We used to think Palo Mesa Pizza in the Village of Arroyo Grande was too small to hold our appetites, as it appears to be the size of a drive-through coffee spot. But upon entering, we were shocked at the nice allocation of space. It's like a big living room, and the seating is super comfy too. The vibe of the place is laid-back and casual: Families and couples were enjoying a chill night. We ordered two pizzas to share (and finished all but one slice), and the one that stood out was the Autonno. The award-winning specialty pizza had all my favorite toppings: fresh, sweet heirloom tomatoes; generous amounts of garlic; a flavorful cream sauce called "fior de latte"; and basil, Parmesan, arugula, balsamic vinegar, and lemon olive oil—we also went for the $2 addition of salty chunks of pancetta, bringing the pizza total to $18. I love it when a pizza is cooked properly, and this one was authentically Italian-style, with perfect little charred bits and crunch with the soft crust. The flavors were balanced and layered.
Palo Mesa Pizza is open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with locations at 150 W. Branch St., 2790-C Halcyon Road, and 906 Rancho Parkway in Arroyo Grande, and 3536 S. Higuera St. No. 206. (805) 904-6807. Δ
New Times contributor Beth Giuffre is balanced and layered. Send flavorful sauces and tidbits to firstname.lastname@example.org.