Although it's no stranger to accolades, being named as one of the United States' best pizza joints by a New York newspaper is still quite the boon for a Minneapolis restaurant.
Opened at Xerxes Ave S. in 2010 by Korean Ann Kim, it is known for its wood-fired, "artisan" pizzas that featuring a mixture of conventional and unconventional toppings.
The New York Post said:
Not many great American pizzerias feature pies topped with soy-glazed Niman Ranch short ribs or kimchi and Korean sausage. Pizzeria Lola ... may be iconoclastic in some ways — including the cheeky decor, featuring a wall of exposures from the in-house photo booth — but Kim knows when to keep things classic.
The New York-style crust, fired in a hulking copper wood-fired oven at the dining room’s center, is chewy and char-free, and most pie toppings stay within the Mediterranean wheelhouse. Kim also has a slice joint, Hello Pizza, in Edina, and a third pizzeria is planned for later this year.
The influence of New York on Kim is a big one, revealing in an interview with the Pioneer Press that she first fell in love with pizza while at Columbia University in the early 2000s.
After a couple of jobs in the arts, she decided to focus on her passion for cookery, saying: "I had no professional culinary experience, but I just knew I wanted to go for it. I decided to choose one thing and do it really well."
A big part of its success is the massive wood-fired oven that grabs diners' attention the second they walk through the door, with City Pages noting it is one of only a handful in the U.S. and was built from Terre Blanche clay from France – noted for its "superior thermal properties."
The restaurant has proved a runaway success since opening. Last year it was the winner of the Independent of the Year award by Pizza Today, and, as the New York Post article notes, Kim is eager to expand her pizza portfolio further.