place, Sid experimented with the recipe that came with the mixer. It
didn't work! Endless variations also failed and brought him to the
point of extreme frustration. He finally threw a wad of dough against
the wall and abandoned the rest in the mixer.
There it remained until the arrival of their knowledgeable and
upbeat food supplier who found the partners quite dejected. "What's
the problem? There's nothing wrong with this dough," he said,
removing the dough from the wall and proceeding to make a pizza and
bake it. It was delicious. In fact, it was the best they'd ever
What they hadn't realized, with their total lack of experience,
was that the dough needed to rise before baking.
Also, one of those fortuitous accidents occurred that often happen
in the food business. Purchasing their basic ingredients in quantity,
they bought dry yeast instead of wet, unaware that dry is twice as
potent. The happy result of their ignorance was a lighter dough that
became their signature.
One problem solved, countless more to follow. The food business
was in Sid Fanarof's blood. As a child, he was told that his
grandfather in Berlin was in the poultry and ice cream business. When
old enough to be intrigued by this conundrum, he asked, "Well, which
"Chicken in the winter and ice cream in the summer," his
grandfather said. There was no demand for geese and ducks when the
weather was hot, but everybody wanted ice cream.
Sid's parent's escaped Hitler's Europe in 1939. His father was a
cook in the U.S. army and after the war opened a deli and catering
business in Boyle Heights. At 10, Sid was bussing tables and working
the cash register. At 20, he captained the catering staff at parties.
Attempting to find his own way, he and his brother opened an
innovative optometry business with a celebrity clientele. He also
dabbled in real estate.
An early mid-life crisis, precipitated in part by the death of two
young friends, led him to take an enormous risk and relocate to
Laguna Beach, a place that was special to him, even as a child. As an