Netflix Well-known Chris Bianco Expands Los Angeles Pizza With Pane Bianco

Chris Bianco had potentially the best year ever for a pizziaolo, garnering a James Beard Outstanding Chef award, landing a key episode in Netflix’s Chef’s Table series, and finally opening his acclaimed pizzeria in Los Angeles. The lines have been near constant at his Downtown LA pizzeria at Row DTLA (where Smorgasburg is held on Sundays), but now the chef has announced that he’ll be bringing his popular Phoenix sandwich shop Pane Bianco to the property sometime in the next few months.

That means the current New York-style slice window during lunch will move over to Pane Bianco, which will expand its menu of sandwiches over time to reflect the Phoenix original. Ironically enough, LA’s Pane Bianco moves into the former Tartine Bianco space just a short walk away. Recall that Tartine Bianco was a joint venture with the San Francisco bakery and Chris Bianco prior to 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 whole 18-inch pies, plus an array of sandwiches including mozzarella basil, soppressata with sweet aged provolone and roasted peppers, and more. The plan is to start simple but then expand the sandwich options like in 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

That means the current Pizzeria Bianco space will convert into an all-day wood-fired pizzeria, more in line with the famous original Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Customers can go in 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 short closure between meals, then a reopening for dinner like it exists now.

The reason for this switch was that Bianco felt the current setup was unsustainable and suboptimal for workers. Now that Pane Bianco will handle everything from slices to sandwiches to even pizza al taglio (square focaccia-style slices), in addition to grab-and-go salads, pickles, and other handy lunch fare, the main pizzeria can focus on Bianco’s flagship menu. There won’t be much indoor seating at the new LA Pane Bianco, though patrons can sit outside around the row’s various shared space setups.

In terms of timing, Bianco says the switch might happen around March, with a short break in service for the New York City-ish slices and sandwiches to allow Pane Bianco to come fully online. Pizzeria Bianco will likely morph into a lunch-plus-dinner pretty quickly, however.





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