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Zia: The Born-Again Pizza Experience

The current slices on offer at Zia's Gourmet Pizza. Photo by Andy Trimlett

For many people in San Diego, the $50 meal is one of those golden memories from the good ol' days of six months ago. & These are the days of cheap food. & Thankfully, in San Diego, cheap does not equal bad. & Case in point: Zia Gourmet Pizza. & This place has ruined pizza for me. & Sure, I can still enjoy a pepperoni pizza, but it has lost the magic that it possessed before I discovered pizza covered in rosemary potatoes and cream cheese, spinach and yogurt. & Now, before you decry this shocking transmogrification of pizza as blasphemy (and by the way, Zia is worlds away from CPK & ndash; the whole wheat crust is sheer genius), I ask you to simply walk through the doors of this humble Normal Heights (3311 Adams Ave.) establishment and lay down a few bucks for a slice.

My favorite part: if you order a whole pizza (a mere twenty bucks for most of them), they will call your name to the counter when its ready and then delicately open the box, granting you a brief moment to gaze upon your prize like the golden contents of the Pulp Fiction briefcase. & To top it all off, the owner Khaled, who escaped the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan before coming to our neighborhood, is one of the nicest people in town.

Two important notes:
1) If you plan on ordering a whole pizza, don't wait until you're starving to go. & They take about 30 minutes to make a pizza.
2) This is a dinner place, so show up when it's open - 5pm to 10pm every day.

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