Why is Bella Pizza & Calzones at the Irvine Spectrum lying about being kosher?
Look carefully at the menu board above. All the pizzas are gluten-free
and kosher? Nonsense. I personally ate a pepperoni pizza there; while
it's possible that it was (halal) beef sausage, unless it was non-dairy
cheese product–which I doubt–the pizza could not be kosher. Even if
the pizza were made from wholly kosher ingredients combined in kosher
ways, it still wouldn't be kosher without supervision. Without a Jewish
person to light the oven, it would be bishul akum–in other words, food cooked by a Gentile, and thus not kosher.
Kosher restaurants always–always–post their hechsher. A hechsher
is the symbol showing which group was responsible for the kosher
supervision. For example, a U in a circle shows that the Orthodox Union
deemed the restaurant's food and preparation to be kosher; a K in a star
means the hashgacha (supervision) was done by Star-K. There are several common hechsherim; none was on display on the menu.
Furthermore, kosher pizzerias nearly always use cholov Yisroel
cheese, meaning cheese that is made from milk supervised by a rabbi
from cow to sale. This fact is almost always in huge letters on the
front of the establishment in order to entice orthodox Jews to come in.
Not so at Bella Pizza and Calzones.
When I asked the lone employee what the hechsher
was–in otherwise, who
the certifying agency was–he shrugged and said he didn't know. He was
obviously an employee, so I asked for a card so I could call during the
I called in order to get the story straight, the man who answered the
phone refused to give his name; when I identified myself as affiliated
with the Weekly, he hung up abruptly. I called a few of the larger
certification centers, based in Los Angeles, and Chabad in Irvine;
nobody knew anything about supervision of this place.
is obviously not kosher, nor is it gluten-free. I hope no Jewish people
or gluten-free people fell for their lame attempt to drum up business. A shandeh un a charpeh–a shame and a disgrace.