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Donde esta great pizza?

Ok, so my friend just moved here from the East Coast & keeps lamenting that there's no good pizza places around here. I am taking on the challenge of proving him wrong by taking him on a tour of the best pizza joints in town. I have mine (Village in Larchmont), but I want to know what everyone else thinks. Chowhound majority rules on this & I will compile my list based on your recommendations. Can't wait to see the results!

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  1. Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock.

    1. Albano's and Mr. Damiano in WeHo are New York style.
      Spago for California pizza
      Antica in the marina for real Italian pizza

      1. I second your vote for Village in Larchmont. Skip Casabianca and try Tony's Pizza in San Marino or Mama's Pizza in South Pasadena.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Hailyn

          depends on what kind of pizza you're looking for. one word for many variations on a theme that many are passionate about defending...

          1. re: Hailyn

            I third Village Pizza in Larchmont. Casa Bianca is NOT new york style. It's not really any kind of style except its own and the plain pizza it totally bleh whereas the sausage and fried eggplant as toppings transform the pizza... see my previous reply in this post:

            The one time I went to Tony's Pizza, I felt the pizzeria had the authentic look and smell, and they even had the pizzeria booths that I hadn't seen in ages (back easters know the ones, benches connected to the table in one unit, colored red, white and green) but the pizza at Tony's was too doughy and not crisp-bottomed at all. A great pizza *must* have a crust whose bottom is crispy, whereas the toppings are soft, to provide textural contrast.

            Never been to Mama's pizza... gotta try it. Similarly never been to "Tomato Pie" on Melrose east of Fairfax, but I popped my nose in yesterday and it smelled and looked authentic.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Casa Bianca is a Chicago style thin-crust. I agree about the sausage & eggplant. Alone these ingredients are just okay, together, they're unstoppable. It's pretty much the only type of pie I get at CB.

              1. re: Mr Taster

                I remember seeing your post on eggplant and sausage at Casabianca. I'll have to give it a try -- until your post I'd pretty much written it off, especially given the wait.

                I'm sorry you were disappointed by Tony's Try giving Tony's another a chance -- and ask for your pie or your slice well done! I totally agree about the necessity of a crisp crust.

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Absolutely Village Pizza in Larchmont Village. In fact, I'm nibbling on a piece of pesto with sundried tomatoes this very minute- divine!

              2. Casa Bianca. Caioti. Vincenti on Monday, pizza night.

                1. This may not work for you, since it's on the west side, and it's take out only: The Coop. I really like their pizza. It's located where Palms and National meet under the 10 freeway. Your friends may like it because it has an East Coast "grab a slice" neighborhood joint feel to it (it seems not a lot of places in LA sell slices.) It's tiny, only about 4-5 people can fit in there, and there is NO place to eat, not even a counter to stand at really. The pizza is thin crust, although on the thicker side at the edge. What I really like is the sauce, a lot of sauce is too sweet, this is not sweet and is nicely spiced. I was pleasantly surprised by the house salad which is NOT iceberg, and has red peppers, carrot slices (not shreds, blech) cabbage, a couple of hearts of palm, and pepperoncini. The garlic bread is not that great. Sadly, the menu is nowhere on line. An extra-large pizza starts at $13 I think (cheap!) I got an extra-large pizza, small salad, two orders of garlic bread for about $20.

                  1. Just wait till Batali's restaurant MOZZA opens up soon...Melrose & Highland.

                    That place is gonna ROCK!!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Liquid Sky

                      And I'm sure it'll be $20 for a pizza, with four weeks' notice and a studio hookup required to get in the door.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        An ad appeared in Wed's LA Times food section, 10/18. Mozza is hosting a charity event in honor of Museum Tamal, and will "preview dishes from their new menu..." I called the number immediately, paid the money, got an invite, and am looking forward to it on Nov 5. Hope I have an epiphany like experience, so I can say now LA has “world class pizza" in a chowhound report. Evidently, the pizzeria will open soon after Nov 5

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          FYI, $14 is the most expensive pizza..

                      2. would it be wrong to flip the reply and charge the east coast with not having great pizza either? i lived in ny for 20 years and except for a couple places i think there is little to savor there

                        1. If your friend is from New York (and not for example lamenting the greek-owned pizzarias of greater Massachusetts which are quite different), try a slice at Patsy's in the Farmers Market.

                          1. Please allow me to clarify. Though not opposed to Chicago-style, really what we're looking for here in classic NY-style. Big, flat slices of cheese pizza. He's a pizza purist.

                            Although, I concur w/ epop. I've been to NYC several times & I am always underwhelmed by the pizza...at least at the "grab a slice" places, that is.

                            Carry on & thanks for the feedback so far!

                            1. It's a hike, but Zelo in Monrovia is pretty stellar, especially the sausage with marinated onions and peppers. They use a cornmeal semi-thick crust (almost Chicago style, but less wet ingredient per dry crispy crust). I also like their green salad - it's just lettuce, but it's perfectly dressed - and they generally have intriguing options on the Specials board.

                              1. Angeli Caffe. I am addicted to:

                                Pizza con Salsicce...13.
                                caramelized onion, Italian sausage, fontina, sage


                                Your friend might like:

                                Pizza Margherita...10.
                                tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil, parmesan

                                1. For all the Southbay hounds:

                                  Valentino's Pizza in Manhattan Beach

                                  So many NYers i know say this IS brooklyn style pizza. Not that it matters, but Jay Leno eats here every sunday because it reminds him of what he grew up with back east. It's amazing. My favorites are the spinage whitestone, suasage, mushroom, and peppers.

                                  The trick is to order it take out, and, keep the box open and inch or two on the way homepe. This way the pizza will not cook on the way home and become soggy, giving you the perfect pie.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: young_chower

                                    I stopped in at Valentino's on Aviation Blvd - why are there no streets named like that in Brooklyn? - and took home a large purposely underbaked and unsliced sausage pizza. I asked for thin crust, NY style, and I propped open the take-home box just like you said. Preheated my pizza stone on the Broil setting for 3/4 hour, then slapped half of this huge monster on the stone along with some of my own sliced garlic and JuliAnned (hey, that's what Emeril calls it) homegrown basiligo, plus some oregano flakes, and some olive oil. 3 minutes, no longer! Mannagia! That was so tasty! With a glass of Vin Santo (not really, but red anyway), I almost fell off my chair. What a great experience.

                                    1. re: Morris Malken

                                      Haha... excellent. I never even thought about finishing the baking process at home, very interesting idea. Next time also try a sausage roll, they are insanely good but very bad for you. Glad to hear you really enjoyed it and hope you become a loyal customer. I know I have.

                                      FYI: Avoid the other Valentino's close to the corner of Sepulveda and El Segundo. I hear it's not as good.

                                  2. Albano's in Hwood or the Valley; The Slice in SM; Antica in MdR for Neopolitan

                                    1. Thin crust pizza with fresh basil and tomato at Buono's in San Pedro. Great stuff and San Pedro has the highest concentration of Italian-Americans in LA.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Ernie

                                        is hamburger hut still in san pedro/

                                      2. For some original sicylian pizza
                                        on the east side there is
                                        Petrillo's (the original)

                                        San Gabriel
                                        833 East Valley Blvd.
                                        626 280-7332
                                        since 1954

                                        prices start at:
                                        sml - 12" $9.75
                                        med - 16" $16.25
                                        Lrg - 15"20" $23.75

                                        Also recomend San Pedro, lots of great places there!