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Nostalgic Bites: Lomeli's Italian Restaurant (Gardena, CA)

This particular food review is a bit special for me as it answers a question nearly 28 years in the making.

So a little background story here. For the first four years of my life, I lived in Gardena, CA, a suburb south of Los Angeles for the out-of-towners. Occasionally, I would be treated to pizza for dinner from a place called Lomeli's Italian Restaurant (2223 West Redondo Beach Boulevard, Gardena, CA 90247). My parents never told me where the pizza came from (they figured I was too little to care), but fortunately I learned to read at a very young age and was able to remember the restaurant's name from reading the receipts and the pizza boxes. However, that wasn't the only thing that ingrained that name into the deep recesses of my childhood memories; it was the distinct taste of the cheese and the homemade sauce together when I would eat my pizza slices. There was no other place that I would find in my motorcycle adventures and pizza trips to other shops across the country that would replicate that particular flavor.


Tales on the Courier Shift: Close Calls Amid the Boredom

In this episode, I have a couple rough days on courier duty. From January 29-30, 2015, workflow was slow and I was left to pass the time waiting for the next delivery request to come along. In addition, I had a near head-on collision from a vehicle who decided to use my direct path of travel as a dangerous passing lane. Needless to say, the burrito and free horchata at the end of the night was well deserved. As fun as it was to be a courier, it did have its workplace hazards, not to mention that I was sitting duck as an independent contractor with minimum health insurance. But bills had to be paid while I kept trying to find something more stable for work. 


Quick Bites: Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza (Los Angeles, CA)

It's been a while since I've done a quick food review, and I hope to share more experiences here on Two-Wheeled Tourist over the course of this year.

Late last month, I had the opportunity to venture into a part of Los Angeles that I usually just passed through en route to somewhere else. That night's dinner, just east of Hollywood, was the famous giant slices of Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza, a popular restaurant in Los Angeles County. There aren't any of these restaurants where I live in the South Bay region of LA County so this was the first time I've ever heard of them.

If you're just there by yourself and don't want to order one of their massive 36" pizzas to feed an army, this restaurant's trademark is a thin-crust pizza that's served in a huge way. What I mean by huge is that individual slices are the size equivalent of three standard slices. The amount of food one gets in a big slice was pretty much a full meal in itself.

All pizzas are made to order, and you can customize them to your liking with a wide variety of toppings and sauces. This slice is pesto sauce-based with chicken, onions, and red peppers on top. What I really liked about this pizza was that the pesto had just enough flavor to complement, but not overpower, the other ingredients on the slice. The crust was also flavorful and had a nice crunch to it.

Here's a shrimp and spinach slice with their normal red sauce. That is a generous amount of shrimp considering the size of the serving.

Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza has multiple locations across Los Angeles County. The pizzas in this post were enjoyed at the Vermont location (814 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029), across the street from Los Angeles City College. For more information about their menu selections, visit

Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Tales on the Courier Shift: Tipping is Not a City in China.

On this episode, highlighting bits from early 2015, some action didn't even require me to clock in for work! For full disclosure, I was actually on a date with someone at Venice Grind on Venice Blvd. when this incident happened. The part that sucked was that I still received a ticket after all was said and done. When I did deliveries, I had to make sure that I budgeted for at least once parking citation a month. Fortunately, I never exceeded my violation average in any given month.