West Side Pizza and a movie at Tahoe Maritime Museum
December 17, 2008
As our long-awaited snow settles over the Lake Tahoe area, a pizza and a movie night with the family might be the first thing to check off the Christmas list. This week we headed down the West Shore for good food and spectacular ambience at West Side Pizza and we reviewed a couple kid-friendly favorites to rent or watch on the big screen at Tahoe Maritime Museum (also on the West Shore). The SpaceWest Side Pizza is a very cool hangout. Tucked into the only shopping plaza in downtown Tahoma on Tahoes West Shore, the large Italian-style pizzeria is a cozy beacon for anyone traveling on the winding Highway 89 along Lake Tahoe. The pizzeria takes up the space that used to be Angelas and the old laundromat. Remnants of the mural from the Angelas days still peek through, appearing as three side-by-side paintings against a rich, red wall. The rich tones inside West Side Pizza, of red and maize, give the restaurant/bar a very hip atmopshere. Golden pendant lights create a modern feel at the bar. Uplighting along the walls highlights a funky collection of carefully placed old beach cruisers, bike parts, stunning photography and art by local artists. The posh decor is amplified by the rhythmic downbeat coming from the bars sweet sound system. Seating is at a number of tables, on bar stools and chairs, and at the bar. A pool table and a wooden magazine wall-rack with current titles from NewsWeek to Rolling Stone to National Geographic and Dirt Rag lives near the bathrooms. From its unassuming facade, the inside of West Side Pizza, decorated by co-owner Janna Gonzalez, feels like an art gallery. This is a place where you could find yourself comfortably being for hours. The FoodNot surprisingly, youll find a good amount of pizza on the menu here, in 8-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch sizes in a wide variety of unique combinations. Try the Stayhoma with spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, bacon and chicken with a cream sauce, or the Haole, a delicious twist on the traditional Hawaiian with ham, pineapple and red onions, drizzled with roasted red pepper sauce and cilantro. In addition to 11 different pizza specials, theres also a thick list of toppings for guests to create their own pies topped with sweet, delicious sauce and prepared on a yummy crust thats crispy around the edges. Not in the mood for pizza? Spaghetti and meatballs, or a create-your-own calzone are also options. Everything in the restaurant is homemade and fresh. Youll also find a great starter list on the simple menu, featuring bar favorites like chicken wings and garlic chips and four types of salad. The DrinksTheres a tasty selection of seven microbrews, plus at least one domestic favorite like PBR, on tap at all times. The owners like to switch up brews and often throw in decadent treats like a chocolate or espresso ale. In addition to beer, theres also a lengthy wine list, featuring a good selection of Argentinian labels from co-owner Joaquin Gonzalezs home country. And of course, theres also soda and water available. TidbitThe owners are looking to turn up the nightlife inside West Side Pizza gradually over time, so look for live music and a DJ or two in the near future. For now, check out the Monday Night Football specials – $2 PBR pints and a special $5 menu. Price RangeLarge pizzas range from $15-$23, starters and salads go from $4.95 to $8.50 and the spaghetti and meatballs is $10.50. A good bet for two is the calzone, $9 plus $1.50 per topping. Gotta TryThe wings! These chicken wings are like no other. While many bars disguise the taste of their wings with firey, techno-tasting sauces, West Side focuses on delicious wings with a subtle, but mouthwatering, sweet and spicy sauce. They serve the dish with chipotle ranch or bleu cheese dressing (but, you barely even need the dressing – the wings are so good plain). Seven wings come with an order, double your order. Its worth it! Hours4-10 p.m. daily. But if the vibe is right, the bar wont close right at 10 p.m. To-go orders available during hours of operation. ContactBy phone: (530) 525-4771By car: 7000 West Lake Blvd., Downtown Tahoma, Calif. And at the moviesMr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, (2007)Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman Rated: GLength: 94 minutesPlaying at: Tahoe Maritime Museum, 5205 West Lake Blvd. (next to Homewood Ski Resort) at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20. Admission: $5 adults, children 12-and-under free, popcorn providedDustin Hoffman channels his twinkly “Tootsie” character, donning madcap eyebrows and hair to play eccentric Mr. Magorium. The 243-year-old owner of a magical toy store, Magorium hires an accountant (Bateman) to help him transfer ownership of the store to its manager, young Molly Mahoney (Portman). Soon after taking ownership, Molly confronts a dark element that is trying to kill the emporium’s magical toys. The film works overtime to wow its audience, but only gets us part of the way there with its whimsical emporium — a delight to behold. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, (2007)Starring: Emily Watson, David Morrissey, Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, Brian CoxRated: PGLength: 112 minPlaying at: Tahoe Maritime Museum, 5205 West Lake Blvd. (next to Homewood Ski Resort) at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21. Admission: $5 adults, children 12-and-under free, popcorn providedThis Brit production is a fantasy detailing the origins of the mythical Loch Ness monster, Nessie. Brian Cox plays senior citizen, Angus, drinking with strangers at a pub when he recounts his youthful, life-changing experience. During WWII, at the family’s country estate on the Scottish sea, young Angus (Etel) finds a mysterious egg that hatches into a mystical beast. Both friendly and mischievous, the creature quickly outgrows all hiding places, compelling young Angus to make good the creature’s escape from British Military forces. Shot mainly in New Zealand, “Water Horse” is an enjoyable distraction for both children and adults.