With my love of Asian food, I’ve walked past World Pizza in the International District innumerable times, wondering what it’s like.
Don’t get me wrong: I love pizza, too. But pizza generally pales in the temptation department compared to roasted meats at Ton Kiang, beef bing at Henry’s Taiwan, Vietnamese noodles at Green Leaf, and Friday ramen at Tsukushinbo.
Still, I had to get World Pizza off my to-do list, and on the eve of a trip to Asia, I was at the right place at the right time to finally try the pizza. My order had to include the basic Cheese slice, but in a nod to the I.D., I also tried the Wasabi-Pineapple with Roasted Red Pepper, which in this instance had the addition of Roasted Tomatoes.
Friendly folks behind the counter, for sure, and they watched as I tried to fold the cheese slice, New York-style. It was somewhat manageable, but when I repeated the procedure for the slice with toppings, it took but a second to waive the white flag. (Or is that a red, green, and white flag?)
Much has been made about World Pizza being vegetarian, what with their “Field Roast” Pepperoni and their popular Roasted Red Potato with Garlic, Rosemary, and Gorgonzola. The ingredients are good and there’s a nice variety of pies on offer. Balsamic Black Beans with Fresh Tomato and Feta, anyone?
But there’s something off about the crust. At first bite, it felt like a cake crust, pushing toward dry cornbread, with an almost gritty mouthfeel. (Dare I use this despised word?) It’s thick and dense, and prone to sogginess. The thickness of the otherwise flavorful tomato sauce seems to exacerbate the problem. Not only couldn’t I lift my wasabi+ slice, but it was also heavy eating.
Aside from the crust conundrum, the cheese slice was decent. And the wasabi slice was fascinating. I’m a big fan of wasabi, and it works well with the other ingredients, though it might be overpowering for some. “All clear,” I could declare to my nasal passages. Once I reconciled the wasabi hit, I again enjoyed the flavor of the pizza. I just wish I could have cut the slices in half, cross-wise, to eliminate the thickness of the crust.
Bottom line: For me, World Pizza was a partial like. Clearly, though, others completely adore the place, as reviews are pretty solid all around.