If you've through downtown Tempe in the past several months, you've likely noticed the street-level storefront a couple doors over from Borders in the Brickhouse on Mill, where papered-over windows promised a new pizzeria "coming soon." The sign seemed to be hanging there forever.
But how soon is now?
Uh, I don't know, Morrissey, but La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine Bar is opening up a week from today, on March 10.
Owner Julian Wright made a splash several years ago with Jax Thai Bar (r.i.p.) and The Library, which he sold three years ago. Since then, Wright's been busy opening new eateries in New Mexico.
After chatting with Wright, I happened to walk by La Bocca the other night, en route to the Center Bistro for a beet-pineapple-basil juice (unusual but weirdly good), and finally got a glimpse of the interior. It looks quite stylish -- definitely among the hipper, more grown-up-looking hangouts in that area.
If you're craving marinara sauce -- not a given with gourmet pizzas these days -- you'll be in luck, as six out of the seven pizzas at La Bocca will feature homemade marinara, including the margherita, the vegetable, and one laden with prosciutto, artichoke, fontina, and capers.
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There will also be half a dozen ciabatta sandwiches (turkey and brie with Dijon mustard and caramelized apple sounds good), salads and antipasti, bruschetta with eight different topping combinations (Kalamata olive with basil ricotta; sausage with babaganoush; and roasted red pepper with artichoke, to name a few), and a handful of desserts.
I didn't peep the wine list yet, but I'm sure you won't go thirsty. La Bocca will serve cocktails and draft craft beers, too.
La Bocca is located at 699 S. Mill Ave, suite 115, call 480-967-5244 for info.