If you go:
What: Ultimate California Pizza
Where: 4003 Deville St. (The Market Common) in Myrtle Beach, 1502 N. U.S. 17 in Surfside Beach, 4860 U.S. 17 S. (Barefoot Landing) in North Myrtle Beach, 2500 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, 2751 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet and 959 Lake Arrowhead Road in Myrtle Beach (Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone at The Galleria).
Menu highlights: Signature pizzas and make-your-own pizzas with 70 toppings from which to choose, from $7.99 to $18.99, oven-baked subs ($6.99 to $7.99) and gourmet salads ($5.99 to $8.99). Beer and wine are available at all locations.
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (dine-in and until midnight for delivery) and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday (dine in and until 1 a.m. for delivery)
Information: Call 843-839-9880 (The Market Common), 843-477-8282 (Surfside Beach); 843-361-8108 (Barefoot Landing), 843-626-8900 (Myrtle Beach), 843-357-2297 (Murrells Inlet) and 843-449-1160 (Ultimate California Game Zone at The Galleria).
Ultimate California Pizza gives pies personality
Are you easily overwhelmed?
If so, you may want to stay away from Ultimate California Pizza because the choices for pizza toppings are staggering.
This pizza place offers 70 toppings. Yes, you read that right – 70.
Stuff you know and love to get on your pizza like cheese, pepperoni and sausage share menu space under the “BUILD YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE” header with peculiar toppings such at Thai peanut chicken, roast beef, goat cheese, sesame seeds, coconut and dates.
Choice was always a primary ingredient in the restaurant recipe the Divine Dining Group cooked up when it launched the first Ultimate California Pizza in 1989.
The folks behind the locally owned restaurant group surveyed the Grand Strand culinary landscape back then and discovered something was amiss – variety.
“We wanted to provide people with an unique experience and dining diversity when it comes to pizza,” said Mike Tomko, director of operations for Ultimate California Pizza. “There was nothing like that so we wanted to bring some uniqueness to the pizza plate.”
Apparently, pizza lovers liked the concept, too, because there are currently 6 locations on the Grand Strand, with Ultimate California Pizza spots from North Myrtle Beach to Murrells Inlet. Each one offers the same pizzas and topping picks.
“Our dough is handcrafted,” Tomko said. “It is never frozen. We make the dough at every location. We have a whole wheat crust infused with rosemary and our regular Italian white crust.”
The crusts are not too thick or too thin, but they are somewhere in between. If requested, the crust can be made thinner. Customers, however, seem content with the crust while having fun choosing toppings that fit their tastes and test their creativity.
“One time, we made a pizza [for customer] that had 30 toppings on it,” Tomko said. “Then, there once was this lady who ordered a pizza topped with shrimp, Granny Smith apples, feta and pineapple that was built on an herb and extra virgin olive oil based-crust. Now, I don’t think shrimp and apples go together but it did for her. Maybe she was pregnant.”
Although people have carte blanche when constructing their pie of choice, most stick to traditional favorites.
One of the bestselling pizzas is the Big Kahuna, which combines meat and vegetables admired or commonly found on pizza. This pie has pepperoni, smoked ham, ground beef, Italian sausage, pork sausage, sautéed mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, Roma tomatoes, parmesan and smoked gouda.
Another well-liked pizza is the Hollywood, which is Ultimate California Pizza’s version of a meat lover’s pizza –mozzarella, pepperoni, smoked ham, ground beef, Italian sausage, pork sausage and smoked gouda crown this pie.
The 21 signature pizzas cost $6.99 to $18.99.
“Ultimate California Pizza has got an exciting new menu update coming soon, sometime around November,” Tomko said. “We are looking to add another crust option, a few more pizzas and a new type of bread for our sandwiches.”
Specialty sandwiches, including the West Coast Cuban (with smoked ham, slow-roasted pulled pork, Swiss cheese, red onions, diced dill pickles and signature Italian dressing), oven baked subs, lasagna and ziti join a menu that includes salads, wraps, wings and appetizers.
Each location, although distinctively different in appearance, is ideal for families. The Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone, 959 Lake Arrowhead Road in Myrtle Beach, has a sports bar and more than 60 state-of-the-art games.
The décor at Ultimate California Pizza restaurants is bright and beach-themed with comfortable seats at wood tables, track lighting and pictures of old coastal scenes on the wall.
Each location also has delivery service and a rewards program that gives members freebies and discounts at Ultimate California Pizza sites and locations of River City Café, an eatery specializing in burgers within the Divine Dining Group.