Restaurant of the Week: Pieology

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Pieology, 8158 Day Creek Blvd. (at Foothill), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily.

The Inland Valley’s first fast-fired pizza parlor, Pieology, opened last week south of Victoria Gardens in the Sears Grand center below Foothill Boulevard. The Fullerton-based chain is expanding quickly; with 10 locations open as I write this, including Walnut; one is due to open in Chino on Sept. 11 at 3908 Grand Ave.

I had lunch there Wednesday. This was my first Pieology visit, but I’d eaten at Blaze in Pasadena and 800 Degrees in Westwood, which have similar concepts. You line up like at Chipotle or Subway and your pizza is assembled in front of you by a line of workers to your specifications (within reason). They pop it in the oven, you pay, get your drink and sit down, and within a couple of minutes they’re bringing out your pizza.

There are pre-selected combinations you can order, or you can customize. I customized, going with the standard marinara and mozzarella with sausage and mushrooms ($7.50). (Disappointingly, if understandably, anchovies aren’t offered.) Because I’m soft-spoken, ordering involved my repeating most of these items to the staff on the other side of the sneeze shield. Also, I looked away at one point after answering the question “is that all?”, and when I looked back, “yes” had translated into ham being added. Well, all toppings seem to be free, so I let it go. As a friend put it, without some restraint you can end up with a pizza resembling a bas-relief map of the Sierra Nevadas.

I also picked up a prepackaged salad of spinach, cranberries, bleu cheese and walnuts ($3.50), which I liked. The pizza is very thin crust, crisp and almost cracker-like, with some char. The toppings were less generous than your typical pizza parlor.

Pieology was very much like Blaze (I think I had essentially the same salad both places), but less foodie than 800 Degrees and its Neopolitan-style pies and menu. I can see the appeal: You can get a decent pizza quickly on a lunch or dinner break, and it’s all yours; in a group, everyone can get exactly what they want without compromising and having to accept, say, black olives or another objectionable topping. Vegetarians can do their own thing.

Purely for taste, it’s not great pizza, but it’s all right, and the whole thing is kind of fun. I mean, Chipotle doesn’t make the best burritos either, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to go there anyway once in a while.

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  • DebB

    What?! No anchovies?! How can you get a custom pizza without the best choice?

    Your photo makes the pizza look really large – too big for one person. How big are they?

    It does sound like it would be fun!

    • davidallen909

      Good question, which the website or menu don’t answer. Maybe 10 or 12 inches? Regardless of how the size sounds, they’re really individual pizzas — filling, but not a size you’d split with anyone.

  • Bob Terry

    Schmoopy says: I don’t have the best of luck when ordering something that really needs my attention. I’m so happy at San Biagio or Z that maybe down the road I will go there. So much for Carlo’s, huh?

    • davidallen909

      Yeah, too bad about Carlo’s, although they’re still showing up at food truck events.

      You’re Schmoopy! Wait, you already said you were Schmoopy. (“Seinfeld” reference.)

  • Bob Terry

    No…you’re Schmoopy! No pizza for you!

  • Andy Sze

    DA I haven’t gotten to pieology yet but I did go by blaze in Irvine this weekend. I rode 20 miles to dolce for a cronut. Really good croissant dough. Creme was way to thick. Hope to check our pieology by the end of the week. Went to petiscos again with some friends. They are just too expensive. Dripp has become a weekly occurrence. They are not my favorite coffee place, but they are interesting and have good atmosphere. IE needs more good coffee. Dripp and Klatch are the only game in town for coffee

    • Andy Sze

      Went to one plus one dumpling too this weekend. Name has changed. Food not the same quality. Went to 5 DA visits this weekend.

      • davidallen909

        Even I don’t go to 5 DA places in one weekend!

    • davidallen909

      Wait, last month you raved about Petiscos here and said you have to pay for quality — now you’ve turned against it? Oh, Andy.

      I’m not sure what I thought of Dolce’s cronut. It was okay but $2.25 seemed pricey for something so small. On the other hand, a Petiscos taco is $4, and that’s gone in a few bites too…

      • Andy Sze

        Semi sweet in dtla sells their cronuts for 4$ and ppl go gaga for them. Gone in instant. BTW have you been to Settebello in Pasadena? I haven’t gone to that particular location but have visited salt lake and Vegas locations numerous times. Great artisan pizza

        • davidallen909

          Hadn’t heard of Settebello, but now I have!

  • Andy Sze

    DA went to pieology yesterday and it was great. Thin crust like they do Naples. The ingredients could be more generous, but overall I like it quite a bit. Pieology is a great concept and easily expandable to other items. I think I went by your Pasadena book ship yesterday while getting a drink at Urth next door. A couple of his at work go to pieology for lunch about 2x a week. Good one DA

    • davidallen909

      Glad you liked Pieology. The Pasadena bookshop (Book Alley) isn’t by an Urth, but it’s a couple of doors from a Zankou.

  • DebB

    I know this is way late, but I finally tried Pieology. I was on vacation in San Jose and ate there with my brother and sister-in-law. None of us was particularly hungry, so we split one pizza. We tried the herb butter sauce, with gorgonzola cheese, lots of veggies, chicken and bacon. It was quite good, and I like the thin crust, but I’m not really sure it was worth standing in line for 40 minutes just to order! I would try it again if the line wasn’t so long.

    • davidallen909

      40 minutes to wait for food isn’t unusual, if you’re waiting for a table, seated at your table, ordering and waiting for your food — but 40 minutes to STAND for food is a bit much, I agree.