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Vito's vs. Damiano's Slices....The Winner is?

Last Saturday I made a pizza-slice run to Vito's, followed immediately by a visit down to Damiano's. It was about 4:00pm and nobody was in Vito's small new place on La Cienega when I ordered a cheese slice. After taking my first bite I was disappointed (especially after reading so many positive comments about Vito's here on CH). The dough was ok but the sauce was bland and there was VERY little cheese. I would have been very upset had I paid $16.50 for a Vito's cheese pizza if it had the same sparse amount of cheese on it as my slice did. Although I was planning to order a second slice I decided to skip it and give Damianos a try. Again I was the only customer at the dark and grubby place on Fairfax across the street from Canter's. I ordered a cheese slice and when it was brought to my table I knew that I was going to be happier than what I just experienced at Vito's. Although Damiano's crust was almost crepe-like thin in the center, it had at least 2-3 times more cheese than Vito's had----and it simply TASTED much better to me than Vito's. It was so good that I ordered another slice. This was just one man's experience on a Saturday pizza-slice tour but my winner between Vito's vs. Damiano's was.... DAMIANO'S! Next time I will visit Mulberry Street Pizza and Damiano's and let you know which I prefer.

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  1. New York-style pizza is deliberately a little thin on the cheese.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Exactly... I think that Pizza Hut has conditioned America that pizza is inferior unless cheese has been crammed into every armpit they can find.

      Mr Taster
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      1. re: Mr Taster

        I've been a Damiano's fan since 1990 or so (I worked down the street). I've often said that Damiano's pizza is made to be eaten with a straw -- it's that greasy and gooey. And delicious -- grubby kitchen be damned.

        Trying Vito's this weekend...but I don't have high hopes. Damiano's Mr. Pizza is my favorite LA pizza place; Lido's in Van Nuys comes in a close second (although their pizza's couldn't be more different).

        1. re: DanaB

          I don't know what pizzeria's in NYC you're going to, but the quintessential NY slice is, ABOVE ALL ELSE, well balanced with light sauce and cheese. Vito's fits this bill entirely.

          Mr Taster
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          1. re: Mr Taster

            I've visited NYC a few times and ate cheese pizza slices from at least six different places---and I remember all of them having more cheese on them than what was on my Vito's slice. Besides the lack of cheese, I was unimpressed with the flavor of Vito's sauce. I've never been to Lamonica's and I shall put it on my next one-day pizza-slice tour along with a first-time visit to Mulberry Street Pizza. I've tried Village Pizza's slices, but liked Damiano's a little better...

      2. personally I've gone back to Lamonica's. Vito's, while being cool on originality, is damned expensive and too far of a drive for me when Lamonica's is a 10 minute walk.

        Pepperoni/Mushroom or Sicilian Pepperoni, extra crispy. God, so good. Me and a few of my DTLA friends make a weekly Friday pilgrimage.

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          1. I have the advantage of living half-way between Damiano's and Vito's so I go to them both regularly. Of course, I never visit Damiano's when I'm sober. Vito's is pretty great stuff and they have some great variety in their slices and pies. Sure, it's too expensive (and the slices have been getting smaller methinks), but it's so much better than Damiano's.

            With that said, I still end up driving to Village on Larchmont all the time, and Lamonica's & Mulberry every few weeks or so.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sloanedone

              Had to weigh in here - I too have been very disappointed in Vito's. Damiano's gets my nod. but I would still prefer Village Pizza by the slice. For Neapolitan style pizza, please read my post about Bollini's.

              1. re: Jeryy

                I think it would be interesting to note who here was raised on NY pizza and who is trying it now after growing up elsewhere. Vito's, Lamonicas, Larchmont Village and Mulberry make good to great renditions of a *very specific* kind of pizza that is difficult to fin outside of the NY metro area. In my travels I've found that it is very difficult to explain to people who come from places without an indigenous pizza identity (Wyomng, for example) why pizza from New York is superior to Pizza Hut. When you grow up with ads for national pizza chains convincing all non-pizza indigenous-americans convincing you that bigger, thicker, oozier, cheezier is better, then that volatile lump of excess becomes your pizza identity. It's sad, truly!

                Mr Taster
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                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Mr. Taster,

                  You have said it perfectly.

                  Your list is mine (except I haven't tried Larchmont).

                  I had a nice slice at Angelino's in North Hollywood recently. Really cute place too. Thin slice is an option there, they didn't overwhelm with cheese (in fact a little more might have been good) and the sauce had a good tomato-y tang. Will have to do a little more research, but it just might make the list.

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Your comments are very perceptive, Mr. Taster. I was raised on NYC pizza but on recent trips, great examles of that typical NY slice are becoming harder to find. It's as if there's a pernicious lowering of standards especially in any pizzeria with the sobriquet "Ray's." Everytime I go to NY I taste and sample and I'm almost always disappointed. But the time before last, in June, I made it to the original Patsy's on First Ave in East Harlem, recently voted tops by the people on Slice, the NYC pizza website. Patsy's was authentically great.

                    I'm a partner in a group of generic Pizza Hut-like chain restaurants, mostly in Texas and the Mid-West - CiCi's Pizza. Look up the website. The quality is good, the taste is average, but the restaurants are cash cows. The determinant is price - average consumers want cheap pizza - PH, Papa John', Shakey's, Dominos. The result is the pizza brainwashing you describe above.

              2. how much is a slice? I heard 32.50 for a pie.
                more than $2.50 is heartburn territory.

                2 Replies
                1. re: peterboy

                  THIRTY TWO FIFTY!!! For thirty-two fifty you ought to get two pizzas and a beer.

                  I don't think Vito's pies are anywhere near that expensive, even the large speciality ones.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    That is for his most HIGH END pie.... Here's the menu...

                    http://www.vitopizza.com/

                    Vitos is not cheap... but dang worth it...

                    --Dommy!