The title “Chipotle of pizza” is a highly sought-after one. While Pasadena-based (and LeBron James-backed) Blaze has been largely winning the war of customizable ‘za attrition—it was the first of the bunch to hit triple digit stores—800 Degrees is mounting a respectable offensive. On April 11, they pulled back the curtain on a massive two-story space in Hollywood, complete with a full bar. “Hollywood is in the middle of a development renaissance and showing no signs of stopping,” said Anthony Carron, chef and founder of 800 Degrees. “We’re excited to be in the middle of it, opening our first location in central Los Angeles.”
But that’s not the most intriguing 800 Degrees opening this week—the mini chain will be opening it’s first location in Japan at the Shinjuku railway station. The popular Japanese transport hub is used by almost 4 million people per day (a Guinness World record in 2007!), and busy travelers won’t be slowed down too much by 800 Degrees’ average cook time of about 60 seconds per pie.
The ramped up Japanese menu will feature an assortment of fried appetizers and additional pizza toppings like avocado and squid. Not that I’m jealous or anything, but why can’t we have cool fried stuff and avocado pizza in L.A.? Hmmm, 800 Degrees? The chain also opened four locations in Dubai last year, which means its first foray into the international market was successful enough to warrant a second. No word on whether they’ll have that sweet half-off, pie-of-the day Instagram deal over there too.