The thought of eating an oozingly delicious all-halal BBQ chicken pizza at another restaurant besides Anaheim's San Giovanni's Pizza seemed blasphemous at first, but the more (halal) pizza, the merrier, right?
The New York Pizza Faktory has opened its second location in Tustin, after having well-established its first one in Laguna Hills. After the ownership switched over to a Turkish Muslim family, this parlor now proudly serves halal pizza, and delivers to several places throughout Orange County.
The Tustin location is no bigger than a Dominos, and is apparently catered towards delivery orders. It serves a plethora of pizza options, pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, sides; in the Italian spirit, dessert offerings include tiramisu and cannoli. Some intriguing options in the gourmet pizzas section are the L.A. Super combo (a medley of salami, pepperoni and vegetables) and Pesto Shrimp (the title explains it all). The Mexican Style pizza is topped with ground beef and turkey bacon instead of the usual chorizo, and spiced with green onions, jalapenos and cilantro.
Nevertheless, restaurant employees say the most popular pizzas are the Meat Lovers, Tuscany delight, Greek Spinach, and BBQ Chicken. So I ordered the latter three, and modified the last one with pepperoni.
Firstly, the pizzas are made on moderately thin crusts, soft in the middle and crispy towards the edges. According to company's website, the cheese is made from imported buffalo milk, and the sauces are homemade.
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The BBQ Chicken pizza contains a multitude of tiny cubes of barbecued chicken pieces engulfed in a bed of oozing mozzarella. The crunch of the all-beef pepperoni addition pairs nicely with the gooey, cheese-slathered chicken. Barbeque sauce sweetens the mess of salty goodness. A little too greasy for my taste; pools of oil gather up in the center of the curled-up pepperoni, but that's not enough to discourage a second or third helping.
The Greek Spinach has a crust doused in white sauce, topped with marvelous heaps of spinach, tomatoes, caramelized red onions, and generously peppered with bits of roasted feta cheese. Mozzarella glues it all together, as thin slivers of mushroom poke through the mound.
Lastly, the Tuscany Delight is garnished with crispy slices of bell pepper and red onions, mushroom bits, and diced chicken absorbed in cheese; garlic-infused, homemade tomato sauce is dressed underneath it all. This pie boasts a more fire-roasted flavor. And the place that serves it is a worthy addition to the roster of great pizza places in Orange County, halal-service or otherwise.