I’m usually confused by acronyms as a result of the identical letters can imply so many issues. When a chef talked about he used to work for the CIA I assumed he was a spy till I spotted that he meant the Culinary Institute of America.
That stated, the individuals who named the previous Charlie’s “Pizza Coast Hiway” knew what they had been doing. It’s going to be acronymed, and will probably be humorous to anybody who has grown up listening to PCH as a road title abbreviation. It’s memorable due to the way in which it flips your expectations.
The restaurant isn’t precisely new, however is a complete makeover of the previous institution that was deliberate by companions Steve Roberts and Charles Byrd earlier than Byrd’s passing in 2021. As Charlie’s it was an Italian restaurant for many who appreciated sports activities, with a bar vibe in the primary room and a quieter and extra fashionable aspect room the place the TV was often off. As PCH, the quiet room is now an arcade and the primary room has been opened up with family-friendly lengthy tables. TV screens are at nearly each location the place one may be positioned. The warehouse-like inside with exhausting surfaces makes this one of many loudest eating places on the town, which some folks will dislike, however you possibly can’t deny the vitality of the brand new house.
The menu has been slimmed down with pricier entrees dropped – the seafood and extra sophisticated pastas are gone in favor of pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. The smaller choice doesn’t appear to be placing many diners off, as a result of on our second go to the place was almost full.
Among the many starters we’ve tried wings, a Caesar salad, fried calamari, and the home soup made with seasonal greens. The wings had been simply common, correctly made with a sizzling however not scorching Buffalo sauce. We most well-liked the calamari. This was partly as a result of they’re fried in a batter that has some herbs and seasonings however hardly any oil, and partly as a result of the dipping sauce is their excellent marinara. This has at all times been a robust merchandise right here, and any entrée that features will probably be value ordering.
The identical is true of the soup, a traditional minestrone with some cheese grated into it simply earlier than serving. It tastes like an outdated household recipe as a result of it’s. It’s Italian consolation meals at its easiest. It’s not vegetarian as a result of it does embrace some pancetta, however in the event you benefit from the style of greens, get this. The bowl comes with garlic bread and is a high-quality mild meal by itself. If there are two of you, get the soup, and a Caesar salad, and break up each, as a result of they make that effectively too. It’s the standard model with contemporary croutons, romaine, frivolously garlicky dressing, and a sprinkling of cheese, and that’s all. To somebody who likes a Caesar, that’s all there must be.
Among the many entrees we tried a PCH tremendous sub, fettuccine alfredo, hen parmesan, and a G.O.A.T. pizza. In case you haven’t come throughout that acronym earlier than, it stands for “biggest of all time,” although goat cheese is likely one of the toppings. The others are roasted leeks, scallions, garlic, bacon, potatoes, together with a drizzle of vinegar and a few sea salt. I’m unsure I’d rank it with the best pizzas of all time, nevertheless it’s an exceptionally good mixture. The crust was medium thick moderately than the paper-thin fashion, the toppings correctly proportioned so it was neither sparse or soggy, and the flavors complicated and well-balanced.
The tremendous sub hit the spot too, a towering mass of layered meats, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pink onion, and pepperoncini on break up and toasted Italian bread. The Italian dressing was used judiciously, sufficient for taste however not a lot that it acquired soggy, and the portion was so huge that half of it went dwelling.
They’re not solely conventional with their fettuccine alfredo, which is made with a bit cream regardless of a menu itemizing that claims it’s the unique. That’s simply butter, parmesan, salt, and pepper in Italy, however People add cream to lend additional richness. PCH doesn’t add a lot, and I may barely inform it was there, as a result of the cheese and butter had been out in entrance, as they’re imagined to be.
Rooster parmesan was invented within the USA someday within the mid-Twentieth century, and recipes differ – typically the breaded and fried cutlet is drenched in sauce and coated with cheese, and at different occasions the sauce is a skinny coating and the cheese nearly a ornament. Charlie’s goes for a maximalist model with numerous sauce, and cheese that’s run underneath the broiler so the cheese crisps on prime.They serve it with spaghetti with extra of that sauce on the aspect. Nearly as good as that sauce is, I’d have most well-liked one thing with a taste distinction, maybe simply pasta with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan, as a result of nearly as good because it was, there was a number of the identical taste on that plate.
Pizza Coast Hiway has a full liquor license and a few good home cocktails – the Gold Coast Commonplace of bourbon, maraschino liqueur, and bitters hit the spot. I appreciated the Lodge California punch-style rum drink too. The beer and wine record isn’t encyclopedic however has one thing for everyone, and if they’ve the Barbera I’d advocate it with their marinara.
They solely have one dessert, the tiramisu, which is creamy, wealthy, and served topped with strawberries, berry coulis, and a candy chocolate drizzle. Whereas this makes a really fairly presentation, sooner or later I’ll ask for the toppings on the aspect as a result of I truly like the straightforward taste of the cake.
A meal at Pizza Coast Hiway gained’t set you again a lot, since nothing on the menu is over twenty bucks and parts are beneficiant. I miss some issues in regards to the earlier institution, however must admit that what they do now, they do effectively.
Pizza Coast Hiway is at 601 N. PCH in Redondo. Tues. — Solar. 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Parking zone, full bar, patio eating. Wheelchair entry good. Some vegetarian gadgets. (310) 374-8581. Pizzacoasthiway.com. ER