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Autunno Pizza at Palo Mesa Wood Fired 

We used to think Palo Mesa Pizza in the Village of Arroyo Grande was too small to hold our appetites, as it appears to be the size of a drive-through coffee spot. But upon entering, we were shocked at the nice allocation of space. It's like a big living room, and the seating is super comfy too. The vibe of the place is laid-back and casual: Families and couples were enjoying a chill night. We ordered two pizzas to share (and finished all but one slice), and the one that stood out was the Autonno. The award-winning specialty pizza had all my favorite toppings: fresh, sweet heirloom tomatoes; generous amounts of garlic; a flavorful cream sauce called "fior de latte"; and basil, Parmesan, arugula, balsamic vinegar, and lemon olive oil—we also went for the $2 addition of salty chunks of pancetta, bringing the pizza total to $18. I love it when a pizza is cooked properly, and this one was authentically Italian-style, with perfect little charred bits and crunch with the soft crust. The flavors were balanced and layered.

Palo Mesa Pizza is open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with locations at 150 W. Branch St., 2790-C Halcyon Road, and 906 Rancho Parkway in Arroyo Grande, and 3536 S. Higuera St. No. 206. (805) 904-6807. Δ

New Times contributor Beth Giuffre is balanced and layered. Send flavorful sauces and tidbits to bgiuffre@newtimesslo.com.

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