Last month, Taco Bell announced that their iconic Mexican Pizza would be leaving menus forever. When the news broke, fans everywhere mourned the loss of the beloved favorite.
One fan, Brian Nittayo of Rose City Pizza in Rosemead, CA, took the departure one step further by creating his own take on the Mexican Pizza to honor the beloved fast food item.
You may probably know Rose City Pizza best by the viral Birria Pizza and Al Pastor Pizza. The latest item to come out of their pizza oven is a double-decker pizza that features toasted tortillas as the crust. Then comes a layer of pinto beans, mozzarella, cheddar, Salsa de Arbol, and Salsa Verde.
Customers can choose their meat, including Birria, Al Pastor, Chorizo, Beef Chile, Corn, or Bean and Cheese filling.
Like every new pizza iteration on the menu, you can expect the Mexican Pizza to be a permanent menu item.
Those with a sweet tooth can also find a new Mazapan dessert pizza on the menu, inspired by Oscar Gonzalez of Foodbeast himself.
If you’ve had Chinese dim sum before, chances are you’ve broken into a couple of char siu bao. These fluffy, steamed white buns are filled with a sweet and savory BBQ pork called char siu, which is used widely across Cantonese cooking.
In the San Gabriel Valley, just outside of Los Angeles, however, one pizzeria is adding their own spin to the legendary red pork, creating a Char Siu Pizza that makes for a fusion of cuisines true to the owner’s roots.
The Char Siu Pizza can be found at Rose City Pizza, a spot known for other viral creations like their Birria Pizza and Elote Pizza. While owner Brian Nittayo is already making waves with these fusion creations, the pie shop’s newest item can actually be attributed to his sister, Catherine.
Both Nittayo siblings took a pizza class together in their hometown of San Francisco prior to Rose City’s opening. Since they lived right outside of Chinatown growing up, char siu was a huge part of their lives. Catherine, as a result, was inspired to put char siu on one of her pizzas as a class project, an idea that was a huge hit amongst her peers.
Rose City’s current version of the pizza keeps the char siu, but surrounds it with the flavors of guabao, which is pork in folded steamed bao from China’s Fuzhuo province that are also common in the greater Los Angeles area. The char siu, which Nittayo makes in house, is added to a base of hoisin and cheese, then gets topped off with pickled red onions, spicy mustard, and cilantro.
An unconventional aspect of Rose City’s char siu is that it is sometimes cooked on a spit. While not the typical method used today, it does hail to the fact that char siu literally translates to “fork roasted.” Granted, it’s usually not cooked on the same spit as al pastor, but it does give a unique visual appeal to the pork.
The unctuous char siu makes for an intriguing and delectable topping to this creative pizza option, which looks as artistic as it tastes. As a half Chinese who grew up eating massive amounts of char siu, the pizza was both nostalgic yet innovative to me at the same time.
Creations like these are becoming more common in Los Angeles, especially the San Gabriel Valley. Restaurateurs are fusing the Chinese favorites they grew up on alongside their American school lunch staples, whether it be as a mapo tofu lasagna or putting salsa into their scallion pancake wraps. The Char Siu Pizza is another iteration of this growing pattern, and a worthy contribution to the evolving scene of fusion creations in Los Angeles.
I’ve always believed that a pizza is a blank canvas for culinary artists to pour their soul into and that each pizzeria is a gallery for them to showcase their unique style.
Rose City Pizza, located in Rosemead, CA, has added a new pizza to their menu that is as delicious as it is picturesque with a name that aptly fits the occasion — The Manila Sunrise.
The Manila Sunrise is arguably one of the tastiest renditions of a breakfast pizzas I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Rose City’s pie is made with mozzarella cheese, garlic chili paste, fried garlic, fried onions, pickled red onions, eggs, and crumbled longanisa sausage.
Conceptualized as part of a Filipino Pizza collaboration, Rose City garnishes the pizza with 7ti Sauce, a sort of spin on thousand island made with Filipino ingredients, crafted by food pop-up brand Grub Life.
This isn’t Rose City’s first unconventional take on pizza. You may remember a while back when they debuted an Al Pastor pizza that went viral. They sliced meat straight from a spit directly onto the pizza and served it with garnishes you would find on an al pastor taco.
Not too long ago, they even released a seasonal Spinach Artichoke Dip pizza.
In the few weeks since the Manila Sunrise was introduced at the restaurant, the pizza has become a sleeper hit on the menu. Owner Brian Nittayo says that he plans to keep the pizza as a permanent fixture on Rose City’s menu.
Man, this pizza will not do my waistline any favors…but I absolutely plan on going back for it many, many times.
When the holidays roll around, Rose City Pizza owner Brian Nittayo is in full spinach artichoke dip mode. A popular dish among his family, Nittayo would constantly get requests days prior to family get togethers for his take on the classic app.
At the last party, the pizzeria owner wondered what would happen if that dip came in some kind of pizza form.
From that stray thought, The Dip Pizza was born.
Rose City’s pie features spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic cream sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and is topped with colorful tortilla chip strips.
The idea was that the pizza crust would act as a giant chip, ferrying the contents of a gooey party app directly into your mouth.
You can either enjoy the pie by the slice or grab some tortilla chips and dip directly onto its savory surface as if it were its own party bowl.
The Dip Pizza can be found at Rose City Pizza in Rosemead, CA. It’s also home to the viral Al Pastor Pizza that comes straight from a spit. Between this and the spinach artichoke dip pie, I’m excited to see what this spot comes up with next.
Al pastor tacos are a staple in the Mexican street food scene and while you’d probably never think to find the classic marinated pork on a pizza, it is now on the list of things you didn’t know you needed in your life.
Rose City Pizza in Rosemead, California is known for getting a little crazy with its pizzas after introducing an Elote Pizza, and even spreading Flamin’ Hot Cheetos all over their pies, so it may or may not be surprising that they practically threw a whole taco on top.
They start off with a layer of cheese over their crust, because some of it has to resemble a pizza, then the rest is taco toppings. Starting with pineapple, which is integral to an al pastor taco, chopped onions, radish slices, and of course the grilled al pastor that they cut straight from a vertical spit, just as you’d see inside any good taco shop. Since no taco is complete without a good salsa, they top off the whole thing with a jalapeno aioli drizzled over for added flavor.