Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill Rockin’ in El Segundo

| September 19, 2012

This new restaurant has only been open about three weeks in El Segundo, but it is really kicking up a storm already. There are ten of them already in the San Diego area, five in Las Vegas, one in Palm Desert and now this one. The very first one opened in La Jolla in 1989 and is still going strong.

Future plans include Studio City and LAX where they just won an important concession over more established outlets in a slightly controversial decision from the Airport Commissioners.

The 89-seater restaurant features a large but not overwhelming menu loosely split between pizzas, tapas, pastas, burgers and salads. No menu item is priced over $15 and they do have some outrageous desserts including an over the top Messy Chocolate Sundae and a humungous Cotton Candy coated with cocoa powder.

I tried quite a few of the menu items at a lunch tasting this week starting with the Lobster Bisque Soup ($7), one of four on the menu. Nothing remarkable about the soup, but the Mongolian Shredded Duck Quesadilla with spicy Asian guacamole ($11) is one of their most popular appetizers and a good one to share.

The Ahi Poki ($11) was typical of the sheer freshness of all the ingredients at the restaurant and was helped by the zest of the soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil. I loved the Hummus dish with grilled herb flatbread ($8.50) and will order that for sure on my next visit.

I tried a couple of the pizza’s and one worked although the other came up short. Since they import the Brie Cheese directly from France you know it is good so the Brie Cheese w/truffle oil and sautéed wild mushrooms ($12) was outstanding. However the Organic Aragula w/Pear Pizza ($12) along with gorgonzola and a balsamic basil dressing was a little too much of a taste reach for me.

Finally the Polynesian Crab Stack ($13) is a mixture of fresh and well oiled ingredients like Mango, pea shoots, cucumber, tomato, red onion, avocado, peanuts all in a spicy ginger lime dressing. Like virtually all of the dishes here, the Stack is perfect for sharing.

Sammy (owner) was prowling the restaurant like a Lebanese version of Larry David with a cell phone attached to his ear making deals, but since he started his mini-empire late in life he must be having a great time, and so are the customers it seems.

780 S.Sepulveda
El Segundo, CA