrooms; and the Cal Twist, topped with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers. Both were excellent. And I guess it really wasn't pigging out that much since these were very thin pizzas. Like quesadilla-thin. That's the Napolitana style that chef/owner Chris Bollini specializes in.

What I wanted to mention is something we observed while we were devouring our pizzas. Two young kids came in and were talking to the pizza chef (not the owner, though) about pizza. We weren't paying too much attention to their conversation until towards the end when it became obvious they didn't have enough money to buy anything.

The chef asked them how much money they had and was told $2.00. So he told them, "Okay, I'll make you a little pizza for $2.00. What would you like on it?" They told him pepperoni and so he made them a little pepperoni pizza from scratch and put it in a box. Those were two happy kids.

My daughter and I thought that was really nice of this guy. While we were eating, we heard him talking to other customers waiting for take-out orders and it was obvious that he loved what he was doing. He also mentioned that in a couple of months Bollini's will expand into the adjacent space which will give them much more room. Right now the restaurant is very narrow and the kitchen area is larger than the eating area. Along with the expansion will come an expanded menu, too.

Before we left I spoke briefly with Mr. Bollini and he confirmed that he's just waiting for the next door tenants to move out and then they can proceed to knock down the wall and expand. That's definitely good news because this place has terrific food, a great attitude, and the San Gabriel Valley can use some more non-Asian places where you can sit down and relax rather than get your food from a drive-thru window. I'm Asian myself but I'd like a little more variety, pleeeeze!

Anyway, I just wanted to put in a good word for the place because of the nice gesture the pizza chef made. There's some George Baileys out there!

By the way, they don't have a liquor license but I've read BYOB is okay (I didn't confirm it with the folks at the restaurant, though).

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