By Brett Callwood
Pizza being the Italian work for “pie,” there really should be no limits to what can go on (or in) it. There’s joy in adventure, and a world of flavors out there. And yet we’re told time and time again by purists that certain things, such as pineapple, “just don’t belong on a pizza.” Those people would lose their collective minds if they entered Bombay Curry & Pizzeria.
They shouldn’t – the concept is wonderful. Indian food and pizza, combined into something that just works. Because why wouldn’t it, and why shouldn’t it? A pizza crust is really just bread. It’s neutral. Again, all manner of flavors can sit on top of it and be enhanced. The issue of whether it should be called a pizza or “open curry pie” becomes little more than a matter of semantics.
The restaurant is located on Crenshaw, in a part of town not necessarily renown for restaurants. Don’t worry about that, just go.
We went for the Paneer Tikka Pizza, but made it vegan by switching the paneer cheese for the similarly textured tofu. This did temper the taste slightly, but that’s our fault for making a dietary-based substitution and not the fault of the restaurant at all.
That said, it was delicious. The tikka curry sauce works magnificently as a base on the thin pizza bread, the flavors blossoming with the addition of onions and green bell peppers. Each bite offers a crispy crunch, followed by an explosion of Indian flavors that your taste buds don’t expect, even though you know it’s coming.
As well as more traditional, or at least American-accepted, pizzas, Bombay Curry & Pizzeria also offers a Sag (spinach curry) Pizza that sounds intriguing, a Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza, and a tempting Copenhagen Gyro Pizza, topped with gyro meat. We haven’t figured out the connection between Copenhagen, Denmark, and gyro meat, but it sounds great.
The place also has plenty of curry choices – not on a pizza. We did get a couple of appetizers, including an order of their perfectly crispy and plump samosas. Better was the Fish Pakoda – breaded and fried (unidentified) white fish that is spiced wonderfully. It smells as good as it tastes.
There will still be plenty of people who are skeptical that curry and pizza can go together. We can only advise you to give it a try.
Bombay Curry & Pizzeria is located at 14617 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena 90249. Call 310-355-1180 or visit bombaycurrygardena.com.