Photo Courtesy of YELP
Grabbing a slice of pizza can satisfy a day. Indulging in an entire pizza can be a major accomplishment. Enjoying a trip to a local pizza joint can be a fun lunch date with a friend. However, when the pizza is half-decent at best, the experience can be nothing more than a waste of money and an unsatisfied stomach. Unfortunately, this is the case for the Thousand Oaks branch of Pieology.
Pieology is situated off the Moorpark exit in Thousand Oaks. At check out, employees hand out a 10 percent discount to the next door neighbor, Rocket Fizz, which may be the best thing about this pizza joint.
Walking into Pieology, one may do a double take just to make sure they are not in Chipotle — even the simple ‘P’ above the entrance resembles the trademark above that average burrito chain.
Unlike its look-alike, Pieology does not offer much bang for the buck: The pizzas are thin and have little variety to offer. I saw one picture prior to entering the restaurant, but I was hoping the cracker-thin crust was just one option rather than the only. Much to my dismay, there was a line of pre-made crusts that were waiting in their assembly line to be topped with sauce and cheeses and then popped in the oven. The sight was horrifying for an avid pizza-goer from Illinois who likes more than a centimeter of crust and toppings. Instead, I got the 87th pizza crust of the day topped with “red sauce” and an excessive amount of cheese.
No more than eight minutes after ordering, the ten-inch pizza was placed in front of me smothered in cheese and topped with grease spilling over the non-existent crust. Determined to see what all the talk has been about, I decided to put all my inhibitions aside and take a full piece without any prejudice. However, the disproportionate cheese and grease ratio to the rest of the ingredients — and crust — hindered me from enjoying it. Not only was the cheese overpowering and the crust disappearing into the paper underneath the dish, an integral ingredient was sub par: the so-called “red sauce.” Pieology’s signature “red sauce” is more like a red paste with traces of tomato flavoring. How can a pizza be deemed delicious, or even good, if the base is not exploding with flavor?
Taking a break from ingesting the pizza I took a glimpse at my surroundings. There were plenty of people who seemed to be enjoying themselves. Two couples, old friends coming from a hike, grandparents enjoying the afternoon with their grandkids and a family enjoying the sunny afternoon were all eating pizza and smiling. Pieology seems to cater to just about anyone — except those who enjoy quality pizza.
Despite its shortcomings, there were some good aspects of Pieology. One area of expertise at Pieology is its variety of quotes scattered above the ordering line. Yes, quotes of all sorts are there to entertain the guests when waiting in line or just passing time before leaving. Another notable selling point for some is its speedy service with minimum interaction with the employees. If grabbing a quick slab of ingredients during a lunch break sounds appealing, then Pieology may be the best pizza place around.
Taking the journey out to trendy Pieology was one that I am glad I took, but purely because it helps me know I’m not missing much by staying away. Especially since it is deep into Thousand Oaks, an inconvenient drive even for students already living in Calabasas, Pieology is not worth the trip. And for those who do decide to take a bite out of Pieology, know the thin crust medium pizza at Dominos is a better option — and they at least have delivery options to some locations off-campus.
Follow Ashlie Benson on Twitter: @ashlie_corina