Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich October 2, 2013

Salciccia e Friarielle
Phoenix is no stranger to great pizza.
Recently, it seems the number of restaurants specializing in traditional Italian pizza in Downtown Phoenix has grown tremendously.
However, La Piazza Locale, which just opened up in the beautiful redbrick building at One North First Street, offers more than just a wide variety of wood-fired pizzas. It also has a selection of entrees, salads, appetizers, desserts and lunch paninis in in an urban environment.
And it was honestly the gold-painted windows and red neon, cursive sign—uncommon in Downtown Phoenix—that initially captured my attention.
I walked through the doors sure I would get a pizza, since they’re known for baking them to perfection in their wood-fired oven. But with one glance at the menu, I had a change of heart.
Their paninis, which are served on house-made bread, and are also charred in a wood-fired oven, caught my eye. All are $10 and under, and served with a side salad, so the dilemma became choosing only one.
Prosciutto e Mozzarella panini
I ordered the Prosciutto e Mozzarella, and each bite assured me that I had made the correct decision.
Salty prosciutto, house-made mozzarella, tomato and crisp arugula came sandwiched between crispy, fermented bread that incorporated all of the flavors together well.
Overcome by temptation, I also ordered the Salciccia e Friarielle pizza, which comes with smoked mozzarella, sausage, and rapini.
Let’s just say La Piazza Locale lives up to its reputation. The pizza was in true delicious Neapolitan fashion, and there’s no question that they deserved to be on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
I’m already planning my next visit, which will be for dinner, and whether there’s room or not, I am definitely trying one of their desserts: ricotta cheesecake, cannolis and tiramisu, which are all made in house.
If you can’t make it for dinner, the portions and prices of their paninis make La Piazza Locale the perfect lunch option.