Inside the new Cajun influenced Pizza Artista

Baton Rouge’s pizza landscape is thriving, and the latest player to enter the scene is Pizza Artista. The interactive, quick-fired concept opened in Rouzan near Sprouts just last week. It was originally developed in Lafayette in 2015 by pizza industry veterans who say they wanted to create something different.

“We’re all about using traditional Louisiana ingredients—things like tasso, andouille, boudin and fresh shrimp, crab and crawfish,” co-founder Scott McKlaskey says. Those emblematic Bayou State staples are joined by a lengthy list of proteins, veggies, gourmet cheeses, crust options, sauces and finishes—generous raw materials to DIY your way to a memorable personal pie.

Curated specialty pizzas include the eight-meat-mosaic “Classic Cajun,” and the “Asian,” whose thin layer of Thai peanut sauce is topped with mozzarella, chunks of roast chicken, green onion, carrots, cilantro and crumbled peanuts. Another go-to is the “Fig-N-Awesome,” a smattering of fig bits, bacon and tasso over gooey Brie and provolone with red pepper flakes and a drizzle of Steen’s cane syrup. 

The menu also features specialty and made-to-order calzones, salads, pastas and wings.  

McKlaskey and his partners, wife Cynthia McKlaskey and Kirk Miller, developed a crust formula that holds up, no matter how many meats, veggies and extra stuff you pile on. Each pie is fired in full view while customers wait, and is ready in less than four minutes. 

Customers place orders by tapping the screens near the door or by scanning the tabletop QR code to pull up the restaurant’s POS system. 

To order a beer, patrons need to show proof of ID, and then they can receive a card and proceed to a wall of taps, where they can pour their own brews. A screen above each tap tells you something about your beer selection. 

This story first ran in 225 magazine. Subscribe to the free 225 Daily e-newsletter for more on Baton Rouge food, events and entertainment.