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Vito's Pizza

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engee Apr 16, 2007 12:19 PM

Tried Vito's for the first time on Sunday. We arrived late afternoon and the place was hopping. Only about half the tables were full, but apparently they either do lots of deliveries, or pick up phone orders, or both. The phone was ringing off the hook. From what I could tell there were 3-4 people working. Vito himself manned the pizza oven, another guy in the kitchen appeared to be taking care of the non-pizza orders, and the front counter guy took orders and answered the phones. I ordered the cheese and sausage pizza with extra sausage, my friend got the sausage and peppers sub. After placing our order I noticed that the few open tables needed bussing. I asked the counter guy if the busser could come out. He kinda shrugged and laughed a little and said something like 'yeah - busser, I'm the busser, I'll get to it as soon as I can.' I asked if it'd be OK for me to bus the table. Sure. As I cleaned off the table Vito made joking comments about my chutzpah. We laughed. Then he asked what I'd ordered, and commented that he'd make sure my pizza was great. True to his word the pizza was PERFECT

A crisp crust with just the right combination of cheweyness and crispness. Just the right amount of perfectly seasoned sauce, and flavorful~savory Italian sausage. And the whole glorious thing was perfectly cook. My friend downed his sausage and pepper sub, and then lit into the pizza. Upon finishing my friend said 'I can't believe how much I ate, but I couldn't stop myself, it was all so good' All in all, it's a cute little place with a fun crew and great food. I've lived in Los Angeles for eons, and pretty much I'd resigned myself to the fact that good pizza just doesn't exist here - no longer. We have Vito's!

http://www.vitopizza.com/

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  1. DoctorQuality RE: engee Apr 21, 2007 05:35 PM

    i also recently discovered the perfection of this pizza. i got a whole pie since i think they give off a better taste than the parbaked slices, but i was completely blown away. perfect chewy crust with a slight crisp to it, nice sauce, and excellent toppings (pepperoni & sausage). i was also impressed by the cheese i got in my to-go box. it was the good stuff and not the crap that comes in the green can. anyone looking for a true NY Style pizza needs to look no further. only suggestion is that if you're going to pick up during the dinner rush, bring someone along so that one person can sit in the car while the other runs in. parking was rough when i was there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoctorQuality
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      cfylong RE: DoctorQuality May 3, 2007 12:21 PM

      I was excited about trying this place, after having lived in Manhattan for six years. It is good pizza, has the nice thin chewy crunchy crust, the slightly milky cheese flavor, slightly browned cheese but something just seemed to be missing, maybe just a little too orderly to be NY for me. I guess I expected toppings to be piled randomly on the pizza; this pie everything was spaced just too perfectly. It tasted close to NY pizza, but I felt as if it really was Hollywood NY pizza--good, but not quite there. Will go back if in the area, but probably will stick to Tony's NY in San Marino cuz it's closer to home.

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      alexfood RE: engee May 3, 2007 09:07 PM

      Finally tried today. Good god, finally, some real NY-style pizza in L.A. that isn't swimming in grease. Had a veggie slice and a meatball/jalapeno slice. Perfect crust, perfect sauce. These guys know they're making good food; they were all super friendly. Brought cannoli home, which reminds me, I gotta go eat it...

      1. russkar RE: engee May 3, 2007 09:25 PM

        We were there last Thur between L & D , very good just like when it was on Vermont. The owner laughed when I said the slices look like they have ED (cut crooked). Definitely worth a visit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: russkar
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          brwencino RE: russkar May 10, 2007 08:51 AM

          I went to Vito's for the first time last night. I had the Pizza Margherita with garlic and claims added. I thought the toppings were very fresh and good and Vito is certainly a friendly host. However, the crust, which others here have described as chewy with a slight crispness, is too soggy for me. I like crisp crust and have never cared for a pizza slice that you can fold up and shoot down your throat. Maybe this means I don't like NY pizza, I don't know.

        2. a_and_w RE: engee May 11, 2007 12:05 PM

          Just tried Vito's yesterday and was impressed. The proportions of crust, cheese, sauce, and toppings were just about right. The cheese seemed to be high quality, and the sauce, while not spectacular, was better than Abbott's and a step up from the usual canned. My main complaint was the crust, which had some nice charring on the bottom but was still too limp. My ideal NY-style crust is a little burnt, folds without cracking, and never droops. Someone (pizzafreak?) once mentioned that they need a hotter oven and I agree.

          15 Replies
          1. re: a_and_w
            SauceSupreme RE: a_and_w May 11, 2007 03:35 PM

            The lack of a wood-burning oven will keep any crust from properly forming. In fact, my favorite crust thus far actually belongs to the pizza at Bossa Nova on Sunset.

            1. re: SauceSupreme
              a_and_w RE: SauceSupreme May 11, 2007 03:45 PM

              As crazy as this sounds, I'm of the opinion that wood-burning may actually be TOO hot to make a great pizza -- or at least, the kind I prefer. It's almost like the pizza cooks too quickly, and if the baker isn't really skillful, it also cooks unevenly. I think this is generally why I don't favor true Neapolitan style pies. But I will definitely give Bossa Nova a shot -- can you describe the crust a bit more? Is it crisp?

              1. re: a_and_w
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                silence9 RE: a_and_w May 11, 2007 03:49 PM

                Am I crazy, or is it actually *charcoal-burning* pizza ovens (granfathered into perpetual service on the eastcoast) that provide the ultimate heat blast for a proper crust?? I don't think there are any charcoal-based ovens here in L.A., but would love to be mistaken...

                1. re: silence9
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                  brwencino RE: silence9 May 11, 2007 04:10 PM

                  I don't know whether a charcoal based oven is necessary. I do not believe Barones has one, but their crust is always thin and crisp. I know a lot of folks don't care for Barone's topings (although I believe their pepperoni, onion and garlic combo. is very good), but their crust is not soggy, whereas Vito's, and the other so-called NY pizza places touted on Chowhound are. Vito's is not as bad as most, which usually remind me of a wet, greasy glob of bread (for example, Mullbery's or Johnnies). I also think Dino's in Burbank makes a good non-soggy crust, if you are sure to order the thin crust.

                  1. re: silence9
                    a_and_w RE: silence9 May 11, 2007 04:42 PM

                    Coal is the hottest, with wood right behind. My favorite pizza in the US, however, is at Difara, which uses gas ovens but takes a LOT longer. That reminds me, does anyone know of a place in LA that does a decent square (i.e., Sicilian) slice?

                    1. re: a_and_w
                      Dommy RE: a_and_w May 11, 2007 05:03 PM

                      I dunno if the style is sicilian exactly, but Petrillos does the square slice...

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy
                        a_and_w RE: Dommy May 11, 2007 05:37 PM

                        Is it thick and oily?

                        PS: Get your mind outta the gutter!

                        1. re: a_and_w
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                          SoCal Foodie RE: a_and_w May 11, 2007 06:52 PM

                          Petrillo's is my favorite Sicilian style pizza in SoCal and here's a photo of their family size half-pepperoni/half-mushroom pizza.

                           
                          1. re: SoCal Foodie
                            misohungrychewlow RE: SoCal Foodie May 11, 2007 10:23 PM

                            That .. is ... (weep) ... beautiful ...

                            1. re: SoCal Foodie
                              a_and_w RE: SoCal Foodie May 12, 2007 09:52 AM

                              Wow...that looks incredible!

                        2. re: a_and_w
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                          Snoopy RE: a_and_w May 11, 2007 09:03 PM

                          I can tell you where one isn't--Mullbery Street.

                          1. re: a_and_w
                            George RE: a_and_w Jun 18, 2007 07:33 PM

                            I had Sicilian slices with my "cousins" (they are not related) from Staten Island who took me to the Larchmont village pizzeria. It was really good.

                        3. re: a_and_w
                          SauceSupreme RE: a_and_w May 12, 2007 09:17 AM

                          I should probably clarify the Bossa Nova suggestion; it's a Brazilian joint that has an extended menu, and while the "pizza" crust is quite crisp, it's probably best described as a toasted piece of naan bread. Definitely not a traditional slice.

                          1. re: SauceSupreme
                            tony michaels RE: SauceSupreme May 12, 2007 09:19 AM

                            Are you saying Mozza Nova?

                            1. re: tony michaels
                              wizardx RE: tony michaels May 12, 2007 01:35 PM

                              ugh...

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                      frugalgourmet RE: engee May 12, 2007 03:19 AM

                      Isn't this guy used to be on Vermont in Hollywood across the street from L A City college? If it's him then I found him at last. Yep, this is as close as you will ever get to traditional NY pizza. You got to try the cheese only pizza to find out what good pizza is all about. His vegetarian comes in a close second.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: frugalgourmet
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                        kevin RE: frugalgourmet May 12, 2007 04:29 PM

                        yep across from lacc same guy, vito, more ritzier strip mall surroundings and higher prices if you will (if i remember correctly a slice was a buck eight five in the LACC days, now closer to 3 dollars).

                        1. re: kevin
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                          frugalgourmet RE: kevin May 12, 2007 05:24 PM

                          I think it is still cheaper than flying to NY City. I did not realize how comparable Vito was to NY pizza until I had an excellent cheese pizza in NY. Went back to LACC and he's gone for over 2 years!

                      2. Sklarman RE: engee Jun 17, 2007 11:02 PM

                        "Am I crazy, or is it actually *charcoal-burning* pizza ovens (granfathered into perpetual service on the eastcoast) that provide the ultimate heat blast for a proper crust??"
                        Those ovens in NY don't burn charcoal, they burn coal -- That's right; the kind you mine. They run about 8-900 degrees and produce the quintessential New York Pizza. Wood burning ovens are for (among other things) Neapolitan pies, which are a bit different.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Sklarman
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                          zack RE: Sklarman Jun 18, 2007 09:57 AM

                          that pretty much sums it up. coal brick oven just can't be reproduced any other way. i dropped by vito's again to give it 2nd chance over the weekend. i wasn't convinced on my 1st trip and i'm still not now.

                          1. re: zack
                            a_and_w RE: zack Jun 20, 2007 11:15 AM

                            Actually, one of the best pizzerias in the country (and my personal favorite) is DiFara in Brooklyn, which uses only gas. It's entirely possible to make a great pizza using a gas oven, but it takes skill because you have to cook the pie longer to get the proper char. Frankly, I prefer it this way because I loathe droopy pizza, but the down side is that it's easy to get an overdone crust that snaps like a cracker. I'm guessing this effect explains the occasional reports of cracked crust at Vito's.

                        2. George RE: engee Jun 18, 2007 07:39 PM

                          I don't get it: NY Pizza is not made in wood burning ovens, charcoal ovens, except at a couple of exceptional places. Y'all been in Cali too long. I went to Vito's for the first time on Saturday night. I had phoned in two orders: one pepperoni pizza, and one white, with spinach and with anchovies. Aside from it being $50 dollars!!!!, this was amazing pizza. I was addressed by first name, right upon arrival: not so very NY, this friendliness, but not so bad either. The quality of the anchovy/spinach/white pizza also surpassed the usual in NY--about which I'm not complaining. Took the two pies to my last "Sunday supper," to watch the last episode of the Sopranos at a friend's house. Will be back, Sunday suppers (had on Saturday, due to TIVO) or not....Vito's is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.

                          1. hrhboo RE: engee Jun 18, 2007 07:46 PM

                            Do they serve all their pizzas by the slice? The ones that sound best to me are the "Good Friday" pizza and the "Cheri O Chi Chi", are either of these sold by the slice?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hrhboo
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                              ns1 RE: hrhboo Jun 20, 2007 11:20 AM

                              Not sure about them, but they usually have 6 different pizza's on display.

                              I found the perfect solution: buy 1 pizza every other week or so, eat a few slices, and vacuum seal the rest. BOOYAH.

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