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Sep 1, 2007 10:26 PM

Driving out to Petrillo's...what should I order?

Finally making the trek out from West Hollywood to SGV for pizza. I haunt Vito's, Village, Lamonica's, and Mozza, so I'm anxious to see how pizza out there stacks up. My questions:

Does it matter which location I go to?

Should I order the regular or request thin crust? I've seen posts where people argue for each.

Any toppings I need to get besides the sausage?

I believe that a pizza should able to stand on cheese alone (Casa Bianca fails such a test), so I'm planning on getting a cheese pizza and something with toppings. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

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  1. I like the regular crust. Their olives and mushrooms are the best! (canned mushroom)

    1 Reply
    1. re: koshie

      Thanks. Anyone know if they have a menu online?

    2. Try the Petrillos Specialty, It's loaded with cheese, onions, peppers, sausage, pepperoni, salami, mushrooms. If you get a Medium or small ask for the "Pie Cut" Otherwise they cut it into funky squares. The Half & Half is good also it's a half order of spaghetti & Ravaoli....... Enjoy!

      1. I assume everyone is referring to the location on Valley just east of San Gabriel Blvd (since you asked which location). Dont' confuse it with Mama Petrillo's which is on Las Tunas as they are not the same thing. Like Skunk2Racer I also recommend the Petrillo's Special - it's very hefty and very good. Even thought they use canned mushrooms, surprisingly they work well on the pizzas.

        1. All Petrillo's pizzas are made with a medium thick crust (not thick – not thin). If you want a thin or thick crust you must request it when you place your order. The small and medium pizza are made in the traditional circle shape but the medium pizza will get cut into squares unless you request “pie cut.” The large is a very large rectangle which always gets cut in to squares.

          I always request thin crust and pie cut, pepperoni and sausage. Some people like the Petrillo's special. The special has several meats (pepperoni, sausage, ham – not sure?) and bell peppers, onion, canned mushrooms – maybe more? I find that all that oil and moisture from all those toppings can make the crust a little moist -- but maybe a flavorful moist.

          I MO the food is the same at all three locations but I like the San Gabriel location most for the ambiance both inside and outside. The Upland location has no dinning room.

          Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant and take-out (plenty of seating)
          833 E Valley Blvd
          San Gabriel, CA 91776
          (626) 280-7332

          Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant and take-out (Dinning room is not as large as San Gabriel location)
          750 W Rte 66 Ste A
          Glendora, CA 91740-4163
          (626) 335-1289

          Petrillo's Pizza (Take-out only, NO dinning room)
          110 South Mountain, Suite F
          Upland, CA
          (909) 981-8114

          1 Reply
          1. re: JeetJet

            Just got back. I have to say, really good, rich, homestyle pizza. Casa Bianca isn't worth the occasional drive for me, but Petrillo's is. I just got the regular crust so I had a baseline to draw from, but next time I will take your advice and do thin. Thanks for help.

          2. In pizza I look for a tender but firm crust of thin or medium thickness, tomato sauce, where appropriate, that tastes fresh (especially, not metallic), ample real cheese but not so much that the fillings stew into mush rather than bake, and fresh-tasting meat and vegetable flavors, without the stale seasonings common to the low-end chains.

            I tried Petrillo's on Valley Blvd. this afternoon for the first time and had a regular-crust pepperoni, Italian sausage, and mushroom pizza. The crust had the right thickness and very good but not exceptional texture and flavor. The tomato sauce was also above average, and I appreciate that, because so many places are careless with the sauce. Just about the right amount, too. The cheese was okay but lacked much flavor. As noted elsewhere, Petrillo's uses canned mushrooms. There's nothing wrong with that, but you really need to saute the mushroom slices in olive oil (preferably with oregano or rosemary) until browned lightly, to improve the texture and flavor and turn them into little sponges that will soak up flavor and excess moisture as the pizza bakes. These mushrooms had obviously jumped straight from the can to the pie, and I didn't care for their rubbery texture and canned flavors. The sausage was very nice -- excellent texture and flavor -- but I couldn't stand the pepperoni, which was overseasoned with unappealing spice, concealing whatever flavor the sausage meat might have had. (That might be the point.)

            Finally, I applaud Petrillo's for not skimping on the meats and vegetables.

            All in all a decent but not great pizza, at least to someone who favors the delicious stuffed pizzas of Chicago and the extraordinary thin-crust, white-clam variety that sustains New Haven and an estimated 98% of I-95 travelers between Boston and New York!

            29 Replies
            1. re: sbritchky

              You mentioned tomato sauce at least twice and finally close mentioning the favors of Chicago pizza. I thought that was whare you were heading when talking about tomato flavor. The only place near L.A. that I have found that tomato flavor, which seems to rule in Chacago, is at Taste Chacago. The pizza is just OK , not deep dish, but the sauce is a very good Chicago style sauce. That kind of sauce is diffrerent than NY style. A good NY sauce cannot be added on heavy becasue it will take over all flavor of the pie. IMO, that Chicago pizza sauce could be doubled until the pie is dripping with it and it would be just fine. But also, IMO, a Chicago deep dish is not pizza as known in any other city. It is a casserole, just like a layered lasagna, in a deep pie crust (as in apple pie crust) without any pasta but dripping in that great tomato sauce.

              You think Petrillo's cheese was okay but lacked much flavor? I think it has a very clear, almost sour flavor. Maybe not sour but I love it and I think it is the same cheese used at Casa Bianca. I also think CB uses the same sausage as Petrillo's except at CB you get less than half the amount for a higher price all on top of a bad crust.

              I wish all mushroom, bell pepper, oinion, tomato toppings were sauted in olive oil with oregano or rosemary. Now you are talking. That is how meatloaf should be made also. Maybe after they are done and removed then the meat toppings could be half cooked in the resulting sauce before put on top of the cheese. On the other hand, the sausage at Petrillo's is perfect as is.

              Pretty good Combo beef / sausage sandwich at Taste Chicago.

              1. re: JeetJet

                On mushrooms ... I prefer them canned for my pies, esp. if they are the button variety.

                Canned ones stand up better to the heat of the oven. Fresh 'shrooms wilt and end up looking, and tasting, like mushroom chips.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I agree and I never really order mushrooms when they are fresh because they go bad so fast (even at home). I get all ascade jus thinking about it. It would really hav-ta be a high volume Pizza Paula fo me to orda dem fresh mushrooms on my pie.

                  Also, see “Fresh vs. Canned” below. The next paragraph talks about frozen mushrooms. I wonder if some of what we think is canned could really be frozen. IMO, frozen french fries are better than fresh and maybe that holds true with mushrooms on pizza.

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    Yup, agree about the frozen v. fresh french fries. It's what makes In-N-Out's fries so subpar, and McDonald's so much better in comparison.

                2. re: JeetJet

                  i'm curious about the sausage...i've commented on this before and i believe someone answered where the sausage came from - i thought CB had more of a fennel taste...i love the sausage at both locations. for me, the cheese at petrillo's is decent, when i take home, i grate some reggiano on top...perfection !!! i'm 1 week from my planned piiza pig-out - i'm shooting for 7 locations / 7 slices...but i might make it to 8 !! i will post pics of all !

                  1. re: kjs

                    Some people think it's from Claro's Italian market down the street a few blocks

                    1. re: kjs

                      In over four decades of loving the perfect flavor and texture of the sausage used by Petrillo's on their pizza I have recognized it at only three other places. Casa Bianca and Pizza Place California each put a small amount of small pieces on their pies. These two places also use a cheese very similar in quality and flavor as used by Petrillo’s but in a much smaller amount. The major difference is the poor cracker dough crust at Casa Bianca and the high prices at both of these places compared to what you are given for your money at Petrillos. Taste Chicago makes a pretty good Itallian Beef / Sausage Combo sandwich on a good roll using a large link sausage with the same flavor and texture as the large chunks (not slices) of sausage on the Petrillo’s pie .

                      I look forward to your post. Please take notes on flavor and texture of; 1, crust, 2, sauce, 3, cheese, 4, toppings (if you try the same toppings). Have a ball.

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

                      Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
                      1650 Colorado Blvd
                      Los Angeles, CA 90041-1436
                      (323) 256-9617

                      Pizza Place California
                      303 S Mission Dr
                      San Gabriel, CA 91776
                      (626) 570-9622

                      Taste Chicago
                      603 N Hollywood Way (corner of Hollywood Way & Verdugo)
                      Burbank CA 91505
                      (818) 563-2800

                      1. re: JeetJet

                        hey all,

                        just tried Petrillo's and it was not great at all.

                        This is what I ordered:

                        Cheese pizza, thin crust, and medium size, and asked to cut it pie style.

                        yest, still it wasn't great at all, Casa Bianca is better (and i'm not even bianca's biggest fan).

                        i do like taste chicago's square slices. not real pizza, but real tastey.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Cheese? You Gotta at least get it with sausage.......

                          1. re: Skunk2Racer

                            The more I think about it the more I realize that I liked the sausage and really disliked the pepperoni and canned mushrooms. (At least the way Petrillo's prepares their mushrooms. I also agree with another poster that small buttons are superior to large slices when you use the canned variety.) I'll try the place again for a sausage, sauce, and cheese and see where that leads. By the way, if fresh mushrooms turn into chips in your homemade pizza, then you're overcooking them in the fry pan. I like to overcook them slightly but then throw in a small splash of white wine or chicken stock, which the mushrooms absorb readily.

                            1. re: sbritchky

                              It all depends on how thin or thick you slice your mushrooms. For Me the canned mushrooms petrillo's uses are fine by me. i also Enjoy the Mushroom Pizza at Lamonicas in westwood, they use thin slices of fresh mushrooms so tasty you don't need any meat.....WTF did I just say you don't need Meat? Must be the heat.....LOL But to each his or her own. When I sautee mushrooms I perfer using Red wine or Beef Bullion. That is what I enjoy. Well Try it again and Enjoy

                          2. re: kevin

                            Hi All,

                            Just went to Petrillo's for the very first time...What a disappointment. My family and I were there on a Sunday (4/13/08) at around 5:30 PM. It must be at least 80 degrees inside...uncomfortably warm. All three of us ordered pasta. To our surprise, all the pasta dishes were drown in sauce. I mean a lot of sauce (soup!).

                            What is worse is the service. It is very rare that I check my bill but it just happened that I saw a "2" on the drink order when we only ordered one. When questioned, the server did not apologize and even questioned us as we had made the mistake. The server came back with the new bill and said nothing to us...What an attitude! I am believer that patrons do not need to put us with bad service. I will need to find another local pizzeria as my family will never visit this place again!

                            1. re: keithlca

                              Sorry to hear about your experience. I've only taken out pizzas from Petrillos and have never eaten anything but their pizzas. I think most Petrillo fans would tell you to order the pizza rather than anything else on the menu and if you dine in, all bets are off. Sunday was a horrible day in L.A. (especially the SGV) with temps in the mid-90's. They could probably cook a pizza on the sidewalk. I wouldn't go to Petrillos for anything other than a takeout pizza. That said, theirs is one of the best I've had.

                              1. re: keithlca

                                Like monkuboy, I've never eaten anything other than pizza from Petrillo's, and I've only ever had take-out. I don't think that they're known for their pasta dishes - it's the pizza that's incredible (no matter how you have them cut it).

                                Sorry you had lousy service - but, please, consider ordering a pie or two to-go at some point.

                                1. re: ElsieDee

                                  That sausage pizza from Petrillo's is great.

                                  1. re: ElsieDee


                                    Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant
                                    833 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                    1. re: ElsieDee

                                      Love their pizzas and here's a photo of my extra large half pepperoni/half mushroom pizza.

                                      1. re: SoCal Foodie

                                        That's actual size, right? Like 2" x 2"? Haha.. those pizzas are huge and weighty. The only other place I've found that has pizzas that are as loaded with stuff and heavy like that is Angelo's in Alhambra. Compare that to stuff from Dominos where you have to open the box to make sure they put the pizza in it..

                          3. re: sbritchky

                            Made the trek from the valley to Petrillo's on Valley Blvd today. I ordered thin crust, 1/2 sausage, 1/2 sausage/green peppers/mushrooms. The crust was not really thin but more a smashed down version of their regular crust. My immediate thought after biting into the slice was the sauce seemed a a tad too tomatoey -- not enough zip, more of a flat flavor. The italian sausage was a step up from the normal sausage on most pizzas out here. But again, it was a little less robust than my taste. I do not think it is the same as Casa Bianca - Casa Bianca has more fennel seeds and flavor. I liked the sausage/cheese combo more than the other side. As mentioned earlier, all the extra ingredients weigh down the crust. While it is better than the average pizza out here, it still falls into the mddle of the pack for me. I still prefer Casa BIanca any day. As a former Chicagoan, it lacked the "punch" I look for in pizza. Taste Chicago pizza/pizza sauce does not come close to Chicago pizza even though it's a Chicago place. Given many comments have been made regarding square cuts vs pie cut -- in Chicago, all pizzas were cut into square. The only pie cut was NY pizza which was almost non-existent.

                            1. re: sbritchky

                              I had half pep, half sausage. They were both very tasty. The toppings and cheese were the best part of the pizza for me.

                              1. re: sloanedone

                                My kind of ordering!! Glad you enjoyed it! I took P. there for the first a month or so ago and we REALLY liked it. It's still NOT the thin style of his youth (Pizzeria Regina in boston) and for that reason we still perfer Vitos, however, as you noted the toppings really impressed him and the other overall feel reminded him so much of his old neighborhood red sauce italian places :)


                                1. re: Dommy

                                  Sorry Went to Vitos Once, Never again..... Over Priced, chewey crust, Skimpy toppings. $30 for a Combo? I'll take the $12 Mushroom Pizza at Lamonicas Any day

                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    Now you're talking! Pizzeria Regina is amazing. Nothing even comes close. Since I live in California, Petrillo's is the best for pizza.

                                  2. re: sloanedone

                                    if you mean Petrillo's, the atmosphere of the joint was real swell, and does give the aura of an old fashioned pizzeria, but alas the goods didn't deliver. not special at all, the search continues.

                                    1. re: sloanedone

                                      sloanedone. Your post several nights ago has had a substanital impact. IF what we read is true then more than a handfull of Hounds left cooler areas of L.A. to drive into the HOT SGV (well over 100 degrees) to have a Hot pizza this weekend at Petrillos and report there impressions here. I am glad you liked your pizza. Petrillo's also makes a great dinner bread that they give you when you order a dinner there.

                                      Now, if I could just invest in the next place you decide to go to, before you post about your plans.....

                                      1. re: JeetJet

                                        Hey Jee, I'm enjoying my position as the Moses of LA pizza. I'm thinking about going down to OC for Little Tony's so it might be too late to invest, but people say it's the only worthy Chicago style in the area. If you have any other recs, let me know.

                                        1. re: sloanedone

                                          Hey, Pizza Moses. I think you mean Tony's Little Italy. That place is far beyond the spot where WildSwede lost his sandals during his pizza trek to Bollini's. So take water along because you might get as thirsty as that Petrillo’s pie leaves people to be.

                                          Try a stuffed pie with sausage and what ever else your like. I have had enough Deep dish in Chicago to have observed that what makes this type of pie seem so good in Chicago is the amount of beer that can be consumed while waiting for it to bake. IMHO, the more beer the more liked is the pie.

                                          When you come back from the mountain I pray that you have two tablets in your hands – “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz...”

                                          Tony's Little Italy – try a stuffed pie and IMO that is as close as you will get to a Chicago style deep dish in L.A.
                                          808 N Placentia Ave., Unit B
                                          Placentia, CA 92870
                                          (714) 528-2159

                                          1. re: JeetJet

                                            what about Chicago Pasta House in the Moreno Valley? for deep dish stuffed pies.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              I went to Chicago Pasta House once and thought it to be good (we are talking about thicker pies then normally found out West). However, I really have a bias against these thicker pies because I suspect it to be a ploy created by that Uno guy in Chicago. I idea is to make the customers think it takes longer to bake which translates into higher beer sales during the wait, which means happier customers – even when the food is crap. But hey...., for all I know maybe that is what all pizza is about.

                                              Below is a little post about CPH with a reply from a Chicago hound looking for these pies like the ones that they remember when.... I really think that all memory fails over time when it comes to food. Sometimes something can seem OK to good for a long time but once it is gone, “Wow, I didn’t know what I had till it was gone.” Then is “SEEMS” better than it actually was and no one can ever do it as good as they had it before...