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Pizza Wars, Revisited

A Georgian flatbread specialty changes up the game

When it comes to pizza in this town, there's usually a debate among Californian vs. Chicago deep-dish vs. New York thin-crust (or everyone else vs. Mozza). But some of the best pizza isn't found in a pizzeria at all--it's in Armenian, Lebanese and Syrian bakeries like Old Sasoon.

Owned by the Geragosian family, this northeast Pasadena bakery has been serving a loyal and local Middle Eastern clientele since 1986. It has a wide array of flatbreads, like addictive ground-beef-topped lahmajune, or beorags filled with anything from ham and cheese to kale or mushroom.

But one flatbread outdoes them all: khachapuri, a Georgian breakfast staple. The foot-long, boat-shaped flatbread ($5) comes topped with molten white cheese (a "secret" blend) and a cracked egg--or two, if you're sharing.

Hot out of the oven, it's the perfect meal: Rip off a piece of soft, steaming bread, run it through the pepper-dusted yolk and snatch a gob of sweet-salty cheese. For a dollar more, you can add slices of ham, house-made beef sausage (soujouk), or sheets of Armenian cured beef (basturma) from Garo's, a nearby deli.

It's not quite the guanciale and egg pizza at Mozza, but it's just as addictive.

Old Sasoon Bakery, 1132 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena; 626-791-3280

Old Sassoon Bakery 1132 N. Allen Ave Pasadena CA 91104 636-791-3280

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