The idea of creating a pizza place for everyone to enjoy started with the inability to find a decent slice of “Pie” on the entire West Coast.
Hopeful restauranteur and New York transplant Garrett Policastro had two dreams in the mid-1990s: to find a great slice of New York pizza, and to do something with his architectural career that didn’t involve watching the world pass him by from the inside of a cubicle.
Seven years, one-hundred-forty drawings (or so), three years in New York, one-thousand burns, countless experiments with dough and sauce, tons of support from his family, and a big break provided by his partner Rafael Quinonez LATER…and an idea was put into action.
Rebuilding a tiny shop on Melrose with their bare hands, they implemented what would prove to be the basics of the evolving Tomato Pie Concept — Quality, Accessibility and Fun. As they worked diligently over the next year-and-a-half, the business grew exponentially and enjoyed great success.
Wanting to take the Concept to the next level, the two partners called upon the creative mind (and huge shoulders) of restauranteur Federico Suarez. The three joined forces and brought them to bear on the Melrose restaurant, which soon realized its optimum potential. So, the partners started to think about expansion…
The basics of the evolving Tomato Pie concept — Quality, Accessibility and Fun.” In April of 2008, the Silver Lake branch opened its doors…and the response showed a community of diners (much like their counterparts in the Melrose/Fairfax area) grateful for a local business to call their very own.
With two thriving locations, Tomato Pie Pizza Joint is well on its way to becoming everyone’s favorite neighborhood pizzeria.
East Coast Favorites
Tomato Pie: Also known as Old Fashion, this wonderful light pizza option has no mozzarella, but a light dusting of grated Pecorino Romano. The story behind this also serves as the name of our concept. Mostly prevalent in Upstate NY and New Jersey, this square pan baked pizza is a result of all the Italian Matriarchs responsible for cooking the “gravy” each week, having to create a last line of defense preventing theft of the new sauce simmering on the stove. They would scoop out the remains of last week's sauce onto a home risen dough and bake it to a golden brown, leave it on the countertop and steer the hungry masses to it as a way of keeping the hunger at bay.
Grandma: Also known as the “Margarita” after the Italian queen in the year blah blah. Actually it’s the first pizza ever invented. Italian Moms loved to make this at home with fresh filleted tomatoes from the garden that they would marinate for a whole day before using. This super simple pie with very light spots of Mozzarella has only an Olive oil base with no sauce per se. Just the Tomatoes crushed by hand and topped with grated Romano and Fresh Basil. It’s perhaps the greatest pizza on the planet.