Faculty Favorites: Does Italian Pizza Kitchen live up to its hype?


Sophia Monroe

Lunch can be an exciting and interesting time for us students, filled with activities, conversations, and, most importantly, food. But, have you ever wondered where teachers choose to spend their time? Wilson English teacher Lisa Grymes often goes to Italian Pizza Kitchen in Van Ness to eat one of her favorite meals: an arugula salad. 

Grymes discovered Italian Pizza Kitchen when she went to the nail salon next door. She tried the restaurant at lunch one day with another teacher and had the arugula salad and pizza. In addition to the restaurant’s cleanliness and timely arrival of the dishes, Grymes applauded the salad’s variety of textures and flavors. “The croutons were good; it had goat cheese and a nice bite, the crunchiness with the creaminess was really good… It was so fresh, authentic, and nothing was processed.”

 To see if this outstanding salad lived up to its hype, I tried it out for myself. After school, I traveled to Italian Pizza Kitchen  with a friend, ready to taste the salad.

Once we arrived, we were greeted promptly and taken to a table. The inside of the restaurant was very clean and bright, which created a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. From the dining area, you could see the inside of the kitchen. 

The salad came in under ten minutes of ordering, with dressings on the side. The appetizer could have easily been shared between two or three people, and is perfect to have before or with a pizza. It was easy to share even though it was a little messy—the arugula was tangled up in a bowl that made it hard to eat.  

The salad dressing was simply olive oil and lemon juice, but it packed a lot of flavor when matched with the bitter and peppery arugula. The salad was very simple and clean tasting—the greens had a fresh flavor to them. In addition to arugula, it was composed of tomatoes, dates, and croutons. 

The pizza, however, was more complex. Compared to Tenleytown establishments Angelico Pizzeria and Domino’s Pizza, Italian Pizza Kitchen was very… lackluster. The slice of cheese pizza was a little oily and didn’t have a nice amount of sauce—it lacked the harmony between the cheese and tomato flavor that you’d look for in a slice of pizza. The salad brought a lot of moisture and elevated this pizza into a fresh combo. It worked surprisingly well and reduced the greasy feeling.

If I were to return to Italian Pizza Kitchen, I would try these foods again, but have them together. The salad was good and tasted even better whilst eating a slice of pizza. The Italian Pizza Kitchen serves average pizza but great salads!