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Apr 29, 2007 05:21 PM

Deep dish Chicago-style pizza in Los Angeles?

We're looking for some good recommendations for a deep dish Chicago-style pizza in Los Angeles.

Preferably, we'd like to find something in the La Brea / Miracle Mile area, but all recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. NOT DEEP DISH, but definitely Italian-Chicagoan pizza!
    Al Gelato:
    I must suggest Al Gelato on Robertson just south of Wilshire for their Pizza. Clare's family is Italian and from Chicago and they opened the restaurant/gelateria 20+ years ago.
    Al Gelato's pizza is medium crust pizza, has a delicious tomato sauce and SOOO much cheese. Their pizza is incredibly delicious. Im salivating as Im typing this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jdwoods

      My boyfriend and I went to Masa in Echo Park once. He's from Chicago and he looooved it =)

      They recommend that you call ahead an hour and a half or so so that the pizza will be ready when you get there.

      1. The usual answer is "not very many places" but I keep hearing about Tony's Little Italy in Placentia.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Yep! Only one place.

          Tony's Little Italy
          1808 N Placentia Ave Ste B
          Placentia, CA 92870
          (714) 528-2159

        2. Thanks for the info. Why do you think it's so hard to find deep dish pizza in Los Angeles?

          7 Replies
          1. re: pepitos

            I used to wonder, too. Fact is that there were some places and they went out of business because LA is/was so health conscious. Gino's from Chicago even had a place here years ago. If they can't make it here, no one can.

            That Masa sounds pretty good, thanks for the info.

            1. re: pepitos

              Chicago is a meal town. By that I am saying that every food item becomes a meal in itself. A Chicago dawg is a pile of food with a hot dog hidden someplace under it all. Not even Carney’s “Chicago Dog” comes close to the pile of food you get in Chicago when you order a dawg. In Chicago places like Geno’s and Uno’s make Pizza as if it should be a casserole baked in a “Deep dish pizza pan” which really is like a “casserole dish” which is a..., deep dish.. A deep dish is a hour long wait and People in L.A. do not understand that. During that hour you are supposed to order beer, and re-order beer again, as long as it takes and the deeper the dish the better. That is why Zello’s up in Monrovia with their 20 minute -- what ever it is they make – is not a Chicago deep dish. Go to Tony’s and enjoy a deep....Chicago style pizza

              Tony's Little Italy
              1808 N Placentia Ave Ste B
              Placentia, CA 92870
              (714) 528-2159

              1. re: JeetJet

                Tony's is ok -- a tad too much cheese and the sauce needs more of a kick but looks and feels like the closest version of a deep dish Chicago style pizza. Keep in mind Placentia is in Orange County and is a drive for LA area types. I think people are overeacting on Zelo's. Zelo's is not Chicago style per se but is deep dish with a gourmet twist -- I enjoy it for what it is but it is not traditional Chicago style deep dish in it's purest form. As for Masa in Echo park -- I did not thnk it was Chicago style thought that is what they call it -- I was so underwhelmed I've never returned. For Chicago hot dogs you go to Portillo's in Buena Park. Pizza in Placentia and hot dogs in Buena Park -- who knew OC would be the Chicago connection?

                1. re: chowchi1

                  Really, who knew OC would be the Chicago connection for Pizza and Dawgs? I will never think down about OC again. I don’t think Tony’s is all that far from L.A. to have a good Chicago style pizza when it is the closest there is other than jumping on a jet at LAX. I agree about Portillo's Hot Dogs. That is the one thing I like to have there. I disagree about Zelo’s being a deep dish. Zelo’s is medium thick even for California standards with a crust that is formed up the side of the deep pan that creates a first impression of it being deep (side view). But looking from above the rest of the deep pan is empty except for the thin-to-medium thick corn crust bottom and small amount of what ever they put on it way-deep-down-there in that deep pan. Hence a 20 minute cooking time. I recall the layer of sausage on the bottom of the deep dish at Geno’s being thicker than the whole Zello’s ... A Chicago deep dish pan is filled to the top all across the deep pan. Maybe that is why there is too much cheese for you at Tony’s. At Tony's, like in Chicago, a slice of Pizza is a meal in itself.

                  Tony's Little Italy (Chicago Deep Dish)
                  1808 N Placentia Ave Ste B
                  Placentia, CA 92870
                  (714) 528-2159

                  Portillo's Hot Dogs (Chicago Dawgs)
                  8390 La Palma Ave
                  Buena Park, CA 90620
                  (714) 220-6400

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    Also, if you call from the road it'll be ready for you when you get there -- so call from, say, the 91/5 and you'll have just enough time to get there, park, enjoy a tasty adult beverage and then the pizza comes.

                    1. re: JeetJet

                      I recently was in Chicago and had Lou Malnati's and Gino's East and can tell you that the cheese is balanced in proportion to the crust, sausage and other ingredients. Tony's is heavy on the cheese but to each his own ...

                    2. re: chowchi1

                      Maybe I had a bad experience, but I didn't find the crust at Zelo's enjoyable at all... too hard and way too much cornmeal (yes, I know it's a cornmeal crust, but still). I also thought the eggplant on mine was too bitter (maybe they didn't salt it).

                      I don't have any particular standards for deep dish type pizza, as I didn't grow up in the midwest, so I figured I'd be able to enjoy Zelo's more than "east coast" style Los Angeles pizza, but I dunno - it didn't do a lot for me the time I visited.

                2. Masa in Echo Park is not Chicago-style deep dish. I had it once and was horribly disappointed. The crust was very thick and my toppings came on top of the (not very generous amount of) cheese which came on top of the sauce. Their cheese tasted like it was low fat or processed (is there processed mozzarella?) or something. Cornmeal crust is one thing, but the crust was like soggy cornbread. Not fun, not yummy, totally not satisfying. Actually, my (Texan) roommate liked it so maybe it was good as a pizza, but I was too horrified by its un-Chicagoness to appreciate it for what it was.

                  It look me almost a year in Los Angeles before I gave up my dreams of finding Chicago-style foods and simply went native. I'm much happier now with my spicy soon tofu, cheap banh mi, and cochinita pibil tacos.

                  Now you chowhounds have really done it. I've tried to selectively ignore any posts that mention Chicago but now I feel a trek out to Orange County for Tony's Little Italy coming on. Just let it not be awful. I will cry if it's awful. Then I'll go online and order frozen pies from Malnati's or Giordano's.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nine.circles

                    ITA! I once waited an hour for that monstrosity with such high hopes... and you described it perfectly... all crust and icky crust at that! :P

                    As for Tonys... it's NOT awful. But it's not like "home". To set expectations... here's my run down at Tonys... one of my favorite pizza joints in the city, but still not all there in terms of the Chicago Style I sorely miss...