Is Bella Pizza and Calzones at the Irvine Spectrum Actually Kosher?
Why is Bella Pizza & Calzones at the Irvine Spectrum lying about being kosher?
Look carefully at the menu board above. All the pizzas are gluten-free and kosher? Nonsense. I personally ate a pepperoni pizza there; while it's possible that it was (halal) beef sausage, unless it was non-dairy cheese product--which I doubt--the pizza could not be kosher. Even if the pizza were made from wholly kosher ingredients combined in kosher ways, it still wouldn't be kosher without supervision. Without a Jewish person to light the oven, it would be bishul akum--in other words, food cooked by a Gentile, and thus not kosher.
Kosher restaurants always--always--post their hechsher. A hechsher is the symbol showing which group was responsible for the kosher supervision. For example, a U in a circle shows that the Orthodox Union deemed the restaurant's food and preparation to be kosher; a K in a star means the hashgacha (supervision) was done by Star-K. There are several common hechsherim; none was on display on the menu.
Furthermore, kosher pizzerias nearly always use cholov Yisroel cheese, meaning cheese that is made from milk supervised by a rabbi from cow to sale. This fact is almost always in huge letters on the front of the establishment in order to entice orthodox Jews to come in. Not so at Bella Pizza and Calzones.
When I asked the lone employee what the hechsher was--in otherwise, who the certifying agency was--he shrugged and said he didn't know. He was obviously an employee, so I asked for a card so I could call during the week.
When I called in order to get the story straight, the man who answered the phone refused to give his name; when I identified myself as affiliated with the Weekly, he hung up abruptly. I called a few of the larger certification centers, based in Los Angeles, and Chabad in Irvine; nobody knew anything about supervision of this place.
The pizza is obviously not kosher, nor is it gluten-free. I hope no Jewish people or gluten-free people fell for their lame attempt to drum up business. A shandeh un a charpeh--a shame and a disgrace.
Bella Pizza and Calzones, 31 Fortune Dr., Irvine; (949) 679-4811.
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