Many happy returns to Mr Thor Dickey. I will one day make my way to Purgatory Pizza. ‘
'Purgatory Pizza is a squat, diminutive joint just east of the L.A. river, across from the Pico Metro stop. Driving by, you might not notice the place — they rarely illuminate the ramshackle sign that hangs out front. Or, you might be deterred from going in by the skate punks that constantly loiter outside, hoping to catch the next train into the city.
Inside, the walls are covered with bits of poetry, punk blares from behind the stark mental counter, and posters for shows collage the windows. It’s not a particularly inviting room. The guy behind the counter, young but grizzled, might take your order but then again he might not. He probably looks like he’s in a band. He is.
In fact, just about everyone who works at Purgatory is in a band. The shop takes a liberal approach to hiring, and musicians can work there in between gigs. It feels vehemently anti-cooperate, and employees are paid in cash. If they have to take two weeks off to go on tour, no problem.
Purgatory is a fitting name for the place — it is a haven for those in between obscurity and recognition, for those waiting patiently to ascend to the pearly gates of artistic validation. Oh, and most importantly — Purgatory’s pizza is amazing. Their sauce is made from scratch and their specialty “no-marinara” pie is a neighborhood favorite. The pizza is much like the place: simple, honest, and unpretentious. Like the staff’s music, it’s substantial and sticks with you.”
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