A few years ago now, the landmark large Odeon cinema on Lothian Road changed quite dramatically. The large letters ODEON hanging above the glass front came down and were replaced by the unfamiliar signage of Croma – a new pizza place. For a while, I thought that the cinema had closed completely but to avoid any confusion, the Odeon is still open today, it’s just the main foyer is almost completely dominated by this new restaurant.
Heading inside, the place looks legit, with beautiful modern art on the walls and neat table settings, although I must admit the odd film poster and people walking through to get to the cinema is a little jarring.
However, the menu looks good with a wide range of pizzas priced from around £5.50 for your classic cheese and tomato margarita, up to around £8 for more gourmet toppings.
We ordered in a selection of starters to begin: olives, buffalo mozzarella and tomato, and dough balls. I wasn’t in the mood for olives that night but the mozzarella and tomato starter was delicious and the dough balls could give Pizza Express a run for their money, with the garlic butter already glazed on top as opposed to in a separate pot. They were really tasty and I could have easily devoured another plate’s worth!
For the “main event” I had the courgette and goat’s cheese pizza, which looked spectacular when it came out, garnished with a generous pile of rocket and balsamic glaze.
The pizza was excellent, with a nice crispy dough and the courgettes perfectly cooked (nothing worse than raw courgette!). My dining companions had the slightly spicy chorizo piccante, the delicious looking inglese with a whole egg on top, and the unusual tandoori chicken pizza. They all looked like surefire winners and were very reasonably priced.
The Croma pizzeria may look a bit odd from the outside, but looks can be deceptive. For a while I thought that the place just served up your standard greasy, deep based pizza (I don’t think the blue neon lights help) but in reality they have a great offering of authentic Italian pizza dough with a wide range of both traditional and unusual toppings. Having beat my preconceptions and given it a go, I’ll definitely be back again!
You can find Croma in the foyer of the Odeon cinema at 118 Lothian Road, EH3 8BQ. You can get there via bus on the 1, 10, 11, 15, 16, 24, 34, 36 or the 47,