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Looking for the best pizza in LA

l
Liskypisky Mar 28, 2007 11:56 AM

Being new to LA from NY I have yet to try a slice of pizza here...any suggestions for my first bite? I happen to love white pizza as well. Places on the westside would be great, but if it's that good...i'm willing to travel.

  1. kealoha Jun 10, 2007 06:02 PM

    If you're truly a New Yorker, you have to go to Paisano's in Hermosa Beach. I have many friends who are hardcore New Yorkers, and they all agree it's authentic. I'm not from New York (Hawaii native, actually), but I think Paisano's is really, really good, authentic NY or not.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kealoha
      s
      sloanedone Jun 20, 2007 02:33 AM

      Hopefully there will be renewed discussion when this place opens:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412990

      1. re: kealoha
        mstinawu Mar 11, 2008 01:13 PM

        Paisano's is great. I only order the NY style--I wonder if their Sicilian is any good. This is the only NY style pizza I'll eat here in Southern California--well this place and Tony's Pizza in San Marino too!

        -----
        Tony's Pizza
        2555 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 91108

        Paisanos Pizza & Pasta
        1132 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

        1. re: kealoha
          d
          davidrauch Apr 19, 2008 11:59 PM

          Best Pizza in LA? Depends what you are looking for. The best NY Style slices are at Paisano's in Hermosa, without question. The best pizza is Mozza. But it a completely different style of pizza. Maybe more of a Neopolital Pizza with a modernistic twist. The Coach Farm Goat Cheese with leeks and green onions and bacon (and sunny side up egg -- if they will do that for you, which they probably will if you simply ask) is one of the most unbelievably good dishes in LA, as is Mozza's meat lover's pizza. But for pure classic NY style slices, you CANNOT beat Paisano's in Hermosa, even if you fly to NY.

        2. SauceSupreme May 11, 2007 11:44 AM

          I'm personally torn between Vito's and Village Pizzeria, as I prefer the toppings at Village better, but Vito's has the better crust. Oh well, nothing wrong with having two pizza joints that I like.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme
            Aaron Black May 11, 2007 12:00 PM

            Mozza really is as good as everyone is saying. I went there unsure, and have since been back twice because Mozza is an example of a place that gets everything right...or close to everything. Sure it's tough getting a table, but the freindly folks there are more than happy to pack up a pizza to go for you.

            1. re: SauceSupreme
              s
              sloanedone Jun 10, 2007 01:30 AM

              Couldn't agree with you more, saucesupreme. Vito's is very close, but Village is so cheap. Hard to decide.

              I thought Mozza was worthy until I went to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. It's top five in Los Angeles, but all this talk about Mozza being one of the best in the country crumbled after Bianco.

              1. re: sloanedone
                SauceSupreme Jun 10, 2007 02:25 AM

                It certainly qualifies as one of those "nice" problems to have. Certainly a better debate than, say, trying to find the best Chinese food on the Westside. :0

            2. msbadkittie May 11, 2007 02:09 AM

              Bloom Cafe (just east of Fairfax) makes a really nice pizza. i prefer the Marguerite or Confit Onion/Goat Cheese (no sauce). my boyfriend raves about the Blue Cheese/Butternut Squash and Rosemary Comte Cheese/Leeks/Potatoes. i tried the Triple Tomato once, but it was take-out and by the time i got it home, it was too soggy. i love tomatoes, so i'd probably give it another chance, but would eat it at the restaurant.

              http://www.go2bloom.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: msbadkittie
                h
                herculesmulligan May 12, 2007 09:42 AM

                I couldn't agree more and was surprised that it took so long for someone to mention Bloom. Once found, I've returned several, several times. I always order at least a small to split with spouse as an appetizer. The Confit Onion, as mentioned, is fabulous as is the Rosemary Comte and, as I recall, a Merguez sausage one. Bring your own, though, as they have no wine list (and no corkage)..........

              2. o
                olsenc May 10, 2007 09:01 PM

                Judging pizza on a plane of just being good rather than getting regional about it, i'd have to say the best i've had (consistently) is the peperoni pizza at Il Forno Caldo at little santa monica and roxbury in beverly hills

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodiebpn1
                  e
                  epop May 11, 2007 11:04 AM

                  people believe what they're told, 98% of the time. same goes for pizza. mozza's media machine is huge, thus the number of undeserved praises

                2. m
                  motley May 10, 2007 08:07 PM

                  It depends on if you want a decent pizza, or if you just want to pretend that New York pizza really is that good. The truth is the pizza in LA is overall just a little worse than New York, mainly due to there being so many pizza joints in NYC. Quality has nothing to do with it, it's just quantity. THere's some great street food in LA, and overall I would put it way above anything I had in NY.

                  There are dozens of decent pizza joints around town, and some of the best have been mentioned here.

                  Having lived on both coasts I can guarantee you the hype about New York street food does not match the truth. You want a great hot dog? Don't go to Grays, go to Pinks. Much, much better hot dogs. You want a great pizza? Go to Jacopos, Vitos, Abbots, Domianos or Lamonicas. Great pizza joints in New York are dime a dozen, in LA you have to be a little more discerning, but it's not that hard, just stay away from fancy restaurants and Dominos.

                  Ignore the snobs and judge the food on taste, not location. I'd start with Abbots or Lamonicas if you want a cracking LA pizza, Vitos if you want a classic New York pizza.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: motley
                    e
                    epop May 10, 2007 10:49 PM

                    well put. i'm a ny'er that prefers the food and the pizza in LA as well. only the very top high end (not including in japanese) is better in nyc, imho.

                    but there are many snobs and nostalgic folks around

                    1. re: motley
                      a_and_w May 11, 2007 12:12 PM

                      Motley, I strongly agree. I've eaten a LOT of pizza in CT, MA, and NY and have been surprised at how decent the pizza is in LA at places like Abbott's and Vito's. They aren't DiFara or Patsy's, but then neither are most NY pizza places. I also agree re the street food comparison -- and don't get me started on ethnic food.

                    2. j
                      Jeryy May 2, 2007 02:25 AM

                      Had a FABULOUS world class pizza (best I ever had in LA) today at a little place on La Cienega in Beverly Hills - Cafe Carrera. Everything there is great, but I never had the pizza before - boy was I stupid. Also try the mussels and the pasta fagioli soup.

                      I can't wait to go back

                      1. l
                        Like go grinz Apr 3, 2007 09:05 PM

                        Best I have had from L.A., Chicago, Philly, NYC (Home for me also) and my East coast fav – Pizzeria Regina in Boston is a special order medium pizza “Thin crust, pie cut” with sausage and pepperoni at Petrillo's Pizza in San Gabriel. You must say those magic words (maybe twice) “thin crust and pie cut” because it is not on the menu and if you forget to say it they will cut squares in your round medium thick-crust pizza – crazy!. This is the NYC / Boston pizza that you have been looking for. Real pizza crust, the sauce is there but not over done, the cheese is the best there is, the meats are very special. I got one Friday night and ate the cold leftovers on Saturday and Sunday for breakfast along with my coffee. Soooo good.

                        Petrillo's Pizza
                        833 E Valley Blvd
                        San Gabriel, CA 91776
                        (626) 280-7332

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Like go grinz
                          k
                          kjs Apr 3, 2007 10:04 PM

                          it's funny, i order thin / crispy small sausage at the glendora petrillo's and they will cut it " pie style" yet, i've been thinking i would prefer the square cut - i was first exposed to the square cut in my youth, uncle pat, born in italy, told me it was "old world style" my dad told me it was roma style ...while in rome i did notice the somewhat rectangular shaped pizzas ...so pops might be right ....anyways, petrillo's large pizza is cut in squares and i've had the square cut at metro pizza when i eat my fav - "triple play" which they indicate is chicago thin crust style...while working in wisconsin, my fav pizza place made a great sausage pizza where the squares were actually cut almost bite size with one nice chunk of sausage on each square...awesome !! so i'm thinking my next petrillo's pizza i'll ask for the square cut...why not ?

                          1. re: kjs
                            l
                            Like go grinz Apr 3, 2007 10:41 PM

                            Yep, at Petrillo's I like the large rectangular pizza cut into squares also (Sicilian style pizza – I think?). But when a round pizza is cut into squares there are some strange corners with no cheese, meat, — nothing. They taste good but without the other stuff it is not pizza. That is why I ask for pie cut on the medium. The small is always a pie cut. I asked them why they usually cut the medium into squares and they told me that the slices are to big when they cut the medium that way. I guess they never saw slices of a large NY pizza. I never tried a thin crust at the other two locations but I will try it at Glendora now that you mentioned it. My son came by today and he mentioned that the Upland location burnt the bottom of his crust last week. I never had that problem at the San Gabriel location – perfect every time.

                            Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant (full sit down and take-out Restaurant)
                            750 West Route 66
                            Glendora, CA 91740

                            Petrillo's Pizza (full sit down and take-out Restaurant)
                            833 E Valley Blvd
                            San Gabriel, CA 91776
                            (626) 280-7332

                            Petrillo's Pizza Upland (Pizza take-out only)
                            Address: 110 S Mountain Ave, Upland
                            (909) 981-811

                            1. re: Like go grinz
                              s
                              SoCal Foodie Apr 4, 2007 11:32 AM

                              Like go grinz (formally like-go-eat?),

                              Welcome back to the board! Your informative reviews have been missed!

                        2. lil mikey Apr 1, 2007 10:20 PM

                          Not worth a trip from the Westside, but I've recently had pretty good slices at Pizza il Forno on Hollywood Blvd. between Highland and Cahuenga in Hollywood. It's a tiny place (3 tables). You get a big slice (like the size of 2 slices) for $3.99. The cheese pizza is pretty good, especially when it's fresh. It has a good amount of cheese, and the sauce is good. The crust isn't the best in town, but when you happen to be in Hollywood, and just need a slice, this is my current best bet.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: lil mikey
                            j
                            Jeryy Apr 1, 2007 10:51 PM

                            Antica Pizzeria in Marina Del Rey gets my vote. And second best (don't laugh) are the made-in-Italy frozen pizzas at Trader Joe's. Add a brushing of good olive oil and a couple of fresh toppings and they are truly the best in LA. If you don't believe me, gamble a lousy $4.49 and see for yourself. Tip- preheat the oven at 300 degrees, bake for five minutes then turn up the heat to 500 degrees for two-three minutes. Buy a couple , so you'll never wait for a delivery again. And unless the box says "made in Italy", avoid it - TJ's non-Italian made pizzas are typically frozen mediocre. Now if somone would tell me where to get GREAT Italian fennel sausage, I'll be a happy man until my next trip to Papa Milano's in Chicago (And I'm from New York)

                            1. re: Jeryy
                              b
                              bulavinaka Apr 1, 2007 11:28 PM

                              We've had and were pleasantly surprised by those Italian-made pies from TJ's as well, but straight out of the box and into the oven... will take note your tips... thanks!

                              1. re: Jeryy
                                Skunk2Racer Apr 2, 2007 01:31 PM

                                try CLAROS Italian market in the SGV on Valley BLVD

                                1. re: Skunk2Racer
                                  j
                                  Jeryy Apr 2, 2007 03:29 PM

                                  Thanks. But it's often easier to fly to New York than drive to the SGV from Venice.

                                2. re: Jeryy
                                  k
                                  kjs Apr 2, 2007 03:59 PM

                                  is papa milano's a pizza place or a butcher ? next time i visit family in the burb's of chitown i will make the visit especially if it's a butcher...i'm curious...have you tried the fennel sausage at mozza, petrillo's, casa bianca, etc ? i forgot to ask the mozza people if they purchase their sausage from batali's papa in washington ( i doubt it but i will ask next time i'm there )

                                  1. re: kjs
                                    therealbigtasty Apr 3, 2007 02:21 AM

                                    Mozza makes all the sausage for the fennel sausage pizza in house. It's ground and seasoned right there.

                                    1. re: therealbigtasty
                                      l
                                      Liskypisky Apr 3, 2007 10:51 AM

                                      Thanks to a lot of you, I tried Vito's Pizza and it was DELISH!!! I can't wait to order a whole pie!

                                      1. re: Liskypisky
                                        wizardx Apr 3, 2007 05:06 PM

                                        a whole pie from Vito's is so good... especially warmed up on a pizza stone making it nice and crispy!!

                              2. r
                                rjm Apr 1, 2007 07:30 PM

                                I am from NY and have long suffered with this problem as well. Amazingly, I've found the best "slice" to be at the Century City shopping center (I kid you NOT).

                                A lot of people will tell you Mulberry St. - however, their slices are mushy and just not great. Also, Domiano's on Fairfax - but their's are extremely bland.

                                1. m
                                  mdpilam Apr 1, 2007 06:55 PM

                                  So, I have been reading this thread and was very hungry so I decided to do a sort of LA Pizza Pilgramage.

                                  I started out at The Coop on National (heard it recommended here before and had it on my list), and was not too impressed. The crust was kind of doughy and the sauce reminded me of something I would buy at Von's. I did like the toppings - cheese and pepperoni. They had about twice the amount of cheese as you normally get, which for me was a plus (I love cheese). It was a decent value, as it was only $2 though. All in all, I would say that I would rate this place around a 6.5 (out of 10).

                                  From there I drove up to Beverly Hills and stopped by Mulberry St Pizza. I was quite impressed with this slice (pepperoni again), and the whole time I was trying to compare it to Lamonica's (previously the only other good pizza I had had down here - Bay Area transplant). Everything blended together perfectly here to create a very good slice; the cheese was bubbly, golden with some grease and the sauce was subtle but good (I didn't really notice it, which was a good thing; not too much, just enough) and the crust was solid as well. Downside is the price, which was the most expensive slice at $3.50. Overall, I would rate it 8.

                                  From there I went to my most anticipated stop, Vito's (of which I hadn't heard before this thread). I went in, and checked out their pies sitting in the glass case, and was a little apprehensive; they looked like they had been sitting there for a while, but I ordered a pepperoni slice and went off to devour it. I was completely underwhelmed. I thought that the only real good thing on the pizza was the sauce. It tasted like it was freshly made. The toppings (cheese and pepperoni) were very average, and the crust, although solid, did not wow me, but maybe it was overhyped to me. It was $2.50 a slice (though I think they forgot to charge me extra for the pepperoni). All of them together just tasted kind of average. I would rate this as a 7. The White pizza did look quite tasty, and I want to go back and try it.

                                  Lastly, I was heading home, and I felt a little unfulfilled (not appetite wise!), so I decided to stop at Lamonica's for a fresh comparison. I had previously had a full pie from there before and was quite impressed (as it was the first good pizza I'd had down here). I ordered another slice of pepperoni, and found a way to eat another slice. I have to say that I really like their crust. Of all them, it is my favorite. The sauce is good as is their toppings. I would give them an 7.5. Although, I have to say that I remembered the full pie as being better than the slice (which I guess would be obvious since they make the pie fresh). Solid bargain for $2.10 a slice too. And, I believe Monday's are buy one get one free.

                                  So, there you have it, my unofficial pizza ratings.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mdpilam
                                    tony michaels Apr 1, 2007 06:59 PM

                                    The pizza pilgrimage! Nice report. Always dangerous to have anything hyped too much, pizza - movies - whatever. Lamonicas is good pizza in any community. Westwood is lucky to have it in theirs.

                                  2. h
                                    Hungry Girl Apr 1, 2007 05:55 PM

                                    I second Abbots. Mulberry St Pizza is TOURIST TRAP & OVER HYPED & OVER RATED.

                                    1. Senor Popusa Apr 1, 2007 12:57 PM

                                      My favorite pies are at Vittorios in the Palisades and like Wildflour on Main Street in Santa Monica for slices.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Senor Popusa
                                        e
                                        epop May 10, 2007 10:45 PM

                                        i wouldn't eat again in either establishment

                                        1. re: Senor Popusa
                                          hrhboo Jun 10, 2007 06:22 PM

                                          Wildflour is quite possibly the worst pizza I have eaten in recent memory. And I am of the "No such thing as bad pizza" school of thought.

                                        2. k
                                          kjs Apr 1, 2007 09:38 AM

                                          i always enjoy the various comments on the best pizza in la and inevitably, the focus will be comparisons to pizza places in ny. i love pizza - hell, i love food and though i do not consider myself to be an expert in the pizza field, my resume includes enjoying the local favs in la, las vegas, phoenix, sf, ny, chicago, new haven, italy ( sadly, not sicily...one day for sure ), japan, even thailand ( so,so,so bad ! ) and i can honestly say, with limited exception, i've loved the pizza at all these destinations - i tend to focus on the ingredients - the quality; the freshness - it's difficult to compare based on preparation - some like thin and crispy, alot of sauces, no sauce, etc i mean for crying out loud how can someone compare a chicago style to a new york style ? it's night and day !!
                                          i just recently tried mozza and i found the ingredients to be top notch - is it my best ? no , but i really liked it. i have to give very high marks to chris bianco's place in phoenix - amazingingly fresh ingredients, flavorful and blended properly...i truly believe a labor of love. locally, yes, i like casa bianca mainly because the sausage is delicious ( petrillo's has great sausage too ! ) and they make a pizza like the pizzeria's i grew up with in the 70's that brings back fond memories of saturday family pizza nite ( nostalgia always gets high marks !! ) for the westside, i liked the pizza at abbott's - didn't love it, but it was good, same as the pizzeria in MDR ( is it antica ? ) i admit, i had higher expectations but it was still good. if you truly love pizza, then i suggest you check the past postings ( and there are many ) check the "best of " listings from la weekly, city search, etc, and i'm sure you can come up with a list of 10 places on the westside alone - try them all and...report back !!! my last comment from the soapbox...i find it comical that ny pizza is often referred to as the standard, why ? i am a NYer but i guess i've mellowed since living in cali...call me crazy but last time i checked, pizza originated in italy, not ny...heck they've even established "standards" for a pizza...is that what we should measure a true pizza by...i don't think so, in the end, it's a personal preference, but i still find it comical that the focus is to find "ny style" pizza, instead of "italian" pizza...enjoy your pizza search !

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kjs
                                            b
                                            bulavinaka Apr 1, 2007 10:14 AM

                                            Bravo... my comments in another post relating to a recently transplanted New Yorker certain eats around LA... In general, my intent was the same. In content, you are the real deal...

                                            http:/www.chowhound.com/topics.385673

                                          2. onigiriyumyum Mar 31, 2007 05:20 PM

                                            I'll add myself to the Vito's crowd. I've haven't really enjoyed a good slice of pizza anywhere else.
                                            And about Mozza...I understand the hype over the chefs and all that, but is it really THAT good? perhaps someone who's been able to actually get a reservation can write up a brief review?
                                            Finally, Mr. Taster, why the "protect chowhound boycott avatars" signature?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: onigiriyumyum
                                              p
                                              peterboy Apr 1, 2007 09:19 AM

                                              a bit off topic--pizza in las vegas. I went to LV once for a convention--hate that sort of atmosphere and smoke everywhere kills me....
                                              Fabulous pizza at Metro Pizza. I went to the one a block off the strip in a casino. I grew up in BKLYN and this was the real thing. I stood and watched them make pies and ordered slices as the next variety came out. worth it and best meal I had in four days in LV. The place also brewed its own beer and that was cheap and wonderful.
                                              thanks....gotta get to vitos sometime but live in pedro.
                                              good pizza here as well at bonello's and sorrento's.

                                              1. re: onigiriyumyum
                                                p
                                                pizzafreak Apr 1, 2007 09:21 AM

                                                Been done several times. Read this one. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367816

                                              2. Mr Taster Mar 31, 2007 04:41 PM

                                                It has been said before

                                                NY for bagels, pizza, Italian food and eggrolls
                                                LA for Korean, Thai, Authentic, regional Chinese, burgers, tacos, Japanese.

                                                Having said that, go to Vito's for a solid slice.

                                                Mr Taster
                                                ---------------------------------
                                                Protect Chowhound
                                                Boycott Avatars
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                                                1. s
                                                  sloanedone Mar 30, 2007 09:29 PM

                                                  Vito's has a pretty good pizza (white pizza is especially good), but the slices are hit and miss because they sit out a while. Try Village on Larchmont and Lamonica's in Westwood. Mozza is great, but that's dinner. Albano's is fine if you're in a pinch. Skip Casa Bianca.

                                                  If you really, really want great pizza, hop on a 50 minute flight down to Phoenix and then take a cab to Pizzeria Bianco; It's the best stuff in the country, and yes that includes NYC.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: sloanedone
                                                    s
                                                    sel Mar 30, 2007 09:49 PM

                                                    My whole family loves Vito's for yummy slices which are great crisped up and consumed right away! Village is ok as are LaMonica's and Albano's, just ok! Casa Bianca was not worth the long wait, especially the time that it was raining and we waited an hour out in the rain and drizzle. I loved Chris Bianco's Pizzeria Bianco after the Arizona Science Center but my lads did not! Locally Vito's gets our vote and we will be there for lunch tomorrow!!!

                                                    1. re: sloanedone
                                                      k
                                                      kevin Mar 31, 2007 11:45 AM

                                                      pizzeria bianco wasn't all that great pizza wise. yeah, there's something about waiting in line for a precious pizza palace but the goods didn't really deliver, it's about the same as Pizzeria Mozza for the most part, maybe even a little worse.

                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                        s
                                                        sloanedone Apr 1, 2007 03:58 AM

                                                        When I was eating Bianco's pie, I realized that it was everything I was hoping that Mozza was going to be. Ingredients are otherworldly, the place blew me away. Best pizza I ever had and I've had plenty of NY and Chicago.

                                                        1. re: sloanedone
                                                          e
                                                          epop Apr 1, 2007 09:49 AM

                                                          agree with sloadedone. mozza is for people that don't generally like pizza, i think.
                                                          casa bianca is a classic chicago thin crust pizza

                                                    2. p
                                                      pizzafreak Mar 28, 2007 06:00 PM

                                                      If you want the best pizza in LA, go to Mozza. They use a wood fired brick oven. No slices. Very good Margherita, great toppings. A tough place to get into, unless you can go off hours - 2:15 -
                                                      5:30, or get there at 11:45, get in line, and sit at either the pizza bar (1st choice) or the wine bar. Forget about a table. If you want a slice, go to any of the slice joints raved about above. They're all the same crap. If you can, wait for a fresh pie.

                                                      1. b
                                                        Burger Boy Mar 28, 2007 03:27 PM

                                                        One word, Vito's, Vito's, Vito's okay so it is 3. Bring on the veggie and the white and guess what according to Iron Chef Mario, twice baked pizza is the only way to eat a slice, that is part of the N.Y. experience when you eat slices. My rant is over, enjoy !

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: Burger Boy
                                                          l
                                                          Liskypisky Mar 28, 2007 03:57 PM

                                                          Thank you everyone! I cannot wait to try Vitos, white and veggie...both sound great! I'll be checking it out one of these days. I already e mailed myself the whereabouts..now i just have to go!

                                                          1. re: Liskypisky
                                                            Ginger Baker Mar 28, 2007 04:36 PM

                                                            albanos. definetly not vitos

                                                            1. re: Ginger Baker
                                                              w
                                                              will47 Mar 30, 2007 04:11 PM

                                                              To me, Albano's isn't really NY style at all... despite the name. The crust is way too thin - cracker thin - not at all like any NJ or NY pizza I've ever had.

                                                              To the OP: If you search the archives, you'll see a lot about this. My personal pick is Pizza Buona in Echo Park. I also think Mozza is pretty good, and the place in Los Feliz that just opened a little pizza place isn't horrible. You could also try Lamonica's in Westwood (or downtown) or Mulberry St. (haven't been there, but opinions vary). Some people like Casa Bianca a lot, but kind of a different style of pizza.

                                                              But bottom line - don't get too excited about any LA pizza places - you're basically not going to find what you're looking for here (at least if NY style pizza is what you're looking for).

                                                              1. re: will47
                                                                wizardx Mar 30, 2007 06:13 PM

                                                                no seriously.... vito's....

                                                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380422

                                                                1. re: wizardx
                                                                  w
                                                                  will47 Mar 30, 2007 06:28 PM

                                                                  That's what some people seem to be saying. I haven't tried it yet myself. Maybe tonight's the night.

                                                                  1. re: will47
                                                                    w
                                                                    will47 Mar 30, 2007 11:37 PM

                                                                    I went tonight and it was pretty good. The pizza by the slice looked a little eh... the edges were too low, and not puffy enough.

                                                                    I got a pizza with no cheese and olives and artichoke hearts. The toppings were nothing exciting. The pizza itself was good, probably the best I've had in LA, but still nothing mind-blowing. The crust was about right, maybe a little too thin in the middle and a little too thick near the edge. The edges themselves had the right kind of puffy parts, but then were still kind of doughy and dense overall - not as light as I'd like. But the crispiness was good, and the bottom of the slice looked about right. The sauce was fairly close to the right type of thing.

                                                                    The atmosphere was nice, but the over-the-top fake "Italian" schtick was a little much to take, with Vito telling some customer that he was going to make him a calzone so big he was going to "run to his mamma mia" (or something along those lines). The menu is full of bogus stuff like this that you'd likely never see in any self-respecting East Coast pizza joint.

                                                                    Anyway, I think this place is probably better pizza-wise than the other places mentioned for having good NY style pizza. But I think calling it "perfect" (as in the link above) is maybe a bit of a stretch.

                                                                    I heard someone there (I think the woman behind the counter) telling Vito how she ran into some lawyers who were going to go after reading the Chowhound writeups.

                                                                    1. re: will47
                                                                      Mr Taster Mar 31, 2007 04:20 PM

                                                                      I can tell that you're definitely not from the New York/New Jersey area. If you were, you'd know that back east Italian guys like Vito are a dime a dozen, and are not putting on some kind of camp schtick for the customers.

                                                                      I think that since there's not an Italian American population on the scope of the kind you'd find all over the tri-state area, Vito seems out of place in that chic, clubby part of West Hollywood. But I swear to you those guys are true blue.

                                                                      By the way, I can also tell that you're not from back east because you're testing the veracity of a NY style pie by ordering a pizza with no cheese, olives and artichoke hearts.... WTF??!!

                                                                      Mr Taster
                                                                      ---------------------------------
                                                                      Protect Chowhound
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                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                        w
                                                                        will47 Apr 2, 2007 02:43 PM

                                                                        I am definitely from the NY / NJ area - born and raised in Morristown, NJ (lived there until '95, then lived in the east village in NY until going to school on the west coast in 1996). I haven't gone to many of the "ultimate" pizza places that people rave about in NY -- but I grew up on pizza from all over the tri-state area, and it's not like any particular one stood out. I go back and visit at least once or twice a year. I don't know why I'd bs about something like this.

                                                                        I've grew up around lots of guidos, I've gone to lots of pizzerias, and I've NEVER heard anything as corny as the stuff Vito was saying. I'm not saying that he's not actually from the east coast, but I do think he's hamming it up a little (Ok... a lot). He didn't sound like anyone I've ever heard in NY or NJ... "I'm going to make a calzone so big you're going to run to your mamma mia". I'm sure folks like Dominick DeMarco (at DiFara's) would never say corny stuff like that, and neither would the guys at any of the pizzerias in my home town. I found the whole schtick distracting... a caricature of the way pizzerias actually are.

                                                                        And the stuff on the menu is way over the top too... I'm sure there are probably some pizzerias that have that stuff on the east coast, but not (m)any good ones.

                                                                        You can taste the type of crust and sauce without the cheese on top. It's not as good, but I don't eat cheese, so whatever. But I have eaten cheeseless pizza in NJ / NY (been vegan since I was 16 or so), so I have some frame of reference here. A well made pizza still tastes great when you're eating just the crust and sauce. And as mentioned in another thread, in terms of traditional Neopolitan pizza (granted, that's not what we're discussing here exactly), a pizza marinara is perfectly authentic. Even super traditionalist places like Una Pizza Napoletano in NY serve this variation.

                                                                        That's not to say that I'm obsessed with only eating traditional toppings - I think as long as the crust and sauce are good, you can get away with some somewhat non "traditional" toppings.

                                                                        1. re: will47
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                                                                          LisaStitch Apr 2, 2007 03:42 PM

                                                                          I don't remember any of those cheesy lines from back east either, I'm going to have to check out Vito's now just for this! :)

                                                                          Wish someone would start a pizza festival, where we could eat pizzas from like 50 different places in an ultimate taste-off. Oh, to dream....

                                                                2. re: will47
                                                                  echoparkdirt Apr 2, 2007 07:13 PM

                                                                  This is becoming quite a debate! I live in Echo Park. few blocks away from Pizza Buona. It's horrible, and so are the other dishes. I'm sorry. I wish I could be more amenable.

                                                                  On a side note, i just went to Nick's wood-oven pizza in silverlake. I found it quite tolerable.

                                                          2. y
                                                            yummyewe Mar 28, 2007 02:57 PM

                                                            Brand new in the last three weeks and Brilliant is the pizza at Cappricio on Hollywood Blvd. at the intersection of Sunset, Hollywood, virgil and Hillhurst. They have a huge delivery area and fantastic pizzas by the pie or by the slice in-store. Open LONG hours, too. Hermano, the owner, is there most of the town rather than his original restaurant up on Vermont.

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                                                              LisaStitch Mar 28, 2007 02:25 PM

                                                              The best this Jersey girl has had here is - by far - Albano's Brooklyn Pizzeria on Melrose.

                                                              Living on the west side, I now frequent Frankie & Johnnie's NY Pizza on Washington Blvd west of Lincoln. I think they have several locations though - I've seen a listing for one in Beverly Hills, and another at San Vicente & Barrington...
                                                              http://www.frankieandjohnniesnypizza.com/

                                                              I've heard good things about Vito's on La Cienega, but I have not been able to get there yet myself.
                                                              www.vitopizza.com

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: LisaStitch
                                                                echoparkdirt Mar 28, 2007 04:04 PM

                                                                Albano's is astoundingly mediocre IMHO

                                                                1. re: echoparkdirt
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                                                                  LisaStitch Mar 28, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                                  Why mediocre? Are you comparing it to something like a Mozza pizza?

                                                                  To me, Albano's tastes exactly like the pizza I ate for years in NJ and still devour when I go back there.

                                                                  1. re: LisaStitch
                                                                    echoparkdirt Mar 28, 2007 09:07 PM

                                                                    have to disagree, and i just was back in nyc...i found the crust soft, the flavor off, just not new york pizza...

                                                                    1. re: echoparkdirt
                                                                      Mr Taster Mar 31, 2007 04:12 PM

                                                                      I agree totally about Albanos (I grew up in Lakewood, NJ). Every time I've gone there the crust has been way underdone, too thick, too floppy and the sauce had a weird flavor to it.

                                                                      Really good "back east" is tough to perfect... there's 100 little details to perfect and I think the problem is that most people who make the pizzas are not from that area, and so they are following a formula set down by someone who is, and as such they invariably miss 10 or 20 of the little details that add up for a mediocre pie.

                                                                      Go to Vito's. By NY standards it's simply good, not superb, but by LA standards he's the king of pizza. Just look at one of his pies--- 20" or so (no "personal" pie bs!), deeply browned cheese bubbles all over the crust. Crisped, browned edges. Sauce and cheese flavor that blend well and don't taste "off".

                                                                      Barring Vito's, go to Mulberry St. Pizza or Larchmont VIllage Pizza. But seriously, Albano's is waaaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the list IMO.

                                                                      Try it, please

                                                                      Mr Taster
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                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
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                                                                        summerteeth Mar 31, 2007 09:03 PM

                                                                        i agree. albano's crust is flimsy and wet. but mulberry's is way over-priced. $22 for a pie is highway robbery.

                                                              2. ipsedixit Mar 28, 2007 02:11 PM

                                                                Who wants pizza when you can have Khachapouri ...

                                                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381823

                                                                Welcome to LA.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  a_and_w Mar 28, 2007 02:25 PM

                                                                  LOL! I had khachapouri in (Soviet) Georgia many years ago. Who knew it would become the latest LA food craze?

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
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                                                                    bulavinaka Mar 28, 2007 07:58 PM

                                                                    How does one eat this regularly (or do they?) and still have any blood vessels that aren't clogged like the drain in a dorm? But it sure sounds interesting...

                                                                  2. tony michaels Mar 28, 2007 12:11 PM

                                                                    Vito's on La Cienega Blvd. in WeHo.

                                                                    1. wizardx Mar 28, 2007 12:11 PM

                                                                      Vito's

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380422

                                                                      Lot's-o-choices and opinions here as well...

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/57860

                                                                      1. a_and_w Mar 28, 2007 12:04 PM

                                                                        The best this recently transplanted NYer has found is Abbott's. This will sound like sacrilege, but get the bagel crust -- closest to NY style I've found in LA so far. One word to the wise, get olive pesto instead of the tomato sauce (which is insipid). I'm not such a fan of their specialty pies, but here are two self-made pies I've loved:

                                                                        cheese, olive pesto, spinach, feta, red onion, with combo crust

                                                                        cheese, olive pesto, mushrooms, red onion, with combo crust.

                                                                        Ask them to do the crust well done, or better yet, crisp up slices in a frying pan or pizza stone yourself. I promise it will scratch the itch...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: a_and_w
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                                                                          bulavinaka Mar 28, 2007 07:54 PM

                                                                          Don't know if you had a chance to try the wild mushroom pizza... I can't see myself going here without ordering at least one slice...

                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                            a_and_w May 11, 2007 12:17 PM

                                                                            Finally tried the wild mushroom, which was every bit as good as advertised. Thanks for the tip -- will try the salad pizza next!

                                                                            1. re: a_and_w
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                                                                              bulavinaka May 11, 2007 09:03 PM

                                                                              Glad you liked it... the mushroom slice has to be reasonably fresh to be great. Avocados are near peak season right now - the salad pizza should be happening...

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