Armenians and Romans unite in Little Armenia

Well, sort of. As you traverse the streets of Little Armenia in Hollywood, you’ll come across many establishments serving popular Armenian dishes. One of the most popular foods is lahmajune, also known as Armenian pizza. A great place to try this baked goodness is at Sasoun Bakery on Santa Monica Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.

Sasoun Bakery (outside 1) lahmajune (Armenian pizza)

About a year ago, just a few blocks up the same street at Santa Monica and Alexandria Avenue, an authentic Italian (Napoletana, to be exact) pizzeria, DeSano Pizza, opened shop. Our recent visit really impressed us. From the outside, you’d hardly know it was a pizza joint. When you walk in, however, you see this simple industrial layout that reveals all the inner workings of a modern pizzeria; an open floor plan that let’s you see the pizza dough being made, the imported ingredients sitting against the perimeters of the seating area, and pizzaioli preparing the pies right after you order.

DeSano Pizza (outside) DeSano Pizza (inside)

They have four large brick wood-burning ovens individually named after cities in Italy along with the patron saints that watch over those cities.

DeSano pizza ovens 1 DeSano pizza ovens 2

We ordered two pies, the margherita and the desano. They were both really tasty, with a soft chewy crust, fresh toppings, and the flavors of the burn marks on the bottoms of the pizza. Yumm.

Margherita pizza DeSano pizza

Now that we’ve found Armenian pizza and Italian pizza within a few blocks of each other, our weekends will consist of eating lahmajune for lunch and strolling over for some wood baked pizzas for dinner. The empires have finally united!

CodeFights startup has bright future

A startup launched by Tigran Sloyan and Aram Shatakhtsyan in 2014, CodeFights let’s individuals challenge each other in solving computer programming problems. The winner of each game, or “code battle”, earns points and moves on to more advanced levels and stiffer competition. It’s a great way for programmers to test their coding skills against one another, and it looks very addicting from the comments we’ve read from players. Based in San Francisco, CodeFights has just scored $2.4 million in seed funding. A notable backer of the startup is Raffi Krikorian, former VP at Twitter. The company even has several job opportunities in Armenia. Check out this video of co-founder Tigran Sloyan describing the concept of CodeFights.