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DINING: (Piz)'Za made for the middle of the night

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Dining - A&E

If you’re in Broad Ripple and hungry for pizza, you’ve got lots of options.

You can go for the carefully crafted local favorite, Bazbeaux. You could tap into your Indiana University nostalgia and get a pie from Hot Box (Pizza Express by any other name is still Pizza Express); try newcomer Greek’s; dig into more of a restaurant pie at Union Jack; or you could make use of that coupon that was stuck in your mailbox and go to Papa John’s, Domino’s or any of the other chain places.

But what do you do if it’s the middle of the night on a Thursday and you and your entourage have the munchies? What then?

Well, for that very specific demographic group of pizza eaters, there’s now ’Za (801 Broad Ripple Ave., 602-3753), which is open until 4 a.m. Wednesday to Saturday. It’s an ambitious little place that obsessively limits its menu to pizzas and breadsticks, makes its own dough, and stresses creative toppings. I wish I could report that what I sampled justified the cost but, alas, the place had yet to be fine-tuned when I visited. Then again, it was during daylight hours, so I may have missed something.

Three choices are available by the slice, but we went with full pies.

A 10-inch Fresh from the Earth veggie ($12) on a wheat crust included spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions, artichoke hearts, peppers and white sauce, but was dominated by whole heads of broccoli, turning the already small slices into awkward canapés. A 10-inch Thai Pizza ($12) lacked distinct spices and clear personality. Even the breadsticks ($5 for five with 75 cents for an extra sauce) were uninspiring. A 14-inch Create Your Own ($9 plus $1.50 per toppings) was edible, but offered nothing that would make me return here over the other choices.

Unless, of course, I find myself stumbling out of Rock Lobster and everything else is closed.

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Second in our month-long exploration of new restaurants in the city’s cultural districts.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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