530 NE. Los Angeles Ave.
Back in the day there were legitimate restaurants where the family could go to get some soft drinks, a great pizza and have some time together where the kids hit the arcades and mom and dad snuck in a couple of beers. For those of you who thought that those wonderful places were a thing of the past, you are mistaken. There is still such a place, and it is Jax Pizza.
Located in the rapidly expanding market district in the heart of Moorpark, Jax Pizza is nestled next to a few quaint shops and easily accessible from the freeway. And the atmosphere is exactly what you would expect. Casual lighting, big clean booths and TVs showing the latest games. It features an arcade but that is tucked in the back so as not to attack the parents with a cacophony of noise while they dine.
We started off with the wings, which were tangy and not overpowering with their spiciness. Many times these days establishments go for raw hotness when it comes to the wings. Jax does not. It finds a good balance of just enough kick without being blistering. Then it was on to the main event, the reason anyone comes to a pizza place. Pizza. (Right?) We chose the Desi Pizza, which comes hot and fresh with a choice of sauce, chicken, garlic, ripe tomatoes, cilantro and avocado. It was difficult to lift the slices with the amount of toppings and cheese that were stacked on the well-baked crust. The chicken was grilled and juicy, and the avocado made an unusual but delicious slice even better.
It doesn’t stop there. The other pizzas (which we are already planning to go back and try) are a barbecue chicken with a sweet barbecue sauce, chicken breast, red onions and cilantro and an everything (true to form!) with red sauce, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, mushrooms, bacon, onion, bell peppers and olives. Or, if you are feeling particularly decadent, there is the pizza from heaven that defies tradition and instead goes with a creamy garlic sauce, garlic, dried basil, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Jax will also customize a pie for you upon request.
Additional selections of pasta dishes, sandwiches and a surprisingly well-stocked salad bar are also ready to be enjoyed. We were delighted to find that the selection of adult beverages was extensive for such a venue. Jax features many beers on tap (including Angry Orchard) and more than a dozen varieties of wine. Owner Jack Toerner makes it a point of pride to offer high-end alcohol at fair prices. There are lunch specials available Monday through Friday with personal two-topping pizzas and options for pastas, such as spaghetti or penne topped with homemade marinara sauce, meat sauce, Alfredo, pesto or butter. Perfect for anyone on a lunch hour.
Which brings us to the level of service. It can best be described as welcoming while still being very quick and efficient. And also without the feeling of being rudely rushed that so many other pizza joints tend to project. Jax Pizza’s motto is “Striving to be the best pizza place in Moorpark.” Rest assured, Mr. Toerner, you are doing just that. Whether a close resident or just passing through, make it a point to check out Jax’s, grab a cold beer and (at least) a slice or two. You will be very glad you did.
Ian Murphy reviews both Movies and Restaurants for the VC Reporter.