Best pizza in town - informal opinion poll
I'm trying to gather some opinions on where the best pizza in town is to be had. The geographical range is from Eagle Rock to Santa Monica. There are no right or wrong answers here, just the valued opinions of my fellow 'hounds!
I tried Zelo twice. The last time I tried 3 pies including the corn pie. I bought them for a house party nearby -- 8 people. The seven people were so nice but when I convinced them to be truthful WE all agreed "never again." This is simply not pizza. That dried day-old (or two, maybe three days old) crust is so bad. Someone said it is a Chicago deep dish. NO WAY! A deep dish is about two inches deep across the whole pie and that is why a deep dish always takes about one hour to bake. This Zelo thing is in your hands twenty minutes after you order it no matter what you want on top. Also, it is thin -- not deep! Ya, that crust turns up the side of a pan that looks like a deep pan but the rest of that Zelo thing is not thick. I think these corn crust are made someplace else because they just do not seem fresh. Come to think of it maybe those last three were not day-old dried out crust but maybe that was frost bite. To make it worst the price was nuts. Zelo is one of the bad chowhound recs I followed and wish I ignored.
re: Like go grinz
The thing with Zelo's is that you have to throw pretty much everything you know about pizza out the window. They make a CORNMEAL crust (not day old) that is actually very good. But, when comparing it to, say, Carmine's (my fave) there is nothing that would compare since Z's are a completely different animal. I just had it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it!! The corn was my fave with the potato panchetta coming in a close second.
For frame of reference, I like my pizzas thin-crusted, with real (unprocessed) cheese, fresh toppings and tangy (not sweet) sauce. These are my favorite places:
1. North End Pizzeria (West LA & Beverly Hills but there are other locations around I believe)
2. Berri's on 3rd near La Cienaga
3. Abbott's Pizza Company in Venice (the Abbott Kinney location is better than the Pico location, IMHO)
4. Jacopo's in Beverly Hills
I grew up in Chicago and lived for years in NYC, so good pizza in L.A. is a holy grail to me. My explorations over the past seven years have lead me to narrow my list of best pizza joints to three:
1. Jacopo's in BH (though the local crowd can try a person's patience and delivery takes AGES)
2. Z-Pizza in West Hollywood (make sure to ask for your pizza well done)
3. Dagwood's in Santa Monica and Venice
Hard Times Pizza in Silverlake used to have the best Sicilian-style deep dish this side of the Rockies, but either their old chef left, or the place has changed hands, because the pizza is dreadful now.
I wasn't impressed by Casa Bianca and that was the general concensus of 12 members of my foodie group that went there to try it out. We had reservations and still had to wait nearly an hour. I didn't like the crust much but I did love some of the ingredients such as the eggplant and their sausage (the Jon Gold special) that was excellent. It's about 7-8 miles from my house, and I wouldn't bother to drive there to eat there again. Sorry. Even the 3-4 bottles of wine we shared didn't improve reviews of the place. No one felt that the pies knocked their socks off.
I actually liked the Domino's pizza that I ate last Sunday better. Unlimited toppings for only $7 (online coupon special must order at least 3 medium pies) for a medium which we loaded up with pepperoni, onion, sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, jalapenos, tomato, double cheese, olives... We did veggie pizzas with the same minus the meat. Haaa! With all those toppings, the pizzas retail for over $20. They tried to charge me 25 cents per packet for Parmesan Cheese and crushed red pepper and had to talk to a supervisor to get them to waive the charge mind you I ordered 15 pizzas for our poker game! They also would not provide forks or plates only napkins. Sunday is also Buy One Get One Free day for large pizzas. I made 4 trays of green salad and everyone stuffed themselves with all they could eat pizza and 40 people were able to eat as much pizza as they wanted at a cost of under $4.00 per person including the salad and the delivery tip of $9. Cannot beat that! If I didn't use the coupons, the cost would have been about $7-8 per person.
I'd rather eat Costco pizza ($10 for a large cooked $9 uncooked) than Casa Bianca. Now I do really like Casa Buono on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake, that place is excellent.
I loved the pizza at Mozza that is the Mario Batalia/Nancy Silverton joint which I ordered the sausage/onion pizza. Loved the sausage that had a ton of fennel or anise seed in it but my dining companion thought the fennel flavor was too much and that the pizza was too greasy. No $7 special here... About $60+ for two with a couple glasses of wine, salads, maybe an appetizer (can't remember) and two individual pizzas I seem to recall. A lovely and intelligent waitress attended our table. Must be yet another wanna be actress, model, dancer.
Ate at Damiano's a couple weeks back and the pizza was good, but it was soooo dark at night we had to use the light from our cell phones to read the menu. Well, it was 2am, but it's just as dark at 9pm. All they had was a candle at each table and we had to grab a few candles off other tables as it was 2am. Service was exceptionally slow considering we were almost the only people there.
1) Casa Bianca - Eagle Rock
2) Petrillo's - San Gabriel
3) Zelo's - Arcadia
As usual, the east side has the better food.
My lads and I like the blue collar pizza, well done, at Joe Peeps. A slice with fresh garlic/anchovies is pretty good stuff. The round loaves of bread made from their pizza dough, when up on the counter are good to take home. I don't care if New York's pizza is better guys, this just tastes good!
I grew up in Chicago where pizza was a way of life. I have tried most of the places listed on the board here but still think these are still the best:
1) Casa Bianca - Eagle Rock
2) Zelo - Arcadia -- (it is worth the drive for west-siders who tend not to venture east)
I'm going to have to try Petrilllo's since I keep hearing positive comments. I was at Jacopo's in Bev Hills a few weeks back and found it very average and underwhelming - more LA style than anything else.
Abbot's Pizza, 1407 Abbot Kinney in Venice. Whole pies or by the slice - and a very large slice. Wild mushroom and Popeye's chicken (not to be mistaken with the chain) are really good but I've liked everything I've tried there. They usually have around eight to 10 different varieties of pies that you can buy by the slice. Also try the salad-on-a-pizza - sold by the slice too.
sorry to disagree about Abbott's, but I lived basically across the street from that place for five years, and all it made me yearn for was real pizza. sure, the first couple of times it was interesting to chomp on their bagel crust, with the poppy seeds, but after a while you realize the crust basically tastes like baking soda. earlier poster was right about la being good at invention (as opposed to actual pizza) but sometimes it's invention for its own sake, and that's exactly the case with abbott's. it doesn't actually taste all that good after the novelty's worn off.
re: alias wade
Been regularly eating Abbot's pizza since they opened in the 90's - still love them. I've spent the better part of the past 13 years working around Venice, and I often count on them for a quick meal or snack, as well as taking a pie or two home on the weekends. Abbot's is also one of the last reasonably priced food places on that stretch of Abbot Kinney as well. The only thing I would suggest improving is sometimes they tend to overbake the pizzas. When they reheat the slices, the crust can get quite dried out if they didn't pull back a little bit on the first bake. Other than that, I truly enjoy their pies. Like everything that we sense, to each his or her own... Sorry you left, but hope you're close to the hood - the most expensive ghetto in the world...
I must preface my response by revealing that I prefer a New York style cheese pizza, no toppings. With this said, my go to pizza places are:
Barones - I haven't been since they relocated but they make the best re-heated pizza I've ever tasted
Damores Pizza Connection
I've been to the Z Pizza on Larchmont, and I've always been afraid to admit this here....but I think it's so much better than Village Pizzeria. There, i said it. I always found Village to be overly doughy and soggy.
But! Best pizza in LA? Maybe Pizza Buona in Echo Park, eat-in only, and Nicky D's when they're having a good day. Again, eat-in only, but that's partly to ogle the extreme hotness of the guy working the pizza oven. Lordy.
Too far east for the OP, but:
Petrillo's on Valley Blvd. for the medium Special and medium Bianca - both on regular crust, both pie cut - both incredible!
Zelo on Foothill Blvd. - I don't think of this place when I'm craving "pizza" - I think of it when I'm craving something like pizza, only more exotic/complex/involved. And I don't think I've had a single slice that didn't enthrall me for some reason (though all were not great).
And (I know I'll be slammed for this, but) - the Pizza Rosa at Palermo's on Vermont. But that's ALL to order there. The Pizza Rosa is the only pizza I've ever actually craved.
Yes, Vito's!!! My boyfriend is from NJ so I have sampled lots of pizza here in CA and there and Vito's is the ONLY one I've thought was good for NY/NJ style pizza. Albano's and Mulberry St. are okay. All of them are very expensive for pizza, in my opinion, but that doesn't stop us!
For fancy CA style pizza, Mozza's is the best I've had. Caioti can be good but it's very hit or miss.
CAFE ANGELINO on 3rd and Robertson. I don't know why this never makes any lists but I believe by far the best very thin crust traditional Italian pizza in Los Angeles and some of my favorite in the world. Real fresh crushed tangy tomato sauce even the artichokes are fresh.
For more NY slices I definitely agree with ABBOT'S On Abbot Kinney as opposed to Pico.
Also this may sound strange and it varies from store to store but the Pizza slabs by the slice at WHOLE FOODS are pretty good.
For a thicker Italian crust pizza I also like ANGELI CAFE on Melrose but their paninis are even better.
Not a fan of the ORSO pizza and I spent more than my fair share of time there.
DAMIANO'S is hit or miss but can hit the spot if looking for a pizza at 2am.
Had Cafe Angelino's pizza last night and it was quite a pleasant surprise.
Napoletano Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies, capers) on a paper-thin crust. So tasty--a simple pizza with just the right amount of toppings.
Judging from how clean my friend's plate was, it seems the Spaghetti with Clams is another winner.
In this pie dude's humble opinion,
1) VITO'S. He's most definitely back. And better than before.
2) VILLAGE. Consistently good whole when they're not too busy but,
point deductions for its slices.
3) CASA BIANCA. Meatball and onion; Eggplant and sausage. 'nuff said.
4) TOMATO PIE. Solid, unpretentious, tidy and welcoming in a way that its scruffy neighbors, Albano's and Damiano's, are not.
If geography is no boundary -- when is it ever for a true pizza head? -- I implore you as in previous posts to invest in the drive to:
1) SLICE OF NY, Seal Beach. SoCal's best slice. Period.
2) ROSARIO'S, Carson. The only less-than-thin crust pie to make this list. For over two decades, this classic, old school red sauce house has perfected the blending of copious toppings without soggying a solid and far-from bready crust. SoCal's most satisying pie also features the best sauce with more than a hint of chianti in the mix.
I'm in love with Il Capriccio Pizzeria in Los Feliz. Amazing crust that's crispy and chewy at once, very high quality toppings. A runner-up to Mozza.
My faves, in no particular order:
* CASA BIANCA in Eagle Rock, although I wish they used better topping ingredients (for example, fresh mushrooms rather than canned;
* LITTLE TONI'S on Lankershim in North Hollywood, a classic NY-style pie (they use hald mozzarella and half cheddar);
* CAIOTI in Studio City, the domain of Ed LaDou, inventor of the California Pizza (and twenty times better than CPK, even though Ed wrote their menu) -- they have good NY style too;
* MAZZARINO'S in Sherman Oaks;
* Best in my neighborhood (Los Feliz) is PALERMO on Vermont (I can't wait till I'm off my diet to try the new IL CAPRICCIO!)
* JOE PEEP'S on Magnolia in Valley Village, although I've had problems with their service;
* My favorite deep-dish-style has always been GEORGIO'S in Studio City, but I must admit I haven't been there in a while.
* NUMERO UNO is insanely inconsistent. Depending on the branch and the time of the month or something, I've had the best pizza I've ever had in L.A., and far and away the worst. I tend to avoid them because believe me, their worst is *really* bad.
* I've learned not to diss other's tastes in pizza, but places others have raved about that I've never gotten include D'AMORE'S, BIG MAMA AND PAPA, AMECI, RENO'S, and any of the chains.
maxzook, you have probably by now read J. Gold's memorial piece on the late founder/owner of Casa Bianca, wherein the gentleman is quoted as saying his choice of canned mushrooms was deliberate. He insisted that fresh mushrooms throw off too much liquid, thus disrupting the desired texture of the topping mixture, and that only canned ones should be used for that reason. I'm not sure of the man's science, but I do know that the pizza I grew up with always had canned mushrooms on it, and I have always considered them the correct choice. It appears I am not alone...Casa Bianca is the first pizza I've had in many years that returns me to the first bites of my first real pizza-parlor pizza (Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pizza kits don't count), and trembling with the delight of discovering a new favorite Food Group.
re: Will Owen
I've been back to Casa Bianca twice since I posted the above in April, and had pizzas with mushrooms both times, and I've concluded that their use of canned shrooms is a definite minus. Of course throwing fresh uncooked mushrooms on a pizza is a recipe for a soggy disaster, but I don't see how that's a justification for using canned product.
My brother, who makes the best non-pizzeria pizza anyone I know has ever had anywhere, puts fresh shiitakes on skewers and roasts them over a gas grill before putting them on pizzas. I've heard of other restaurants that fry them in olive oil.
The difference between a canned mushroom and a fresh one, raw or cooked, is the difference between a compromised pizza and a potentially great one.
YMMV, of course.
Banish the canned, sparse and sloppily apllied with pizza your way. Build a gourmet pie to your particular liking using a basic frozen thin crust California Pizza Kitchen pizza (~$5 on sale) as a starting point. Definitely fry or fire roast (the not too delicate) veggies of choice like hatch green chiles, red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, bermuda onions, asparagus or even Japanese eggplant. Avoid tomato and spinach. Trick is to dry off the veggies and remove any excess oil or moisture. Add to the base pizza about half way thru the cycle. Not as tedious as from scratch and nearly as satisfying.
This is probably tangential to the intent of the original post - but my favorite pizza-ish item in LA is the Fantasia Calzone at Il Forno in Santa Monica. It's sooooooo good!
Also, I haven't been there in years, but I used to really like the pizza at Allegria in Malibu...
Are you joking me?? White Pie at Vito's..... or the margherita at Vito's......
Try either one of them whole.
I've tried a handful ( numerous ones rec'ed from Chowhound), and my top 3 goes:
1) Mulberry St
Haven't been to D'Amores, Joe Peeps, or Casa Bianca, but they are on my list.
If you're JUST talking about the pizza -- without regard to the price or the service or the attitude -- then I strongly recommend trying Damiano's on Fairfax at Beverly. I like thin crispy crust and not a ton of cheese, so this place is good for me but the service and attitude for dine-in is awful, I boycotted for years. Mulberry Street became my first and I bought there at least once a week for a year solid, excellent pizza and pricey but worth it. Abbot's Pizza is very good too but their crust is thicker / chewier than I prefer, and they have flavored crusts and some atypical toppings which are good for a change.
I'm not saying it's the best, but lately I've been pleased with the white pie (Sal's Special) and the shrimp (Tucci's) pizza at Tarantino's in Pasadena. If you like garlic on your pizza, this could be the place for you.
My current favorites:
Il Forno on Hollywood Boulevard, about 2 blocks west of Cahuenga. I had a 16" cheese pizza from there last week and it was very good.
Mullberry Street in BH. I like the pepperoni pizza and the Hawaiian.
Lamonica's downtown. I like the sausage and mushroom pizza by the slice.
GARLIC&PEPP - Nicky D's
BASIL&TOMATO - Albano's
GOURMET/SPECIALTY - Pace
LATE NITE - Damiano's on Fairfax
Doug Aranagos Restaurant in West Hollywood. The pizza is so thin and crisp. The chef Chris will not even give a hint on how he makes his crust. Big Secret.
Bored at work I compiled a list of all the restaurants mentioned as having the "best pizza," putting an "x" next to each time it got a mention. I was curious to see what the top 3 were, so here they are in a nice little countdown…enjoy!
With a two way tie and 4 total votes:
1066 Gayley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
6335 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
An amazing 4 way tie, with a total of 5 votes each:
Abbot's Pizza Company
1407 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Albano's Brooklyn Pizzeria
7261 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
833 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
328 E Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA 91006
There was a three way tie for number one, each receiving a total of 7 votes:
328 E Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA 91006
Mulberry Street Pizza
846 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Abbott's Pizza Company– xxxxx (5
)Albano's – xxxxx (5)
Ameci – x
Angeli Cafe – x
Angelini Hostería – x
Antica – xxx (3)
Barones – x
Berri's – x
Bossa Nova – x
Cafe Angelino – x
Café Divino – x
Caioti – x
California Pizza Kitchen – x
Carmines – xx
Casa Bianca – xxxxxxx (7)
Dagwood's – x
Damiano's – xx
D'Amore's – xx
Domenicos – x
Domenico's – x
Doug Aranagos – x
Il Buco – x
Il Capricio –x
Il Forno – x
Jacopo's – xx
Joe Peep's New York style Pizza – xxx (3)
Johnnies – x
La Buca – x
Lamonicas – xxxx (4)
Lampost Pizza – x
Little Toni’s – x
Mazzarino’s – x
Mozza – xxx
Mulberry Street Pizza – xxxxxxx (7)
Nicky D’s – xx
North End Pizzeria– x
Numero Uno – x
Orso’s – x
Pace – x
Petrillo's – xxxxx (5)
Pizza Buona – x
Pizza Next Door – x
Pizza Rosa – x
Pizza USA – x
Rocco's – xxxx (4)
Rosario’s – x
Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen – x
Slice of NY – x
Spago – xx
The Slice – x
Tomato Pie – x
Tony’s – xx
Villiage Pizza – xx
Vincenti – x
Vito’s – xxxxxxx (7)
Zelo’s – xxxxx (5)
Z-Pizza – x
I don't know about "in town," but the best pizza within my my Comfortable Pizza Radius (i.e., the distance I'd cheerfully travel from home specifically to get a pizza -- bearing in mind that nobody delivers to where I live) is at Rocco's in Topanga Canyon. Frank Rocco, who opened the place in the 80s,* is from Philadelphia, so I have to assume it's a Philly-style pizza (if there is such a thing); terrific chewy crust, and excellent cheese, sauce, and toppings. The best they make, in my view, is the scampi and fresh basil, which is really, REALLY good. Plus in the summer, you can sit outside on the shaded patio and sock down some Sierra Nevadas with your pie.
*Frank and his wife Marlene retired a few years ago and sold the store to the guy who'd been his second cook for a long, long time; even though the owner is not from Philly -- unless there's a Philly somewhere in Mexico -- the quality has not changed.
Probably will never make it to the "A" list, but when all else is unavailable, I go to Papa Ricco's at the corner of Olympic and La Brea. Truly worthy of being a chowhound find, they're gourmet pizzas with either olive pesto or garlic pesto sauces rock! Ya, ya, we all know who the "best" are and where they are. For me, this place is a leader of "the rest".
re: Normal Garciaparra
NY Style Thin Crust.......LAMONICA'S Westwood
Semi Thick Crust...... PETRILLO'S
BEST CHEAP Pizza hand Tossed so VERY Uneven Thick Edges Almost paper thin Centers...... FOLLIERO'S Try the Lasagna Dinner with Salad with italian dressing YUM!
Oh and for just Plain pepperoni pizza.....Maria's on Pico across from the westside pavillion. The Special with practically everything is SOOOO Soggy Watery MESS!
Vito's in West Hollywood and Valentino's in Manhattan Beach, for slice joints
Mozza for "fancy" pizza
Casa Bianca's deluxe and sausage pizzas rock my socks, and I've had some really great pizza at Lamonica's, too.
Petrillo's is okay by me, but I've never been bowled over by their efforts.
And for tremendous pizza that may not be pizza, Mozza is maaaahhhvelous..
I've yet to try Zelo or Vito's, but they're now on my must-try list..
Read my review of Bollini's in Monterey Park - Great, but Neapolitan style pizza is not to everyone's taste. I am eagerly awaiting the opening of Terroni's on w. Third near Fairfax - it's a branch of a Toronto chain and if the pizza here is 3/4 as good, we're in for fabulous pizza. (If not, blame the water!) Antica Pizzeria in Marina DEl Rey and Al Gelato on Robertson also top my list.
I love Bollini's. I went there after reading your posting since it is close by. I've been waiting for a good neopolitan pizza place in SGV and Bollini's hits it right on the head. I wish they had a bigger dining room, but it won't stop me from picking up from there. The Cal Bianco and Nonna pizzas are my favorites. Pasta is quite good too.
I'm gonna put a vote in for Dino's on West Burbank at North Hollywood way. I love their salads too.
I love me some Dino's in Burbank. on the corner of Burbank Blvd. & Hollywood Way.
I'm really surprised nobody mentioned it.
I really enjoy Joe Peep's "Blue Collar Pizza". But I've found that I've been getting sub-par pizza's more often. Maybe 3 of the last 10 have been a disappointment from Joe Peep's. And if you do go for the 3000 calorie pizza, I would recommend 1/2 toppings is you decide on a multiple topping pizza.
I find Dino's a notch above Joe Peeps in taste and Dino's is much more consistent.
re: 420 Reasons to eat
I've found quality is much more consistent when Martin is there or one of his veteran employees. Sometimes, the new folks forget to do "well done" or to put the "parmessan cheese to the edge" i've requested. I pick up, so I can check it myself on those occasions when I don't recognize the manager. Maybe a little annoying, but I like their pie better than Dino's when its done right.
Listen all you biatches, I am a pizza connoiseur. I know good pizza. I eat it all the f**ing time. I love pizza and I've been to every pizza joint from Venice to Altadena. I hate to admit it, but the sausage pizza at Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock is the best pizza I have ever had. There must be crack in that pizza cause I am addicted. seriously though...that pizza is dangerous. It's so good, I can't stop eating it. It is making me FAT. I am getting fat because of it.
As for artsy fartsy pizzas, Zelo's in Arcadia wins hands down. Who would have thought eating a corn pizza on a cornmeal crust would be amzingly good. well, it is...I am shocked too.
Casa De Pizza (In the SFV) Corner of SFM & Woodley) has great Pizza. When I lived in Burbank I would drive 40 minutes in traffic just to get a pie. By the time I was home I usually ate half the pie. If you can, sit in the Sinatra Room, always packed on the weekends.
I hope this List helps you find some of the Best Pizza in Los Angeles!!
TOP PICKS FOR PIZZA IN LA
1. CASA BIANCA PIZZA PIE
1650 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
2. PETRILLO'S PIZZA
833 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
3. *JOE'S PIZZA (The Original World Famous Joe's Pizza from New York)
111 BROADWAY @ OCEAN AVENUE
Santa Monica, CA 90401
* FOOTNOTE: Why is this not on anybodys list or acknowledged? Inquiring minds want to know.
4. MULBERRY STREET PIZZERIA
240 S. Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
347 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
17040 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316
5. ZELO PIZZERIA
328 E Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA 91006
6. BARONE'S FAMOUS ITALIAN RESTAURANT
13726 Oxnard St
Van Nuys, CA 91401
7. CAIOTI PIZZA CAFE (Famous Ed LaDou of Calif Pizza Kitchen/Orig. Spago Pizza Chef)
4346 Tujunga Ave
Studio City, CA 91604
8. MAZZARINO'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
12920 Riverside Dr
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
9. LAMONICA'S NEW YORK PIZZA
1066 Gayley Ave
Westwood, CA 90024
10. *The RAINBOW BAR & GRILL (next to The Roxy Theatre)
9015 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
* FOOTNOTE: Yeah, I know this is an unlikely place to find the best pizza of all places,
but YES! you will find great pizza here!
11. LIDO PIZZA
15232 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91411
12. BROOKLYN PIZZERIA
6745 Tampa Ave
Los Angeles, CA 91335
13. RED BALLS PIZZA
6549 Topanga Cyn Blvd
Canoga pk, 91303
14. SBARRO PIZZA (My Favorite pizza chain found in shopping malls)
If there is something you don't see on this list,
Its because I haven't tried it yet.
12910 Magnolia Blvd #G
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
On Petrillo's: If you like big, flabby-textured, gray canned-mushroom slices, you come to the right place! Otherwise, stick to Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, and green peppers, e.g. The tomato sauce has that processed-tomato and stale spices aroma and flavor, but it's not too off-putting. I will say that everything at Petrillo's has a nicer taste and mouth-feel if you order the off-the-menu thin crust and have your pie cooked until well done.
Although I like many of the spots heretofore mentioned, for pizza like I've enjoyed in Naples, I go to Pizzicotto in Brentwood. The ingredients are top notch and the crust is always nicely charred.
I stand corrected! Last night I went to Vito's with my familiy and we could not have had a better experience. The staff was very helpful (and with a 2yr old and a 2 month old we need all the help we can get). The Pizza exceeded my expectations on every level. I read a lot of posts and generally think the truth lies someplace in the middle, not here. It's hands down the best in LA, I am now a follower of Vito's and will defend it to my death, or at least until I find something better.
re: Ciao Bob
well, it's either inconsistent or very different tastes. we had five different slices at vito's last night, and the only one even "good" was the white with pesto. the cheese and the meat ball were virutally tasteless. maybe anywhere can have an off night, but vito's was a huge disappointment. lamonica's has the best consistent slice in my book. being from the east coast is a problem re: pizza -- as other than the high price italian places (spago, zucca, palmieri,etc) good pizza is a rarity in l.a.
Who would have thought that pizza can elicit such passionate debates. Here's my list (I'm not going to list Mulberry and Casa Bianca cuz it's been named so often):
Good when it's good but BAD when it's bad:
DAMIANO'S ( I do prefer their spinach calzone)
NUMERO UNO (I agree, it depends on location)
Whatever their style...it's pretty good to me:
PAGLIACCIS (Studio City)
QUICKIE'S (Studio City)
ROCCO'S (on Wilshire - their white sauce pizza is so good)
I'm a NY transplant here for 18 years, and I'd pretty much given up on getting a real NY slice in LA. Nothing I've tried here (and I've tried almost every one mentioned on this whole thread) has been above 'not bad.' Vito's came close, but their sauce, in my estimation, has too much going on (onion etc.) The best NY pizza sauce tastes of tomato with maybe a hint of garlic and herbs and that's it. Then I tried Joe's in Santa Monica. It wasn't the best slice I ever ate in my life, but it was the first I've eaten west of NY that passed muster on all counts. The crust was thin, crisp but chewy, and charred, the sauce was just good strained tomatoes (sounds plain, but tastes like a delicious one-note symphony) and the cheese was flavorful, creamy and stretchy with just the right amount of orange run-off. The crust is the real star here simply because a good one in this town is such a rarity. Thin and pliant yet still offering just the right challenge to my tooth, it was more than just a vehicle for toppings. It was a treat in its own right. Joe's pizza had the spare balance and simplicity that most pizzamakers outside of NY are too cowardly to pursue. Most hedge their bets by loading up on stringy cheese salty sauce and heavy toppings. That's the easy way out. Try it. You may not like it, but more for me.