Pizza and more pizza

A new pizza shop in downtown Laguna caters to the refined palate on an unpretentious budget.

Pizza Lounge, now open at 397 Coast Hwy., in the old Medici Bistro location, serves an array of gourmet pies, salads and sandwiches that fill you up without emptying your pockets, owner Gary Decker said.

Signature combinations include the Caprese, White Chicken and Goat Cheese, and Coconut Shrimp, all baked with "fresh quality ingredients" on New York thin or honey-wheat crust.

"My personal favorite is the California pizza — a thin crust with bacon, pepperoni, spinach and tomatoes — which has also become our No. 1 seller," Decker said.

The Lounge also offers 20 tasty salads including a tangy Grilled Chicken and Citrus, and Pear and Gorgonzola in addition to a variety of appetizers, pasta, wraps and Grilled Panini.

And for dessert?

More pizza, Decker says.

"Try a warm thin crust topped with chocolate and whipped cream or caramel and apples. We also have a special PB and J, which the kids love.

"What makes the Lounge unique is that offer a selection you won't find at other pizza restaurants. I've spent 15 years in this business and have taken the best of my menus and put them into this concept," Decker said.

The Lounge offers indoor seating, takeout and delivery (within a 3-mile radius) and plans to add outdoor seating in the near future, Decker said.

"As a high-profile location, Laguna Beach is the perfect place to start this franchise," he said.

This is a treat for locals, whose feedback will help mold the official menu before the chain branches out next year.

Slices are $3.95; $18 to $20 for an extra large pie.

For more information, call (949) 492-2277. To view a menu, visit

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