Cube's New Pizza Ove - L.A.

That Cube serves pizza is nothing new.

Pies have always figured into the La Brea restaurant's Italian-centric menu. But if you've visited recently, you might have noticed that the pizzas have a newfound levity, that the crusts are more thoroughly pocked with air bubbles and blackened bits of char.

Like the pizzas' presence on the menu, there's been a wood-burning oven at Cube for quite some time too. Its hulking weight has been relegated to the back, its hearth cold, for a few months. Now, with a new hood installed and other kitchen appliances making way for its girth, the oven is in working order, and the pizzas are all the better.

Cube's pastry chef, Jun Tan, handles the dough, which is fermented overnight, giving it a mildly developed flavor. We prefer the tang of a sourdough crust, but Tan is making one of the better arguments in town for a yeast-leavened crust.

Blanketed with a scrim of raw San Marzano sauce and scattered with Italian whole-milk mozzarella, the margherita's ($13) ingredients are basic, but its texture and flavor are incredibly complex. The spare toppings on the margherita and Cube's other pizzas save them from the scourge of a soggy center. 

Cube Café, 615 N. La Brea Ave., Mid-City; 323-929-1148 or