NYC food in LA?
Where can I get a good slice of NY style pizza in LA? I'm originally a New Yorker, then lived in Miami where I had my pizza place growing up (Cassola's), but ever since I moved to LA, I don't think I've had a really good slice of pie.
Oh, and while I'm on the topic of NY food in LA, where do you guys go for sushi regularly? I've been to a bunch of those pan-asian special sushi places, and those extraordinarily priced ones, but where can you go for a plateful of raw fish that won't break the bank? I had my regular spot growing up in Miami (Sushi Rock Café) but I need a place to call my own out here!
It's a hike but there's a place called Slice of New York on Main St. in Seal Beach that's worth the drive. Got all the right kinds of pie in the rack, they take your slices and heat 'em up til the crust is nice and straight and crunches when you bite into it or try to fold it in half. Best pizza I've had since moving west.
Winter vacations throughout my youth, regular weekend excursions from college, post grad life and my first big break in journalism all allowed me opportunity to fall in love with TRUE NY-style pizza. And while it's true that the options in SoCal would be far fewer -- logically -- than in the Big Apple, I don't buy into the notion of LA not having a great pie.
As for NY-style local,
Mulberry St.? It has its good days and bad.
D'Amores? Serviceable pie but c'mon; would a Yankee fan really claim Red Sox food as his own?
Casa Bianca? A fave but, not NY-style. Rather, it's Chicago-style thin.
Albano's? Peh! Fuhggetaboutit!
The argument begins and ends with one.
A Slice of NY.
End of story.
as a new yorker i think one can find equal pizzas to nyc here in LA but there are often better pizzas here. again, it all depends upon what one wants in a pizza. it is largely subjective. and the same goes for a slice in nyc, where it is still debatable about what is the best there. so yes one can experience great pizza here in LA. but if you want ray's (nyc) go to ray's. john's is only so so, imho. frankly, chicago (not even including stuffed) is probably a better pizza town than ny anyway.
but yet there is this inferiority complex sometimes about ny pizzas, just b/c it is ny.
it took time to admit this but i think overall this city offers far better places to eat than nyc. that excludes on the very highest end, meaning a couple exceptional places in manhattan.
Arguably, the best sushi value on Sushi Row (Ventura Blvd. in Studio City) is Tama Sushi. Not sure of the exact address, but it's just east of Radford. Do a search on this board for Tama and you'll find a TON of comments, overwhelmingly favorable (even the few negative comments I can remember don't pan the place). It's not as cheap as it used to be, but you're still getting the highest quality sushi in a serene setting, with zero attitude.
For pizza, you're probably going to be disappointed no matter where you go if you want a NY pizza. Just let it go, and accept California-style pizza for what it is. A very good place to start is at Caioti on Tujunga in Studio City. The chef, Ed LaDou (sp?), is widely recognized as the originator of California pizza. And notwithstanding the fact that it's a chain, I like California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), as they turn out a consistent and tasty product. Of course, there's always Spago...
Speaking as an ex-New Yorker (can one ever really be an ex-New Yorker), there is nothing in LA that will exactly match New York pizza; the suggestions below are strictly for "as close as I've ever found". That's not to say they're BAD, they're just not RIGHT.
Albano's, on Ventura in Studio City and on Melrose in LA.
Reno's, on Ventura and Tujunga in Studio City.
Mazzarino's, on Riverside and Coldwater Cyn in Sherman Oaks.
Ameci, which has branches all over the valley -- there's one at Burbank and Whitsett in Valley Village, one on Glenoaks and Magnolia in Burbank, and one on Woodman and Moorpark in Sherman Oaks, amongst others. They're one of the few places that actually does have oregano and garlic powder out for putting on pizza. This is more like the "heated up slice" type of place than the "fantastic Ray's-style pie" place.
D'Amore's has really good pizza, but it's not really New York style.
Lamonica's is OK. They used to have a branch in Brentwood that was consistently good, but it closed down and the others are, as people have noted, hit-or-miss.
As for sushi, I like Tama.
I know there were some mixed reviews on Albano's on another post...but I think the key there is to order the whole pie and not get slices. The heated up slices tend to be dry...but full pie was one of the best I've ever had.
In terms of sushi...agree on those above, particularly Katsuya...but I would consider Nozowa breaking the bank (always a min of $50/person). Some of my favorite more reasonably priced:
Sushi Yu & Mi in Beverly Hills (little SM btwn. Rodeo & Beverly)
Wa Sushi - LaCienega just north of Holloway
Sushiya - Sunset near sunset plaza drive
Sushi Mon - 3rd St. just west of San Vicente across from Cedars Sinai
re: SoCal Foodie
I visited Damianos on Fairfax last Sunday and had a miserable experience. I ordered a slice of cheese pizza to eat inside at one of their dark, ripped-up, and very dirty booths. I received a dried-up slice that looked as if it had been sitting out all day. After a bite, I got up and demanded another slice from one of their many pre-made pizzas that they use to reheat for slices. I told them that they should be embarrassed to serve a slice as terrible as what I got. Well, they did apologize and gave me another slice that was much better----but it still wasn't heated properly. I left vowing never to return----unless it was at 3:00am on a drunken night out and I couldn't afford going across the street to Canter's!
Check out Village Pizzeria in the Larchmont Village area of Hancock Park. I'm originally a New Englander and it took me YEARS and YEARS before I found decent pizza in Southern California. In fact, I only discovered Village Pizzeria in the past two years. (I honestly don't know why Southern Californians can't get it right.)
The owners of Village Pizzeria are originally from New York. Here's their website.
Try the Village Special (minus the anchovies). They make their own sausages and meatballs. Make sure you get the thin crust. The thick crust is fine, but the thin crust (Neopolitan)is better.
Thanks for all the suggestions! Could you let me know where those places are? Not all of them, but the ones you most suggest? I'm located in Hollywood but work in NoHo and frequent Studio City.
I think I've been to Mulberry (that's the one on Beverly near Olympic, right? It wasn't horrible, but wasn't great. I may need to try it again. The one decent slice I found (which may have been because I hadn't eaten all day) was at this place next to the El Capitan theater across from Hollywood and Highland. Can't remember the name, and again I was hungry, but it was a large slice and very greasy.
D'Amore's Pizza Connection has several locations:
7137 Winnetka Ave (sherman way), canoga park 818-348-5900
15928 Ventura Blvd, Encino 818-907-9100
22601 PCH, Malibu 310-317-4500
12910 Magnolia Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 818-505-1111
14519 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 818-905-3377
Skyline Shopping Ctr, Thousand Oaks, 805-596-0030
1077 Broxton Ave, Westwood 310-209-1212
Mulberry's is hit or miss, 3 locations:
347 N Canon Dr, 310-247-8998
240 S Beverly Dr 310-247-8100
17040 Ventura Blvd, Encino 818-906-8881
We went to Beverly location as well, first time hit the spot, second off the mark, enough off the mark we considered complaining, but we thought how ridiculous it would sound to say it wasn't as good as last time! Anyhow, I'm told they get their dough from Lamonicas
Lamonica's NY Pizza
518 Sixth St, Downtown 213-614-1100
1066 Gayley Ave, Westwood 310-208-8671
1650 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock 323-256-9617
we love d'amores where they claim to import water from boston. thin pizza and it doesn't sag when you hold it. closest we've come to the ny pizza we miss dearly.
last time we went to mulberry's pizza (2 locations), we were less than impressed than the first time
some love casa bianca, but it doesn't cut it for us
as for sushi that won't break the bank: we love Izayoi, Sushi Nozawa, Saito, Katsuya