Photo by Maggie Shannon, courtesy of Quarter Sheets

Resy SpotlightLos Angeles

Quarter Sheets Is Only Getting Better With Age


Pizza-and-dessert parlor Quarter Sheets has been a critical darling and crowd favorite since its origins as a pandemic pop-up out of owners Aaron Lindell and Hannah Ziskin’s Glendale home. The fanfare is warranted: Lindell and Ziskin are two wildly creative, technically gifted chefs within their respective camps (pizza for Lindell, Ziskin on dessert). Together, they’re a perfect match. And from the tiny Echo Park restaurant they opened at the end of 2021, Quarter Sheets continues to dish top-notch Detroit-ish style pizza and domed slices of princess cake — while also evolving in meaningful ways.

Chief among said evolutions is the exciting news that Quarter Sheets now accepts reservations. Given that the project started as a pop-up, graduated into a brick-and-mortar to-go operation, and eventually morphed into a casual sit-down restaurant, Lindell and Ziskin didn’t always envision reservations as part of their plan. But then the accolades started rolling in, one after another, and the lines started forming. “We had a bunch of things hit at once,” Lindell says. In the fall of last year, Ziskin was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, the New York Times called Quarter Sheets one of America’s Best 50 Restaurants, and the Los Angeles Times included the pizzeria on its 101 Best Restaurants list. 

Virtually overnight, “the baseline for the business changed in a way that was hard to foresee. Now part of what people talk about when they talk about Quarter Sheets is that there’s a crazy line or a two-hour wait for the table. With reservations, we’re trying to change that narrative and make it a little better for everyone,” Lindell says. This is great news for people like me, who don’t like to stand in line, but still pine for pretty much everything that Quarter Sheets has to offer. 

Quarter Sheets stands out from other pizza parlors in several ways, most obviously due to its “very serious dessert program,” as Lindell puts it. After all, Ziskin is a pastry chef with an impressive résumé that includes time at Cotogna, Quince, Bar Tartine, and Nopa in San Francisco and M. Georgina here in Los Angeles.

In the earlier days of the brick-and-mortar, Quarter Sheets called itself a “pizza, cake, and wine restaurant,” but nowadays, Lindell admits that their ambitions have grown bolder. You can get five different rectangular-shaped, crispy-edged slices and four to five of Ziskin’s daily-changing desserts (two of which are cake) for dine-in or takeout. But for those seated in the dining room, there are as many other items on the menu as there are pizzas and cakes. 

Photo by Eva Kolenko, courtesy of Quarter Sheets
Photo by Eva Kolenko, courtesy of Quarter Sheets

The front of house here is small, with five to six tables and a handful of bar stools. But the vibe inside packs a punch, personality-wise. It’s warm and festive, with brick walls, concrete floors, a wood bar, and details like a print of a shrimp cocktail tower, disco lighting, and a plastic grapevine. Groups of four or six take the tables, but my favorite move is to come on a date and sit at the bar — ideally in the corner, next to Quarter Sheets’ collection of cassette tapes.

“After we started talking about [Quarter Sheets] as a capital-r Restaurant, taking the indoor dining element more seriously, a whole new section of the menu opened up,” says Lindell.

There’s a house salad tossed in an acidic, umami-rich chickpea miso dressing, meatballs ladled with red sauce, and a seasonally-changing bean dish (recently, ceci beans with preserved kumquat, Bloomsdale spinach, and anchovy breadcrumbs). On Wednesdays and Sundays, Lindell serves bar pies — round, cracker-thin pizzas popularized in suburban taverns — in addition to his Detroit-ish style slices. And once a week, he runs a baked pasta made with housemade noodles and some sort of sauce, usually vodka or pork ragu. I have tried nearly all of these dishes, and all are excellent. 

Meanwhile, Ziskin’s dessert offerings change daily. In addition to the staples — her obsessed-about princess cake (vanilla bean chiffon, mascarpone, raspberry preserves, and housemade almond marzipan) and a dark-and-malted-milk chocolate chip cookie — she makes market-inspired slab cakes, ricotta cheesecake on some days, and every now and then, pie. A few weeks ago, the latter was a crumb-topped strawberry-rhubarb-cherry-raspberry number that frankly blew my mind. Several months ago, she launched a housemade ice cream program, serving two rotating flavors in a coupe as a pair (on the day we chatted, it was buttermilk-sour cherry and mandarinquat sherbert.) 

Ziskin’s sweets are perceptively flavored, wonderfully balanced, and constructively sound. They are some of the very best in town, even in the country. To not save room for them is, in my book, a sin. (Quarter Sheets estimates that around two-thirds of diners order dessert.)

In their earlier days, Quarter Sheets called itself a “pizza, cake, and wine restaurant,” but nowadays, Lindell admits that their ambitions have grown bolder.

There’s a lot going on in the small space on Portia Street, just off Sunset Boulevard. In this spread-out city, we’re blessed with many big, beautiful dining rooms and spacious patios. Quarter Sheets is, in many ways, the opposite (“it’s more like a New York restaurant where you’re on top of each other and there’s a tiny kitchen, but you somehow make it work,” says Lindell), but it’s no less charming for the lack of square footage. 

There’s no saying for sure what will come next, only that Lindell and Ziskin are bound to keep iterating on the restaurant and the menu. Eventually, when he has more time, Lindell plans to run a seasonally changing entrée. He’d also like to get back to sandwiches, which Quarter Sheets occasionally served during their time as a to-go restaurant. “I can’t make any promises,” he says. They’ll do one thing at a time, treading carefully to avoid overexerting themselves as they continue to take stock of their success. Whatever is in store for the Quarter Sheets of tomorrow, I know one thing is for sure: it’ll be downright delicious.

Emily Wilson is a Los Angeles-based food writer from New York. She has contributed to Bon Appétit, Eater, TASTE, The Los Angeles Times, Punch, Atlas Obscura, and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Resy, too.