The eastern invasion of L.A. continues, as Eater alerts us to a Tweet from Noah Tepperberg that the smash success pizza place he’s partnered in, Artichoke Basille’s, is heading to L.A. “We are coming soon!” Tepperberg promises in reply to a fan’s demand that they open on the West Coast. And that’s not the only expansion plan for this two-year-old Italian-American upstart, which hopes to slay Lil’ Ceasar’s and told Grub Street New York, “Pizza Hut had better worry…Papa John better watch out, too.”
It’s not an easy thing to make a diminutive new pizza joint stand out in NYC, but Artichoke caused a sensation on Manhattan’s 14th Street, leading to long lines that snake out of the building for its artichoke-topped slices, though New York Magazine’s Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld liked its Sicilian slices and spontaneous menu specials even better.
Artichoke quickly expanded to Chelsea in the Big Apple and opened last month in The Village. More recently, plans to branch out across the boroughs and as far as Las Vegas were announced, along with threats of an artichoke beer.
We gobbled our share of slices in the summer of 2009 and found them well worth the wait and side of attitude at the counter. Let’s just hope Artichoke translates better than Cafe Habana, Richard Sandoval, and Joe’s did when they made their trans-continental journeys.