Netflix Famous Chris Bianco Expands Los Angeles Pizza With Pane Bianco
Chris Bianco had potentially the best year ever for a pizziaolo, winning the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, landing a key episode on the Netflix series Chef’s Table, and finally opening his pizzeria well known in Los Angeles. Lines have been near-constant at his Downtown LA pizzeria on Row DTLA (where Smorgasburg is held on Sundays), but now the chef has announced that he’ll be bringing his popular sandwich shop Phoenix Pane Bianco to the property sometime in the next few month.
That means the current New York-style window during lunch will move to Pane Bianco, which will expand its sandwich menu over time to reflect the Phoenix original. Ironically, LA’s Pane Bianco is moving into the former Tartine Bianco space just a short walk away. Recall that Tartine Bianco was a joint venture with San Francisco bakery and Chris Bianco before the pandemic that closed after just one year and never served the chef’s original wood-fired pizzas.
The new Pane Bianco in Los Angeles will serve New York City-style slices and 18-inch whole pies, plus a variety of sandwiches including basil mozzarella, soppressata with sweet roasted provolone and roasted peppers and more. The plan is to start simple but then expand the sandwich options like at Phoenix, which has seven different combinations, from a classic Italian to an albacore tuna salad with red onion.
The counter at Pane Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona. Matthew Kang
This means that the current Pizzeria Bianco space will be converted into an all-day wood-fired pizzeria, more in line with the famous original Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Customers can go for lunch, sit down and enjoy Bianco’s classic Rosa or Sonny Boy pies with a beer or glass of wine. There will be a brief closure between meals, then a re-opening for dinner as it currently exists.
The reason for this change was that Bianco felt that the current setup was unstable and not optimal for workers. Now that Pane Bianco will handle everything from slices to sandwiches to pizza al taglio (square focaccia-style slices), in addition to salads, pickles and other wholesome lunch items, the main pizzeria can focus on its flagship Bianco’s menu. There won’t be much indoor seating at the new LA Pane Bianco, though patrons can sit outside around Row’s various common space configurations.
As for timing, Bianco says the change could happen around March, with a brief break in service for New York City’s slices and sandwiches to allow Pane Bianco to come fully online. However, Pizzeria Bianco is likely to turn into a lunch plus dinner very soon.
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