A Hollywood Remake of Your Childhood Fast Food Memories

The air smelled of yeast and cheese and weed, and though what I had in front of me looked like a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut, it was in fact a more expensive dupe.

Some of the original pizza’s flaws had been airbrushed and overwritten, as in a favorite childhood memory. No veins of raw dough, no discouraging sweat of vegetable oil.

The best qualities of the original were exaggerated in a buttery, gold-washed bottom and a fine, crackly edge, draped with a light brown confetti of cheese. The puff and fluff of the dough were doubled, bubbly and weightless.

What’s hard to explain is why this pizza — this impostor pizza — felt more like a Pizza Hut pizza than the source material.

The chef Tim Hollingsworth made it for what he called “Pizza Haute,” one of the meticulous themed dinners he cooks at Chain in Los Angeles, a regular pop-up that considers American fast food with an almost scholarly attention, exalting the genre with rigorous cooking and presentation.

Chain hosts meticulous themed dinners, including some inspired by Pizza Hut, but develops its own recipes and techniques.Credit…Chain Brands Inc.

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