Artichoke hearts are commonly mishandled by sub-par pizza chefs. Artichoke hearts typically come in cans of water. Pizza chefs need to be properly trained on draining to avoid soggy outcomes. Water should not collect in the center of a pizza like rain collects on a tarp covering a swimming pool.
The pizza above has Spanish chorizo and sauteed kale. Commonly, pizza chefs put raw vegetables like kale, broccoli raab, and other sturdy leafy greens on pizza, which is wrong. They shouldn't do that. Those greens should be cooked in ample olive oil first and properly seasoned.
White pies also have their place on a pizza menu, but chefs frequently make them wrong. White pies are almost always too dry. An ample amount of garlic and/or herb infused olive oil should stand in for the red sauce. Cream sauce on a pizza is kind of lame. BBQ sauce is for the Super Bowl. Also wrong.
In the north, "fresh" tomatoes do not exist from mid-September through late-July. "Fresh" tomato slices have no place on a pizza menu during those months. Period. If you want pale, mealy tomatoes, go to Taco Bell. Chefs who put "fresh" tomatoes on pizza in January are panderers. On the other hand, preserved tomatoes are righteous.
Exciting and hip, "New American" appetizers? I'm down with those. The cheese and pickle sandwiches above have homemade, live culture fermented cucumber pickles and Kraft American cheese slices. And mayo. It is currently very fashionable to mix highbrow culinary ideas with lowbrow trashiness.
Do you see how oily those greens are? Dear Americans, You know that olive oil is a heart-healthy oil...so how come you are so chincy with it? Oil carries and distributes flavors. Use at least twice as much as you think is proper.
What's the difference between a pierogi and a ravioli? Not that much.
The plain cheese pizza is always the surest indicator. Any pizza chef worth his salt knows that the plain cheese pizza should be the best pizza on the menu. Period. If you can't pull off the rudiments, you have no business messing around with the fancier stuff. Wolfgang Puck and California Pizza Kitchen brought a lot of new ideas to the table, but most of them are worth discarding. I've never had a great BBQ chicken pizza. EVER.