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Chicago style pizza in West LA? (or even 8 mile radius?)

l
Lynndsey Rigberg Aug 15, 2006 01:21 AM

My husband and I were desperate for chicago style pizza the other day and stumbled across Earth, Wind and Flour on Westwood. It was Chicago style, but Boston, and we thought, ENH, close enough.

Boy, ere we wrong. First of all, the food is just bad there, so anything coming out of that kitchen is going to be a disaster.

I've looked at threads online for Chicago style pizza, but the closest thing seems to be miles away.

Chowhounders, HELP!!!

  1. s
    skoop323 Jan 13, 2009 12:42 AM

    i just received my pizza from ginos it was sausage and mushrooms baked it was outstanding exactly how it tasted when i was in the chi

    1. e
      epop Jan 8, 2009 08:26 AM

      Have you tried Fresh Brothers in Manhattan Beach? They're supposed to have Chicago flat.

      1. s
        Scotty Jan 6, 2009 11:25 AM

        Earth, Wind and Flour on Westwood

        I really hate this place

        1. ElJeffe Jan 5, 2009 03:32 PM

          Just to provide an update I had a friend (also from Chicago) try out Masa's and said its a waste of time...you'll be disappointed. He is a VERY trusted source (he does approved of Zachary's in SF). So I have no doubt that if you really like Chicago style pizza and know a good one, do not bother with Masa's.

          I guess I'll try Tony's in Placentia next.

          34 Replies
          1. re: ElJeffe
            Das Ubergeek Jan 5, 2009 09:36 PM

            I'm just going to say this for the record.

            If you're looking for Lou Malnati's or Pizzeria Uno/Due in LA, please do yourself a favour and give up right now. It doesn't exist, and there have been SO MANY disappointed posts on here about how the much-vaunted Tony's doesn't measure up and woe is me and I'll just have to order a parbaked frozen Lou's pizza through the post, etc.

            Tony's (and Chicago Pasta House in Moreno Valley) are the best of what's available. They are not Lou Malnati's. So if you go in to compare the two, you will leave upset that you battled rush hour traffic down to Orange County's most disgustingly-named town.

            I'm just saying. I love Tony's... but it doesn't stop me getting my Lou's fix on those rare occasions I'm in Chicagoland.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              sbritchky Jan 6, 2009 11:13 AM

              My brother and I both lived many years in Chicago, so I wasn't surprised when he recently ordered a frozen Lou Malnati's pizza (delivered overnight by UPS). The surprise came in the eating -- not great but unexpectedly good. In fact, the sauce, filling, and crust were better than in most of the pizzas I've had since returning to California. If some entrepreneur opened a place that merely reheated Malnati's, Giordano's, etc., it might shame our local pizzerias into figuring out how to cook this simple dish. I'm already holding my breath.

              1. re: sbritchky
                k
                kevin Jan 6, 2009 02:15 PM

                wow, you'd think if they opened up a true Chicago pizza joint they'd crazy business like gangbusters.

              2. re: Das Ubergeek
                k
                kevin Jan 6, 2009 02:14 PM

                is chicacgo pasta house in moreno valley worth it., esp. for someone that has not tried real chicago style (i don't want to be ostracized for this but the only ones i've tried are la's bj's pizzeria and brewery and numero uno a few yrs back).

                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                  ElJeffe Jan 6, 2009 06:44 PM

                  I don't disagree but don't you find that to be a disappointing standard? After all, I can find Italian food as good as any in Italy here, NY Style Pizza (Joe's) as good as almost any in NY, world class Korean BBQ, and amazing sushi . I think we can have higher standards. If San Francisco/Oakland can have amazing Chicago style pizza, why can't LA?

                  Kevin --I'd honestly recommend you mail order from Giordano's or Lou Malnati's if you want the real experience. BJ's is decent pan pizza not Chicago style (despite their name) and the chain/franchise Numero Uno are terrible now and nothing like the original.

                  1. re: ElJeffe
                    Das Ubergeek Jan 7, 2009 08:19 AM

                    The point was more to go in with your expectations set. Tony's, as good as it is, is not Lou Malnati's. And I disagree, incidentally, about the food being as good as Italy or the pizza as good as New York, but that's not a discussion for here.

                    We do many things very well. We do not do all things well, and it's worthwhile having an occasional reality check. I'm just trying to prevent the inevitable "but it's SAUCE it's not TOMATOES" or "well that wasn't like the very best pizza in Chicago at all" posts, because they don't add anything.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      k
                      kevin Jan 7, 2009 08:49 AM

                      but das if i went to the joint in moreno valley, and i've only been to bj's and la's numero uno chainlet, would i leave the moreno valley joint, very happy and with a smile on my face? thanks.

                      also, wherr is tony's located? i heard they kept moving where they first in placentia and then moved to anaheim or something like that?

                      thanks.

                      1. re: kevin
                        Das Ubergeek Jan 7, 2009 08:59 AM

                        I think you would be very happy, except for the drive.

                        Tony's is in Placentia, on Placentia Ave. and Bastanchury Rd.

                        -----
                        Tony's Little Italy Pizza
                        1828 N Placentia Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                        Chicago Pasta House
                        24667 Sunnymead Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          k
                          kevin Jan 7, 2009 09:01 AM

                          great thanks. i'll end this on my part until i vist tony's and pasta house.

                          1. re: kevin
                            r
                            RSMBob Jan 7, 2009 10:55 PM

                            I strongly reccomend going to Tony's and CPH and getting a stuffed pizza. I'm a native Chicago 'burbs guy who still makes at least 2 10-day trips a year back there for pizza and italian beef (and to visit family, too!). Over the holidays, I got my fill from Gino's East, Lou Malnati's, Home Run Inn (thin crust) and more.

                            I think Tony's and CPH both do VERY good if not exceptional versions of stuffed crust pizza. Banducci's in Lakewood is also good and is closer to many LA/westside people. If I can venture south, Lefty's in SD is also very good. There is also a Roasti's in Corona, and my guess is that Romano's (3 Riverside locations) also does it well. Sal's is Anaheim is a notch below but not bad.

                            Also, I am hearing rumors that Chicago's Best in Irvine (home to the best italian beef in SoCal, and I am a big Portillo's fan) is doing pizzas a couple times a month...call them for details. The father of the owner of Chicago's best used to own Giorgio's of Chicago in Laguna Niguel, and they did what I considered the best thin crust pizza in SoCal and a pretty good deep dish and stuffed crust verstion as well. I've heard it's only gotten better but I've only had the thin crust so far.

                            Finally, just as an FYI, there used to be a Giordano's here in SoCal (Laguna Hills) and a Gino's East (Manhattan Beach)...I used to frequent the latter often when I lived in Redondo Beach in the late 1980s.

                            1. re: RSMBob
                              k
                              kevin Jan 8, 2009 08:17 AM

                              yeah, i did hear of giorgio's in laguna niguel, it closed down about '98 or '99 right? i heard they also had great ribs, italian beef, and authentic chicago dogs. i might just make the drive throughout all that traffic and hit up Tony's in Placentia, but will see, I'm really craving some great pizza. but is the stuffed crust cheese overload is the crust stuffed with cheese and the pizza itself is toppped with cheese as usual.

                              1. re: kevin
                                r
                                RSMBob Jan 8, 2009 08:50 AM

                                Giorgio's closed 2001/02 timeframe. The killer thing was that there was another place in Aliso Viejo only about 2 miles from Giorgio's that did VERY good thin and stuffed pizza...Luke's Chicago Pizza...and that closed about a year after Giorgio's. My waistline was the only thing that benefited.

                                Absolutely go do Tony's...I live in south OC so Tony's is not exactly convenient but I still go up there (usually with the family) once a month. Not sure I fully understand your last question but the stuffed pizza (and you are better off phoning ahead to order) is traditional Chicago style...med thickness bottom crust with high sides topped by melted sliced cheese and toppings/fillings. A thin 2nd layer crust is next topped by the "sauce" with a little cheese sprinkled on at the end.

                                1. re: RSMBob
                                  k
                                  kevin Jan 8, 2009 09:02 AM

                                  got it, i had misconception in what stuffed crust now, i had thought it was stuffed in the way that pizza hut and domino's have cheese oozing out of the crust.

                                  1. re: kevin
                                    r
                                    RSMBob Jan 8, 2009 10:44 AM

                                    No, two different animals altogether! the 2nd layer of dough basically melds into the pizza (some think it's a layer of cheese). Google Giordano's Pizza and choose images and you'll get some good pics of what the real stuff is like!

                                    Something makes me think you'll be making the trek from wherever you are to Tony's or another place sooner rather than later!

                                    1. re: RSMBob
                                      k
                                      kevin Jan 8, 2009 01:50 PM

                                      I'll be making the trek from Santa Monica. so it'll be a drive, haven't been in the OC area, or the Placentia area for a while, anything else good to get there.

                                      i think there used to be a restaurant there that served oddities such as corned beef tacos along with other stuff called Table 10 or ?

                                      anything else good in that area? If i remember correctly Placentia is nearby Fullerton??? also, is the Richard Nixon Library in the vicinity in Yorba Linda (after the Frost/Nixon film a visit may be in order or perhaps not).

                                      1. re: kevin
                                        r
                                        RSMBob Jan 8, 2009 03:14 PM

                                        I'm no expert on the area, but yes, Placentia is beetween Fullerton to the west and Yorba Linda to the east. The RN Library/Birthplace is about 10 minutes away and is a very worthy visit. Chow-wise there is a pretty good buther shop nearby called GEM Meats.

                                        Being in Santa Monica, you may want to venture over to Banducci's in Lakewood as well.

                                        1. re: RSMBob
                                          o
                                          Ogawak Jan 12, 2009 07:17 AM

                                          I second Banducci's. Closer than Placentia, since I live in Santa Monica and work in Carson. Banducci's offers everything from thin crust to thick crust to stuffed ala Giordano's. The stuffed did not quite measure up to Giordano's but it did fill the need well and does give you an idea why we love Chicago pizza.

                                          I have never been to Tony's, but hope to make the trek some day soon.

                                          Tried Fresh Brothers recently. Did not like their thick crust. they claimed a shortcut in baking thick crust (less than 20 minutes). The results were less than exemplary. I guess they specialize in Southside Chicago style, which I guess is a thin crust.

                                          1. re: Ogawak
                                            e
                                            epop Jan 16, 2009 09:35 AM

                                            I agree with your take on banducci.

                                            Did you try the thin one at fresh brothers?

                                            1. re: epop
                                              Servorg Jan 25, 2009 11:53 AM

                                              http://www.freshbrothers.com/

                                              1. re: epop
                                                o
                                                Ogawak Jan 26, 2009 05:39 AM

                                                I will have to try the thin crust sometime soon. Maybe make a trip to Glacier's as well. Wife is watching her weight, so it may not be soon. But I am curious.

                                              2. re: Ogawak
                                                sbritchky Jan 25, 2009 11:34 AM

                                                Ogawak, I'm not sure what "Southside Chicago [pizza] style" is, but the original Giordano's was in the geographic heart of the Southside, near 63rd and California. Their stuffed pizza became very popular, and they soon had locations all over what we jokingly called the Greater Chicagoland Area after winning Chicago Magazine's pizza contest in 1978. We lived in Evanston in the late 70's, and my little daughter and I loved the long trip down the beautiful Outer Drive to get the only Giordano's then available.

                                                P.S. I agree with your assessments of Banducci's (made by people from the Central Valley who lived for a while in Rockford) and Fresh Brothers.

                                                1. re: sbritchky
                                                  r
                                                  RSMBob Jan 26, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                  Fresh Brothers sounds like a good stop next time I'm up in the South Bay...wish it were there when I lived in Redondo beach 15 years ago (although we had a Gino's East so that satisfied my cravings).

                                                  As for your question re southside Chicago "tin" crust, remember that 80%+ of the pizza eaten in Chicago is thin crust and the restaurants that serve them are no less exceptional (altohugh less famous) than their deep/stuffed counterparts. Among them are Aurelio's, Vito's & Nick's, Fox, Home Run Inn. Good examples can be found at Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, the extra thin at Tony's in Placentia, Romano's in Riverside, and Rosati's in Corona.

                                            2. re: kevin
                                              Das Ubergeek Jan 8, 2009 07:23 PM

                                              Placentia is nestled up between Fullerton and Yorba Linda, just north of Anaheim and Orange. The YL Blvd. exit off the 57 (the one for Tony's) is three exits north of the 91 freeway.

                                              Gem Meats is fine but it's not got the longest hours in the world.

                                              There's El Farolito, also in Placentia; if you want frozen yogurt I like Golden Spoon on YL Blvd. and Bradford (I know it's a chain and I don't care). Lizarran Tapas is on Harbor and Chapman Ave. in downtown Fullerton, and you could get gelato from Frati just a few blocks away on Commonwealth west of Harbor. You could stop in for a pint at The Olde Ship in Fullerton, just north of downtown Fullerton on Harbor Blvd. (totally walkable from Lizarran).

                                              Or head down Kraemer, which turns into Glassell in the city of Orange, and go down to Paris in a Cup for macarons or to Frog's Breath for a cheese plate and a glass of wine. Or a little further east, on the southern corner (there are two) of Taft and Tustin in the city of Orange is Mariscos Puerto Esperanza, which is maybe a 10-15 minute drive from Tony's and right off the 55 freeway...

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                k
                                                kevin Jan 8, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                i know all about the orange area and tustin (used to live in both these areas0, and santa ana, and that area of orange county but i'm still foggy on the areas such as fullerton, placentia, and yorba linda.

                                                i was hoping for something really close to Tony's. for dessert or another dish perhaps. all either do olde ship or frati afterwards, that reminds me, are the dsesserts at tony's any good?

                                                isn't chicago harv's near tony's also?

                                                1. re: kevin
                                                  Das Ubergeek Jan 8, 2009 08:24 PM

                                                  Never tasted the dessert at Tony's. Never eaten IN Tony's (always get it to go).

                                                  Yes, Chicago Harv's is near-ish Tony's on Chapman in Fullerton. Never been though. The only real dessert I can think of near Tony's is Golden Spoon, unless you want to slide down here to Anaheim and go to Natural for a fruit thing.

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                    k
                                                    kevin Jan 8, 2009 08:27 PM

                                                    i'll be eating at tony's not to go. so hopefully the atmosphere is at least somewhat decent.

                                                    1. re: kevin
                                                      r
                                                      RSMBob Jan 8, 2009 10:44 PM

                                                      Quick background...Tony's had been located about a mile or two away for 20+ years and the strip mall they were in was torn down maybe 5 years ago necessitating the move. The old location was 95% take-out...just 2 small tables in the doorway.

                                                      The new location is still primarily take-out, but pizza is best eaten on site in my opinion, although deep dish/stuffed crust pizza handles take-out better than thin crust in my opinion. Tony's has about a half dozen tables for 2 or 4, a couple of TVs, and some stuff on the walls...perfectly comfortable but NOT full-service. If you call ahead to order, they will sometimes set up a table for your group with plates and utensils.

                                                      I think you better go there this weekend...and invite us along as well!

                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                        Das Ubergeek Jan 9, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                        It's a pizza parlor. It's not full-service (order at the counter, go to a table, pick up your pizza).

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                          k
                                                          kevin Jan 9, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                          thanks, that works perfectly for me. i just need somewher to sit and eat the pizza. sounds good.

                                                          probably will be there today, playing hooky.

                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                            r
                                                            RSMBob Jan 11, 2009 10:45 PM

                                                            Ok, I am disappointed there is no reply/feedback/review yet, good or bad. For what it's worth, my family was on a long car trip today and on the way home, the vehicle became magnetically attracted to head towards Tony's. 2 stuffed crust pizzas (sausage and mushroom/olive) not only filled us but provided a good amount to happily take home. The pizzas were superb...my only comment on the down side is that when you first serve it, the "sauce" tends to be somewhat runny, more so than a normal Giordano's pizza. But darn, it was good...it certainly reaffirms my opinion that it can be matched up against some of the better places in and around Chicago.

                                                            1. re: RSMBob
                                                              k
                                                              kevin Jan 12, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                              sorry you're right, did go but forgot to post.

                                                              anyhow, went to Tony's in Placentia on Friday, made the arduous trek there. ordered up the cheese stuffed crust. the proprietess said it would take a good 30 minutes and i had a stack of newspapers to get thru so that would not be a problem for me.

                                                              i liked the fact that they had a sit down PacMan game with the dual console, but sadly it looked brooken though within a few minutes to repairman dropped by and replaced the video game, anyways, digressing a little.

                                                              i sat down. and the place is pretty nifty for a tiny joint, there were actually a half dozen people eating there on the premises. And they served the food on china with metal utensils (no plastic or paper plates for eat in).

                                                              anyhow, the Stuffed Crust Cheese arrived and it was runny from the tomato sauce and there was a pool of oil. but i digged in and it was good, the crust was not sickeningly greasy like at other places. i think the 10 in had about 6 sixes but i could only manage about close to 4 of them. it was good, but great maybe not. i don't know if i'll crave it from time to time. but i do like that it has loads of cheese on it. and the crust is great. but i didn't quite get the stuffed crust aspect of it, it seemed like there was the crust, then the cheese layered over it, then pizza sauce on top and then dusted with specs of cheese.

                                                              the proprietor seemed really cranky at time to me, but i don't know why. the waiter that served up the pizza, said you're gonna love this where famous for this and served me up the first slice. long story short, if this were in santa monica or the westside i'd probably drop by at least once every couple months or so, but since it's in deepest placentia, probably not. or a may drop by if i happen to be in the area on business.

                                                              just seemed like all this talk about chicago style pizza got me really hungry for it. and to see what it's all about.

                                                              liked all the banners of chicago teams plastering the walls. but it is a simple joint, though it is not completely take-out, which is nice.

                                                              it feels like they just moved to the new location too.

                                                              i may try Banducci's or may be i'll just abstain for a while to get my waistline back to normal levels.

                                                              1. re: kevin
                                                                r
                                                                RSMBob Jan 12, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                Good take on things. Yes, the stuffed crust thing can throw you off, especially with no toppings/fillings. The layer of dough above the cheese and toppings/fillings is often mistaken for cheese as it is thin and not as baked as the bottom and side crusts.

                                                                Sounds like it was a good though not mind/palette-altering experience that you had. You think a 10 inch pizza is no problem, but then after 2 slices, it's like "oh my". Tony can be a bit abrasive at times but he is a nice guy...gave me a tour of the kitchen area right after they moved.

                                                                I kinda know what you mean about the "just moved" feel. I swear they've been in the new location for about 5 years now. I think it's just not as "polished", decor-wise, as many SoCal places and that makes it seem that way.

                                                                I'm glad you made the trek and gave it a try.

                                                              2. re: RSMBob
                                                                E Eto Jan 26, 2009 07:14 AM

                                                                I've been craving Chicago pizza for years. There's not any to be had in NYC, and I haven't been able to convince my OC relatives to go there, until this recent trip to LA. Tony's really hit the spot for a stuffed pizza. I think I turned the relatives on to Tony's so hopefully it'll get into the regular rotation for when I visit.
                                                                http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3436/3...

                                                                1. re: E Eto
                                                                  Servorg Jan 26, 2009 08:43 AM

                                                                  But from your photo it looks like the pie wouldn't be filling enough (for a family of hungry T-Rex's that is - and even they would probably be groaning and loosening up their belts a notch or two after downing that thing). Thanks for the Tony's food porn shot EE. Now I am going to have to make a special trip to sample the goods. Better start starving myself now.

                        2. r
                          reality check Sep 6, 2006 07:44 AM

                          Das Ubergeek a little uptight? I was giving directions to Tony's. Thank you. I figured that's actually more important than Placentia.

                          1. b
                            Bostonbob3 Sep 4, 2006 10:31 PM

                            Well, I recently made a post on the Chicago board about "Chicago-style" pizza. Turns out, that depends on the three specific areas of Chiacgo. North Side prefers deep dish, South Side likes thin crust, West Side likes some hybrid or another. In any case, the Chicagoans made it very clear that what most of us call "Chicago-style" is really a stereotype.

                            BTW, Original Poster, what do you mean by Earth Wind & Fire being "Boston" pizza? Boston pizza is thin crust that has more "char and chew" than NY pizza (we really don't get all that excited about being able to fold the slices over like NewYorkers do.:)). Boston pizza has no relationship to deep dish pizza at all.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bostonbob3
                              The Chowhound Team Sep 4, 2006 10:37 PM

                              Folks-

                              Before the discussion goes any further, if you wish to discuss the anatomy or definition of a Chicago, Boston, or New York pie, please start a new thread on the General Topics board.

                              Please do chime in here on where Chowhounds can find representations of Chicago, Boston or New York style pies in the greater L.A. area.

                              Thanks.

                            2. b
                              bohemiana Sep 3, 2006 04:25 AM

                              We just got back from dinner at Tony's Taste of Italy. It was very good but not the same as Lou Malnatti's or Ginos. All four of us are Chicago natives and we make an annual pilgrimage back to Chicago for pizza so we had high hopes for Tony's. We had what Tony's calls Stuffed Pizza. The pizza looks great--it's about 2 inches thick. The main differences were the crust which lacked the buttery taste of Lou's and Ginos, and the Italian sausage was missing something...maybe too light on the herbs (fennel? oregano?). The tomato sause was very tasty but a little too liquidy. All in all, it was a very good pizza and rivals the only other Chicago-style pizza we like in LA, which is called Sal's Bit of Italy in Anaheim.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: bohemiana
                                e
                                epop Sep 4, 2006 10:25 PM

                                that's definitely good to know, as Tony's has been criticized in the past. not sure we can expect a ginos here but coming close is pretty great.

                                i'm still looking for a pizza like the flat pizzas in chicago (a la aurelio's)....

                                1. re: epop
                                  nakni Sep 4, 2006 11:46 PM

                                  I work at an establishment with a Chicago-born chef who tried Tony's and said it wasn't the real deal either (he's pining for Aurelio's as well). Never tried it myself given the long drive.

                                  I'll patiently be waiting for Das Ubergeek's review of Taste Chicago's pie. How long ago did they start selling it? Their online menu hasn't been updated in a long time. I e-mailed them a little more than a year ago wondering why in the world they didn't make stuffed pies given the scarcity of them around here. I thought they were yanking my chain when they told me to be patient.

                                  1. re: nakni
                                    r
                                    RSMBob Sep 5, 2006 12:26 AM

                                    I, too, will look forward to hearing about the "new" pizza at Taste Chicago. The "old" stuff was ok if fresh, but nothing more. Taste Chicago lives on it's celebrity and location...the food is overpriced and the italian beef comes in a poor 3rd behind Chicago's Best (Irvine) and Portillo's (Buena Park).

                                  2. re: epop
                                    r
                                    RSMBob Sep 5, 2006 12:24 AM

                                    Best thin crust "Chicago-style" pizzas I've had in SoCal are the well-renowned Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, Little Tony's in North Hollywood (I think...it was a LONG time ago), and a local place new-to-me that I think makes a great very thin crust pizza, and that's BG Emilio's in Lake Forest. One note on BGE, I noticed last week that it may be changing hands to become "Boscoe's Sports Grill".

                                  3. re: bohemiana
                                    r
                                    RSMBob Sep 5, 2006 12:19 AM

                                    Nice to read your thoughts, bo. Yes, the crust at Tony's is a little more bread-like than biscuit-like, but I think it compares pretty favorably to Giordano's. Lou's and Gino's are both a little different with their biscuit-like, butter/cornmeal-type crust. As for the sausage, fennel seems to be the spice that is missed a lot in sausage out here, although Tony's is so much better than the "rabbit pellets" you get for the most part on pizza here in SoCal.

                                    I've never been to Sal's but will have to give it a try sometime. In the meantime, I'll suggest you give Tony's another shot as well. It's hardly convenient for me to get to, but well worth the drive/time.

                                  4. b
                                    bohemiana Aug 18, 2006 03:48 PM

                                    I found Tony's on the internet. It looks very promising...he grew up in Chicago!

                                    http://www.tonyslittleitaly.com/index...

                                    We're going to try it and I'll report back.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bohemiana
                                      r
                                      RSMBob Aug 18, 2006 06:05 PM

                                      Tony's is the real deal, one of only 2 that I know of in SoCal (the other is the way further-out Chicago Pasta House in Moreno Valley, owned by one of the original Giordano's guys). Call ahead and order the stuffed crust pizza at Tony's as it takes a good while and it's just a real small sit-down restaurant. Tony and his wife are fun to talk to...Tony's relatives own a bunch of italian places in the Chicago area, mainly in the N 'burbs.

                                    2. s
                                      sweiner Aug 16, 2006 11:21 PM

                                      Go to www.featuredfoods.com and order a frozen pizza (or several of them) from Gino's East in Chicago (I prefer Gino's to Lou Malnati's but both are great). The pizzas arrive in dry ice, will store in the freezer for a long time, and bake in your oven in 45 minutes. Enjoy!

                                      1. b
                                        bohemiana Aug 16, 2006 09:47 PM

                                        For the Chowhound who suggested Masa...the link looks authentic. Just curious...are you a Chicagoan? How would you compare Masa's pizza to Lou Malnati's? Echo Park is kind of far but if it is THAT good and authentic it would be worth the excursion.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: bohemiana
                                          Dommy Aug 16, 2006 10:21 PM

                                          I'm a Chicago Pizza lover and found Masa's not quite hitting the mark if yuo are looking for a pizza like Lous. Masa's is flatter, it's also not that DEEP In toppings. It's above all, a DENSE pizza. Yes, it has corn meal crust, yes it's 'baked' (They recommend you call an hour before coming to the store to get said pizza). But it looks more like a 'tire' than a 'pie'. For a Lou type Chicago pie near L.A., it's Tony's in Placentia... That's pretty much it... :/

                                          --Dommy!

                                          1. re: Dommy
                                            c
                                            calabasas_trafalgar Aug 17, 2006 03:50 AM

                                            Where is Tony's located? and where is Placentia?

                                            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                              Das Ubergeek Aug 17, 2006 04:01 AM

                                              Placentia is between Fullerton and Yorba Linda, off the 57 at Nutwood, just north of the 91.

                                              Tony's Little Italy
                                              1808B N. Placentia Ave.
                                              Placentia, CA 92870

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                r
                                                reality check Sep 5, 2006 07:11 AM

                                                Nutwood is too far south and Tony's is a good distance north of the 91.

                                                Get off at either Imperial Hwy or Yorba Linda Blvd, head east to Placentia Blvd. Tony's is south of Imperial Hwy (meaning you will turn right on Placentia, off of Imperial Hwy) and north of Yorba Linda Blvd (meaning you will turn left at Placentia, off of Yorba Linda Blvd)

                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                  Das Ubergeek Sep 5, 2006 02:30 PM

                                                  I was giving directions to Placentia, not to Tony's... thank you.

                                          2. The Chowhound Team Aug 16, 2006 06:51 PM

                                            Folks, please keep this discussion focused on restaurants in Los Angeles. Suggestions to make it oneself or for Chicago mail order sources are off topic on this board.

                                            Thanks for keeping it on local chow!

                                            1. d
                                              DonnyMac Aug 15, 2006 07:41 PM

                                              I think Burbank Airport or LAX must be within 8 miles of you, in which case you call Zachary's Pizza on College Ave. in Oakland, schedule and order a pickup of a half-baked stuffed pizza, turn on your oven, fly up to Oakland, take a cab, get the pizza, fly back, put it in the oven and voila, the best stuffed pizza EVER! Try the chicken and basil.

                                              1. z
                                                zoomchic Aug 15, 2006 06:54 PM

                                                Das Ubergeek, did you try the thick crust at Taste Chicago? When I was there they had a NEW stuffed pie. Couln't try it because they only sell whole ones and I couldn't wait the 40 minutes anyway. Has anyone tried it?
                                                It is a joke in my family that EVERY time I go home to Chicago, I buy a large "Deluxe" which is cheese, sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers (with butter crust) individually wrap each piece, freeze them, put them in my packable cooler and carry them on board. The inside of my freezer looks like an aluminum foil tower. Work yes, but so worth it. The hard part is having just a few pieces left to overlap my next trip.
                                                mmm, maybe I'll defrost one for lunch.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: zoomchic
                                                  e
                                                  epop Aug 17, 2006 04:48 PM

                                                  yes, i'd also like an opinion if anyone has been to Taste Chicago + had their new stuffed pie. my understanding is that the old one wasn't very good but i hope maybe they're doing better now

                                                  1. re: epop
                                                    Das Ubergeek Sep 3, 2006 01:52 PM

                                                    I see I shall have to make pilgrimage to Taste Chicago this week...

                                                2. j
                                                  jessejames Aug 15, 2006 06:29 PM

                                                  curious how this place is but....any joint that puts the "toppings" on top of a chicago pizza isn't making a chicago pizza...at least they cheese on the bottom layer above the crust...

                                                  1. ipsedixit Aug 15, 2006 04:54 PM

                                                    Try Masa in Echo Park.

                                                    www.masaofechopark.com

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      s
                                                      So Ho La Aug 18, 2006 06:22 PM

                                                      Remember, it takes like an hour to get their pizza @ Masa!

                                                    2. j
                                                      jessejames Aug 15, 2006 03:48 PM

                                                      just seeing the words chicago deep dish pizza and lou malnati's makes me real hungry...less than $70 for 2 roni and 2 sausage deep dish pies incl. delivery---this is the bomb, and nothing like it anywhere in la, or ca

                                                      1. Amanda Enclade Aug 15, 2006 02:45 PM

                                                        What aboout Village Pizzaria on Larchmont Blvd. in Hancock Park?
                                                        Family run and very popular.

                                                        Whoops! sorry this is Brooklyn style, but still good.

                                                        1. Das Ubergeek Aug 15, 2006 02:27 AM

                                                          Chicago Pizza is one of those things that just simply isn't available in LA -- and I'm not counting BJ's as "Chicago Pizza", because it's not.

                                                          There used to be a place out in like Fontana or RRRRRRRRRRANCHO CUCA-MONNNNNG-GA that did it, and I believe a place in Buena Park. I've had the pizza at Taste Chicago in Burbank and it didn't do it for me (but the IB sandwiches sure did).

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