SEATTLE — The food bursts with color, just like the owner and his newly opened restaurant.
"Wait until you bite into it!" shouted Lee Kindell, as he put the finishing touches on one of his specialty pizzas.
"A little familiarity, but something completely different," said Kindell, the owner of 'Moto.'
The tiny restaurant looks like the home from the movie, 'Up,' complete with bright balloons tethered above the roof. It's tucked between two new apartment buildings, in a house once occupied, and still owned, by a homeowner holdout.
"She fell in love with us and our ideas, and we fell in love with her," Kindell said.
Kindell and his wife and business partner, Nancy, were working in the hospitality industry downtown when the pandemic closed one door and opened another.
"I'm basically self-taught," he said.
The kitchen wizard designed a square Detroit-style pizza you could describe as medium-dish, full-on dee-lish.
"Brick cheese, which is a Midwest cheese, is key to this Detroit pizza," Kindell said.
His 100-year-old sourdough starter is so special, he gave it a name, 'Betty.'
"I named her after my motorcycle."
And the flour is hydrated in an 18th-century hand-carved trough.
"Very zen," Kindell said, as he gently poured water into flour and meticulously hand-worked the dough.
Moto's menu includes the pork belly and sausage 'Mr. Pig' pizza, plus the Dungeness delight simply named 'Crab.'
For dessert, you can try a fire-roasted ice cream cone made right on the premises, using a traditional Transylvanian recipe and baked around a wooden spool.
Moto is located in West Seattle's Alaska Junction neighborhood. The demand is high, and Kindell is working as fast as he can. But each pizza is handmade with love, so avoid the backup by ordering a day ahead. Details are on their website.