March 6, 2018 > L?Aziz offers bounty of specialty foods
L?Aziz offers bounty of specialty foods
By Alfred Hu
If you?re looking for a friendly neighborhood eatery offering New York-style mouth-watering pizzas, Philly gyros, dishes with halal meats, vegetable calzones stuffed with juicy fillings, freshly baked baklava, Afghan naan bread and other specialties, then look no further than L?Aziz Pizza and Eatery in Union City.
The restaurant started its development in 2013 in what used to be the old Smith Street convenience store in the historic Alvarado District. Afghan-American brothers Ahmad and Jabir Tarin came up with the idea to change the store into a modern, hip fusion, one-stop eatery which also provides delivery service.
Though they did not have a food or cooking background, the brothers found inspiration in the New York-style pizza shop their father owned in Livermore when they were boys. They observed how their father operated the restaurant, and helped with deliveries. ?Maybe we should get into it,? said Ahmad when the restaurant opportunity arose ?and so we jumped right into it.?
One of the greatest challenges they faced was remodeling a 100-year-old building. It took two years for a complete renovation to Union City?s building code. L?Aziz Pizza and Eatery finally opened April 1, 2017.
L?Aziz takes pride in offering fresh organic ingredients and made-from-scratch foods. ?Ninety percent of what we make is fresh,? says Ahmad. ?All the meat is local, organic and meets halal standards.?
Ahmad and Jabir developed their unique culinary style through trial and error. Ahmad?s wife helped by experimenting with various spices. Their goal is to create fusion food, combining Mediterranean gyro ingredients with Philly cheesesteak, creating a pizza with Greek ingredients such as feta cheese instead of the traditional mozzarella, or filling an otherwise typical Italian calzone with Afghan ingredients such as lamb and spices. An expansion of their menu is planned to offer innovative burgers, kebabs, and organic milkshakes. So far, the most popular item on the menu has been New York-style pizza.
L?Aziz customers will see vintage photos of New York?s Brooklyn Bridge and San Francisco?s Golden Gate Bridge under construction on the walls, and models of an old VW bus and trucks. ?We want to keep the atmosphere ?old school?. I want to keep our eatery as classic as possible,? said Ahmad of the d‚cor. L?Aziz?s goal is not only to become a successful business serving the neighborhood, but help maintain an old town historical ambiance.
L?Aziz Pizza and Eatery
3834 Smith St., Union City
Monday ? Saturday: 10:00 a.m. ? 8:30 p.m.
(closed Fridays 1 p.m. ? 2 p.m.)
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. ? 8:30 p.m.