Why Choose Between Fine Dining and a Casual Meal When You Can Enjoy a Slice of Both?
Slice is the go-to pizza restaurant when you're craving a decadent, cooked-to-perfection meal that you can eat in your pajamas alongside a frosty beer.
Slice owner, Cary Redfearn, is a lover of delicious food, smooth drinks, and a good time with friends. He sought out to utilize his expertise in fine dining with a “fast casual” concept, resulting in a perfect harmony of gourmet food and a relaxed, community vibe.
“Fast casual pizza was exploding and there was really none of that in Laguna,” says Redfearn. He spotted a vacant space in the heart of Downtown and got the city council’s green light to restore the building (which had since homed nothing but retail) into a pizza joint.
Inspired by a trip to Tuscany, Italy with his family, Redfearn wanted not only to capture the authentic tastes and textures of the pizza, but also the laid back community atmosphere its small restaurants had offered. “These little pizza places were simple and delicious,” remembers the entrepreneur. “I noticed that everyone would finish every single bite of their crust, which I never see here.”
Redfearn was determined to serve a perfect pizza that was just as delicious from the first bite right down to the last piece of crust.
He headed to pizza school in Los Angeles where he learned everything from dough fermentation to ingredient sourcing directly from Italian chefs.
“Everything has an effect on dough — weight, temperature, fermentation,” he explains about his quest to create the perfect crust. “We let our dough ferment for a minimum of 24 hours, which achieves a crispiness on the outside, but a chewiness in the middle.”
But what is a perfect dough without the perfect toppings? Redfearn not only created the dough of our dreams, but he personally tasted 50 different tomatoes in order to obtain the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness, and tartness for Slice’s pizzas, which he ultimately found in the Bianco DiNapoli tomato.
Additionally, Slice’s other ingredients such as cheese, mushrooms, arugula, meat, and peppers are also sourced from around the globe in order to achieve maximum flavor, authenticity, and, as Redfearn puts it, “the perfect pizza.”
Each pizza is cooked at 760 degrees for 2½ minutes in a 7,000 pound oven that Redfearn found at a pizza show in Las Vegas. As the base of the stove rotates, it emulates a wood burning oven -- creating a downright mouthwatering pizza every time.
Now, if you’re thinking the place could not possibly get any better, think again. Slice not only offers full freedom gourmet pizza, but to accompany your meal is a wall of 18 self-serve beer taps, charged by the ounce.
This means you can have a lager with once slice, an IPA with the next one, and a stout with the third, without having to buy an entire glass of beer each time.
The taps are constantly rotating with seasonal beers and various Slice favorites so there is always something new to try with each visit.
A year-and-a-half after opening, Redfearn continues to be impressed by not only the flavors, ingredients, and pizzas that Slice creates, but by the success of his community style fine-dining-meets-fast-casual restaurant.
Redfearn’s hard work and dedication has indeed paid off. As he sits and enjoys his favorite pizza of roasted mushrooms, kalamata black and castelvetrano olives, red sauce, and a light cheese topped with arugula and radicchio, he’s comforted knowing no crust will be left behind (which has basically become Slice’s life motto).
Anna Guilford is a journalism and public relations senior at Cal State University, Long Beach. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website at annalguilford.com.
Photos by: Grant Puckett.