If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best - or so says that big poster of a person rock climbing in your dentist’s office. Achieving such dominance tends to come through a combination of hard work, a good lawyer, and continually one-upping the competition around you. Restaurants have similar strategies. From schticky tableside presentations to gastronomic science experiments to group cocktails served in sparkling metallic animals, restaurants will do almost anything to prove that they’re ahead of the pack.
But then there’s Triple Beam, a pizza-by-the-slice joint in Highland Park that doesn’t need the extra stuff. It’s basically just pizza, wine, and a patio, and it’s one of the most exciting places to eat in the city.
Triple Beam is from the people behind Pizzeria Mozza and Everson Royce Bar - two places that know about eating pizza and drinking wine. But this order-at-the-counter spot along Figueroa doesn’t have lines out the door because it was created by restaurants people recognize. It has lines out the door because the pizza is fantastic and the setup is simple.
And when we say simple, we mean very simple. You wait in line, you hold up your hands to show how big you want your pieces, they pop them in the oven for a few seconds, and you take your tray out onto the patio. Triple Beam’s menu changes frequently, but there are usually five or so different pizzas, and you can get a good-sized slice of each for about $25 total. We say that not to prove how affordable it is - but because you should absolutely plan to order a slice of every pizza available.
You can debate your friends and internal demons all night about whether the sausage or salami is better or if the patate beats out the asparagus. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It’s the crust that makes the pizza at Triple Beam special. Crunchy, flaky, and cut into big squares, this Roman-style pizza isn’t just thicker than Mozza’s - it’s better. The ratio of cheese to toppings is right on every single slice, and combined with the crunchy crust, the result is tremendous. This is, technically, perfect pizza. And all scientific analysis aside, it tastes incredible.
And then there’s the patio - a big space in the back that takes an otherwise grab-and-go pizza concept and turns it into a place where everybody wants to hang out. So grab a few friends or even your dentist, and go eat some pizza, drink some wine, and enjoy a place that’s too far ahead to be worried about the competition.
Head to Triple Beam with five people and each person will probably claim a different pizza as their favorite. That’s not a bad thing. But for our money, we’re claiming the sausage. Topped with mozzarella, spicy greens, onion, and fennel pollen, it’s the perfect blend of crunchy, spicy, and savory.
This wins the award for the pizza we thought we wouldn’t like, but ended up loving. And that’s an important award.
Assuming you followed our advice and got a slice of every pizza available, adding more bread to the table might seem like overkill, but it’s not. When something is as good as the focaccia, you need it on your table.
If you can’t nail a salami pizza, you really shouldn’t be in business. Luckily, Triple Beam hits this one out of the park.
Some people don’t like bacon on pizza and those people are not to be trusted. Mixed with the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, this is a must-order.
Topped with golden potatoes, fontina, black truffle cheese, and rosemary, this is by no means a bad slice of pizza, but for us, the black truffle cheese is too overpowering.