Since I was attending the French Film Festival COLCOA (City of Light City of Angels) all week, there were times when I could not go further than a few blocks for food in between movies. There is The Counter for burgers across the street, and Veggie Grill for vegans, two blocks away, and Trader Joe’s for ready made food, but I opted for the place I had not yet tried, Pizza Fusion, literally right next door.

It was more attractive simply because they advertised specials for Earth Day, they use organic ingredients, give all their employees who work more than 20 hours a week medical benefits, offer free sustainable classes for kids every month, and they even offer gluten free options for pizza, beer, and brownies; I don’t see either Veggie Grill or Trader Joe’s offering these kind of options and benefits.

On one break, I had a large Fusion Salad ($8.99), made with Arugula, romaine, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, basil, shaved carrots and toasted crostini (all the green items are organic and you can omit the crostini for gluten free diets). I chose the balsamic vinaigrette but it was drowned in Italian when it arrived; they switched it out for another one as soon as I tasted it and asked for a replacement with the dressing on the side. Everything was freshly prepared and had the added “feel good” component of being organic, so I knew no pesticides were in my plate of greens.

Because this is after all a pizza place, I had to come back for a pizza, so I opted for personal sized ($8.99) a multi grain crust (you can also choose an organic white) made with sauteed spinach, roasted portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, and Italian sausage (which was hormone & preservative free). They offer several cheese options, from organic Mozzarella to Daiya vegan.The tomato sauce is organic and very tasty and although this is not a classic pizza, I enjoyed the thin crispy crust and the flavors I combined. I would order this again as an alternative to the traditional American “pizza” any day.

I saw the stuffed mushrooms ($6.99) on the appetizer menu and had to try them. They are criminis (mini portobellos) stuffed with sausage, goat cheese, and herbs and they were my favorite of all the things I tried here. They would be perfect paired with a glass of the Malbec ($8) and during happy hour from 4-7pm they offer specials on either their beers (they offer flights of beers), wines, or appetizers.

Convenience is always a good reason to try something, but when it is combined with ethical actions that combine healthy food with happy employees in the community, that is a reason to come back.

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