FLUSHING, N.Y.—Tony Sala, owner of T.J.'s Pizzeria & Restaurant, is selling kim-chee-topped pies.
And some called pineapple bits "out there."
According to the Times-Ledger, 12 years ago a Korean doctor suggested Sala give the spicy-hot pickled cabbage (a Korean favorite) a try atop his pizzas. He did, and hasn't regretted it.
"Everyone laughed at it, they thought it was funny," said Sala. "And then I took it on. It worked."
Sala, who has owned the shop for 15 years, has watched the neighborhood's population shift from predominantly European immigrants to become a Korean and Chinese hub.
Now he's experimenting with Chinese recipes for his pizzas, including a beef and broccoli recipe. Other Sala creations include Louisiana chicken, taco, chicken and broccoli, eggplant Parmigiana and Buffalo chicken.
Since creating the kim-chee pizza, Sala has drawn regular attention from the media, including CNN and the Los Angeles Times. On Aug. 17, his restaurant will be featured on a "hot and spicy" episode of NBC weatherman Al Roker's cooking show, "Roker on the Road," on the Food Network.