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L.A.'s BEST Calzone

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nrique Aug 13, 2007 11:23 AM

I've been on this continuing search for awhile now, my go to calzone was at Buono's in San Pedro. A darn good calzone but last friday they really let me down. The crust was flat almost doughy, seemed like it was not cooked on top. Everything inside was cooked and delicious as always. So I decided to take my friends advice and try a place in Century City across the street from the mall.

I have a new BEST and it's at Johnnies New York Pizzeria! They have a few Calzones one being a make your own version (3 toppings) for 9.95. I tried the Johnnie's Calzone (Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, garlic, mozzarella and green peppers) for 8.95. All Calzones come with a side of marinara sauce which is pretty good. Kind of light on the herds but a good compliment to the zone. Other Calzones are the Mushroom and Pepperoni and the Giovanni. Which consist of Ricotta, mozarella, fresh spinach, roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and oregano.

The outer crust is amazing, very crisp, light and held everything together nicely. If you cut it in half and eat it like a sandwhich the crust will hold up for most of the meal.

The ingredients were all fresh, since the sauce is on the side it doesn't suffer from sauce saturation like most other Calzones. Plenty of cheese and toppings and everything was cooked, I can't stand it when you bite into a Calzone and the cheese isn't completely cooked.

Free refills on the soda topped this meal off.

What really surprised me is that this is a small corporation based in Scottsdale Arizona that beat out a local family joint with a strong tradition of making great food.

Locations

Century City 10251 Santa Monica Blvd. 310 553 1188

Marina Del Rey 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd. 310 821 1224

Santa Monica 1444 Third Street Promenade 310 395 9062

Miracle Mile 5757 Wilshire Blvd. 323 904 4880

City National Plaza (downtown) 505 S. Flower St. 213 488 0299

West Hollywood 8166 Sunset Blvd. 323 650 8128

West L.A. 11676 Olympic Blvd. 310 477 2111

Malibu 22333 Pacific Coast Highway 310 456 1717

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  1. d
    Diana RE: nrique Aug 13, 2007 11:38 AM

    I really dig the calzone at Brahmi's Kosher Vegetarian pizza in Encino.

    Sort a different, huge, good.

    1. c
      cecibean RE: nrique Aug 13, 2007 03:25 PM

      The best calzone i have ever had period is at Vito's. It is called the Mio Fratello. Fresh ricotta, Parmesan, fresh tomatoes, meatballs, spinach, garlic and, of course, mozzarella. The crust is perfectly chewy and can handle the heft of the fillings, which are top notch. Get plenty of sauce to dip it in and you are in heaven. Eat it there if you can but it will travel without defalting for about 10 or 15 minutes. You won't be disappointed! We are from New York and have had many a calzone in our day. Vito's beats them all.

      8 Replies
      1. re: cecibean
        j
        JeetJet RE: cecibean Aug 13, 2007 05:18 PM

        You forgot to mention that it is so big it looks like it should – a pizza folded over onto itself. The long shape which thickens in the middle, and that crust with those little burn spots, really arouses curiosity and anticipation. I agree it is special. To me it is to be reserved for those times when you want to take your time eating and have a serious relationship with your meal – something close and personal. I ate the second half of my wife’s the next morning, cold from the fridg, and fell in love all over again. I think this calzone makes a good travel buddy.

        Vito’s Pizza (Thin crust pizza, slices and try a calzone)
        846 N. La Cienega Blvd. (Near Melrose)
        Los Angeles, CA
        (310) 652-6859

        1. re: JeetJet
          c
          cecibean RE: JeetJet Aug 13, 2007 05:29 PM

          Soooo well put. :)

          1. re: JeetJet
            Normal Garciaparra RE: JeetJet Aug 13, 2007 07:02 PM

            I haven't tried the Vito's calzone at the new West Hollywood location (I've had many a pizza slice though), but I was a huge fan of the calzone at the old East Hollywood location. The cheese *spoke* to me, I swear! If the calzone is at least just as good as the old spot then I'm there.

            1. re: Normal Garciaparra
              j
              JeetJet RE: Normal Garciaparra Aug 14, 2007 07:09 PM

              You say, "The cheese *spoke* to [you],..." I believe you. It happen to me too. What did the chese say to you?

              1. re: JeetJet
                Normal Garciaparra RE: JeetJet Aug 15, 2007 01:16 PM

                The cheese spoke to me in a thick New Jersey accent and said, "Aaay - Eat Me!"

                Actually I went to Vito's on Monday night and tried the calzone (Mio Fratello). It's a lot different from the old location. First, it's HUGE - about the size of a football. Also, it's about $13. It was good, but more bread than cheese. I remember the old place had a much smaller, simpler calzone that was just PACKED with cheese (that spoke to me) and just some spinach inside, and it was around $5 or so.

                1. re: Normal Garciaparra
                  j
                  JeetJet RE: Normal Garciaparra Aug 15, 2007 11:56 PM

                  Ya, me too. I was sleeping upstairs and there was a whisper coming from the kitchen. Kinda sounded like a Jersey accent. So I went down to investigate and the voice got a little louder. It seem to be coming from inside the fridge. I slowly opened the door and all dat I noticed was my wife’s leftover Vito’s calzone. It startled me when it yelled – “EAT ME, Boopie." I got all a-scad think'n it might wake everybody up. so I complied..

                  I never had one form the original location, but I do like bread and maybe that’s why I like this football size calzone. I thought the three cheeses were balanced with the other flavors inside and that crust. I really like cold pizza and this calzone went very well with my morning coffee –just like the left over pizza I brought home from Vito’s once before.

            2. re: JeetJet
              a_and_w RE: JeetJet Aug 15, 2007 12:57 PM

              "To me it is to be reserved for those times when you want to take your time eating and have a serious relationship with your meal – something close and personal."

              LOL! Jeet, that's poetry...

            3. re: cecibean
              Bon Vivant RE: cecibean Aug 13, 2007 05:37 PM

              The Mio Fratello is fabulous! I love it, love it, love it. Speaking of it traveling well, the last time that I bought one I took it to-go. As I was driving home, and making a right turn, the calzone flew out of the bag and onto the floor of the Miata (this was a car that my mother had sold an hour before - I was taking it out for final spin). Some of the foil ripped and half the filling oozed out onto the floor mat. I quickly pulled over and managed to salvage the calzone; the mat did not fair as well but I got it cleaned before new owners picked it up. The calzone was still fabulous with only half the filling!

              http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

            4. l
              LL1 RE: nrique Aug 14, 2007 10:51 AM

              The best calzone in LA is Damiano Mr. Pizza on Fairfax. Order it to go, run in and try not to wonder why the place is so dark. Do not make the mistake of looking in their bathrooms. Or have it delivered. Or be brave and sit and wait for it while you enjoy an import beer from their amazing selection. You can have carrot sticks, celery and ranch while you wait. My husband is a NYC bred pizza/calzone fanatic, and I agree with him, Damiano's has the best calzone (not pizza.) Just plain mozz and ricotta cheese with a side of sauce to dip has the most addictive buttery, creamy flavor. The large is big enough for two meals. Village Pizza in Larchmont is a good second choice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LL1
                j
                Josh90004 RE: LL1 Aug 14, 2007 08:59 PM

                Ive had a really crappy calzone at Village Pizza in Larchmont, as well as a lousy plate of spaghetti. Wouldn't recommend anything other than a pizza there.

                1. re: Josh90004
                  l
                  LL1 RE: Josh90004 Aug 14, 2007 10:50 PM

                  I agree, Village Pizza is the best for pizza. Definitely stay away from all pastas there. Their calzone "will do" if you need one. I have had Vito's calzone, and it is good. But to me, the sterile, strip mall atmosphere took away from the enjoyment. Even just waiting ten minutes for your calzone pick-up at Damiano's would give any screenwriter plenty of material. "The punk rock waitress was in the drug court work release program..."

              2. j
                jessisthebest11 RE: nrique Aug 14, 2007 02:11 PM

                Which one did you go to though? I've been to the Johnnies in CC and SM and the pizza tasted differently.

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