By Hyung Seok LEE
CV Weekly Intern
In May, customers walking into the newly opened pizzeria Hello Pizza were greeted by a warm handshake and the traditional Korean bow by owner Brandon Tak. Tak and his family live in Koreatown from where he and his wife drive every day to open their restaurant.
He worked as a manager in the chain pizza restaurant, Mr. Pizza, which closely resembles the traditional pizzas in Korea. He opened his first restaurant after quitting his management job with hopes of opening a chain of pizzerias himself.
Hello Pizza focuses on the health and well-being of its customers, hence its motto, “Making your healthy story.” All pizzas are offered in stone-ground wheat or the original white crust. Every pizza is made from scratch upon order, and customers are able to see each pizza prepared through a glass window.
“I wanted a pizza that was different in that we care about the health and lifestyle of our customers. Pizza is normally known as junk food, but we focus on lowering calories and the normal junk that the typical pizzas contain,” Tak said.
The pizzas at Hello Pizza range from the traditional pizzas to Korea’s exotic pizzas. The premium pizzas offered are the Potato Gold, Shrimp Gold, Double Sweet, Fresh Garden and Tofu Garden. They contain ingredients such as sweet potato, shrimp, tofu, and a series of herbs that cannot be found in typical fast food pizzas.
“I think these are fantastic. They provide a new experience and taste contrast to pizzas I am normally used to. Brandon was also nice enough to provide all the teachers at La Cañada High with pizzas,” said La Cañada English teacher Jamie Lewsadder.
Tak hopes to focus more on the community by hosting fundraisers for local organizations. He also opens his restaurant for meetings or special events.
Hello Pizza opens everyday Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. and Sunday from 4 p.m. through 10 p.m. Call for possible early morning hours during World Cup. Hello Pizza, 2261 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge. (818) 957-7979.