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La Swanky

Italian joints ooze style

The prosciutto is thin and fresh atop a pizza at La Gitana. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

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Announcer: You can think of La Gitana as a pizza joint, but in a closer look, it's really a stylish Italian bistro that makes great pizza pie.  With two locations, funky Olympia and farmy Yelm, the designers and chefs have come together to create a place that is as pleasing to the eyes as it is the stomachs.

Jason: The Olympia location is large with great red tones, open seating that looks on the wood-fired pizza oven, and service that is attentive.  In Yelm, it's much smaller but still pleasing with outdoor seating that makes this a fun stop in the summer.

Jake:  With a full bar, La Gitana has taken the opportunity to create a few signature drinks that set them apart from any other.  The La Gitana Appletini may sound like you have been there and done that, but by substituting Canadian Whiskey for vodka, there is a wonderful oaky flavor that kicks it up a notch.  However, the drink that is really worth the visit is the La Gitana Martini Café with vodka, coffee liqueur, real espresso and heavy cream. It's like an adult visit to the coffee shop.

Jason: We started with the Caprese - everything was thick and fresh - the tomatoes juicy, mozzarella cold and creamy, and the basil crisp and nutty.  

Jake: With all the talk about the pizza here, I had to go with the waitress' suggestion of prosciutto and arugula pizza.  The 14-inch pizza is just about right for two people, especially if you had a salad, and the amount of toppings was more than enough.  Though I wouldn't have thought to combine the two, the saltiness of the prosciutto seems to have been made specifically to pair with the bitterness of the arugula.  Add to that the sweet and freshness of the sauce, and you have quite a pizza.

Jason: We ordered the sausage and mushroom and had the same delightful experience.  Everything at La Gitana is locally sourced, organic and in many cases both.  The sausage came from pigs nearby and had a tanginess that blended well with thick-cut mushrooms.  It's a wood-fired pie with a thin, crispy crust that rivals Old School Pizza down the street (and that is saying something).

Jake: Now with a teenage boy in tow, a single pizza was not enough, and so I also ordered the ham and blue cheese pizza.  Again, the flavor combinations here, though creative, are a wonderful balance of two opposite flavor palates.  Unlike the previous pizza, I would have liked to have seen more ham-to-cheese ratio as the blue cheese overpowered the pizza a bit.  But they certainly have the right idea.

Jason: Also excellent is the spaghetti bolognese - perfectly presented with thick, stiff noodles and a Ragu that nicely balanced the meat with the vegetables.  The serving size is enough for a large eater, and you can order gluten-free or organic noodles for a little more.

Jake: If you've managed to save room for dessert, then you should certainly give the tiramisu a try as the lady's fingers are absolutely drenched in espresso and then layered with smooth cream and cocoa powder.  Or if you want something a bit heavier, give the chocolate layer cake a try, because it is dark, rich, and the perfect size for sharing.

La Gitana, 309 Yelm Ave. E., Yelm,

La Gitana, 518 Capital Way S., Olympia, 360.753.2929,

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