Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Storefront Report: Silver Lake burger stand reborn as pizzeria*

Silver Lake, pizza, restaurants

Photo courtesy Wood Handcrafted Pizza

The former Tom's Burgers.

The former Tom’s Burgers.

SILVER LAKE — It’s been nearly a year since Tom’s Burgers served up its last charbroiled burger and burrito from the bright green, tiled building it had occupied for nearly 40 years. Now, after a change in tenants and a major makeover, the burger stand has been replaced by Wood Handcrafted Pizza. Brothers Erik and Edgar Martirosyan opened up Wood, which they say introduces Silver Lake to true Neapolitan pizza thanks to an 800+ degree oven that can cook up your pizza in 90 seconds.

The Martirosyans, who own a pizzeria in Hollywood, have been in the pizza business for a decade. “We started on our way passing out fliers, pizza delivery, cooking, management to owning a pizza shop and now a restaurant,” said Erik Martirosyan. “We are very honored to be in this neighborhood, and we love being a part of it.”

The black-and-white restaurant is currently open from  11 a.m. to midnight and a grand opening is planned as soon as it is allowed to serve beer and wine.

While the Martirosyans remodeled and renovated the entire building, the old Tom’s Burger sign still looms over the corner, untouched. What’s going to happen to the sign?   Work and changes to the free-standing sign will begin next month, said Erik Martirosyan. But the red-and-white  “Tom’s”  portion of the sign will remain  in tribute to the old former restaurant.

* Update: One of our readers pointed out that Edgar Martirosyan is the Oscars pizza deliveryman who brought some pies to this year’s Academy Awards.

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  1. Owning Pizza Man in Hollywood does not qualify as owning a pizzeria. Arf.

  2. How many pizza places have you owned thing that says arf? Shuddup in you face!

  3. Look forward to trying the pizza but this is just what SL needs is another restaurant with hardly enough parking. I am sure the neighborhood council will come to our rescue the new board is so in tune with the neighborhood on parking issues.

    • There’s that parking lot behind/next to the restaurant. It’s more than a few spots.

    • Fallopia Simms

      There’s a bus stop right out front!

    • Occidental Blvd

      As someone who lives and street-parks in this immediate area, I’m ALL FOR more restaurants in the area, even if they can’t provide suburb-style parking lots, People don’t understand that more parking requirements means less restaurants means less walkability means more cars! Entitled Silver Lake residents need to wake up and smell the global warming!

      • We prefer the you would use the term “Privileged Silver Lake Residents.”
        Its only okay for Entitled Silver Lake Residents to call one another Entitled Silver Lake Residents.

        It may be a double standard, but only we can take the venom out of it by assuming ownership of it and using it affectionately

  4. Big Mamas and Papas is gross. Suspect ingredient quality, surly employees, poor service. I doubt this place will last very long — how’s that “hip” Big Mama’s going in Eagle Rock?

  5. Hope they’ve rethought that logo they displayed for awhile.

    • Their logo that looks like a penis is probably their best chance at drawing customers. It is such a shame they got rid of the tile facade and replaced it with boring grey stucco.

  6. Why are most of the people who post here such negative A-Holes. Welcome to the neighborhood and good luck with the new business

  7. that Oscar thing was great! Welcome to the neighborhood!

  8. silverlakeblvd

    I wish they would keep the old sign as-is. I vowed that if they kept the Tom’s sign I would go there & if not, not. (and a lot of my friends agreed with me!) Since we saw no sign of changing the sign, I kept to my word & went. Yummy pizza and nice patio! But now that I hear they might mess with the sign, I might not be so inclined towards becoming a regular (weird standards, I know). But the Wood logo is SO phallic! and LA has such a nice tradition of new business owners keeping the old signs (see: LA Dreams becoming Spaceland, Bargain Clown Mart is the Three of Clubs, etc). I mean, Pho Cafe doesn’t even HAVE a sign and look how popular it is. KEEP THE TOM’S SIGN UNTOUCHED! I promise to return for more of your pizza if you do. If not, not.

    • That’s a pretty ridiculous standard considering you’ve already gone and liked the pizza. I hope you make this a universal rule and only eat at places that keep outdated (legacy?) signage. It’s not like the Tom’s sign is some sacred totem pole. It looks really out of place with the dark color of the restaurant and it’s not exactly unreasonable for a pizza place to change a highly visible sign that says “BURGERS! – BURRITOS!” when that’s not on the menu. That said, I’m also not a huge fan of phallic logo.

      FWIW, I also tried Wood’s pizza a while ago and it was pretty good but they were still rolling out the rest of the menu. I’ll go back.

    • I had some pretty nasty experiences in that place – i actually kind of hoped they would just burn it down and start over.

      It is too real to me to romanticize.

      If you remove the sign, I promise to eat there twice as much as this guy and his friends put together.

    • How anyone can consider a dilapidated 70’s plastic junk sign as something that should be preserved is the weirdest example of nostalgia I have ever heard. That thing isn’t art, its crap that shouldn’t have been put up in the first place.

  9. I enjoy this place. I’m happy they are in the neighborhood and I will be going back again.

  10. Hungry For Good Food

    Never tried Big Mama’s, but Wood is awesome! Excellent service. I tried two of the pizzas on their soft open menu and they tasted great. Quality ingredients, healthier and more organic than the other greasier pizza joints around here. Closest competitor for this style of pizza is Mother Dough, but Wood’s menu offerings are a bit more creative. Congrats to the owners on the opening. Keep up the consistent quality, ignore the juvenile trash talk online, and you’ll get my repeat business.

  11. They must have gotten a really good deal on that paint, even painted the roof?

  12. I cannot support an establishment with such an obvious phallic symbol and name. I think it is horrendous to allow such a brand in an area with so many children and schools. Shame on SLNC for allowing this sanctuary to phallus worship to stand in our neighborhood. It is not cute or ironic– it’s disgusting!

    • Yes ….you are such and advocate for children and what is “correct”, start by starting a movement to shut down liquor stores across the city that sell liquor and cigarettes all day ..especially the ones by schools…but leave the pot stores alone .
      Cheers to the phalic symbol ! U have my support all the way !

    • I am a supporter of phallus (and great pizza)

      “The children” will be just fine. I at cruddy pizza with a rat as a mascot. This is a huge improvement.

      By the way, It is a pizza cutter – the rest you bring to it perv. (JK)

  13. Went with friends to the location that delivered the pizzas to the Academy Awards and the pizza was DELICIOUS. No joke. These guys do know how to be successful–service was also good. New place….go for it.

    • Echo Park resident

      Uhh, that kinda goes against the Yelp reviews. Apparently overpriced ($18 for four slices) and undercooked dough. Gross.

      • ‘over priced’ is a relative term.

        you can still order an ‘gigante’ from pizza loca if thats your jam – I would pay the extra cash I not to eat poop.

        Way to go guys! Thanks for bringing a place to eat to the neighborhood! Haters gonna hate! Keep on making good pizza!!!!!

        • There’s a very big difference between a large $18-$20 pizza (ie: Two Boots) with 10 slices and an $18 personal sized pizza with 4 slices.

          • It’s about diversity

            If you like ketchup spread over sand paper then go to two boots! I celebrate your right to do that… (but i personally am happy to have options)

            If you want an entirely different style of pizza and do not mind paying for craftsmanship and quality… then you have wood as a choice now.

            It’s OK…. we can celebrate pizzas of all kinds in our community.

  14. I do hope the pizza is tasty, but as someone who has lived in NYC, NJ and New Haven, CT for a spell, I’m a tough sell on quality pies. I’ve had the best, and for a host of potential reasons (water, yeast, temperatures, staff, raw ability, etc.) SoCal pizza never quite matches up to its East Coast competition. In fact, it’s not even close. After driving by the place last night, I was disappointed at how unwelcoming and sterile the grey stucco facade appeared. I hope they enliven it with something before the place has its grand opening. Good luck! I like the restaurant row that area is becoming. The 2 bus line runs up and down that stretch of Sunset for anyone who is interested in ditching their car or (horror!) doesn’t own one.

    • Wow… really… someone who ate pizza in NYC and poops all over LA believes they ‘know’ pizza better than anyone else in the world .. amazing you are the only one!!!! Thank you for offering this refreshing and original perspective that NYC pizza is the best pizza in the world… and no one will ever make better pizza – such groundbreaking snobbery has never been heard before in LA – i am so glad you are here to educate all of us who could never know anything about pizza.

      Is this conversation really still happening??? (PS – NYC Blows)

      • I’ve had the pleasure of living in NYC and LA, and i must say the Mexican food here is great, but the pizza in LA totally sucks. Lambskins is 1000% right.

    • You comment about how great NY pizza is, but fail to mention most of the best NY pizza places are whole in the wall dumps with all the charm of a double wide trailer. Yet, you comment about Wood’s “unwelcoming and sterile the grey stucco facade” Are you a food critic or an design critic?

      • Obviously, you’ve never been to the many parts of NYC outside of Times Square (Brooklyn, Staten Island, etc) that have huge Italian restaurants with awesome pizza. LA has many great things going for it, but pizza isn’t one of them (and that building is just fugly; they took an awful building and made it worse).

  15. Tried to go to Wood’s soft opening. They would not all any substitutions/deletions on their pizzas. What is this? The Father’s Office of Silver Lake? If I’m paying for the food, you damn well should make the pizza how I want. Not what you tell me. So, I walked out without ordering.

    I read on Yelp, they have relaxed their no substitution policy. I also read they charge $1 for water! Not bottled water, but a “special filtered” water. Really?? Not a good way to introduce yourself to the neighborhood.

  16. I drove by yesterday and saw that they have a banner up now with the famous and controversial phallic logo. It REALLY does look exactly like a penis!!!

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