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Best Pizza (NY Style) in LA

ElJeffe Sep 16, 2007 01:11 PM

I really do hate pretentious restaurant posts, but when it comes to pizza, my nose is up in the air with the best of them. I'm looking for decent NY style pizza in LA, but the situation is so dire, I'll just take nominations for best pizza. First, let’s set a few ground rules before you even think about replying to this post. To dispel some popular notions:

1) Pizza in LA is really not that bad --- WRONG. Per capita, this has got to be the most pathetic offerings of pizza pies in the country. I'll attribute that partially to lower popularity due to health fanatic LA residents, and partially because locals have never really experienced the real thing so don't know any better.
2) Big triangle slices = NY style -- WRONG. While key to a good NY style pie, having a thin, non-distracting crust is equally important.
3) Sausage should come in chunks -- WRONG. The best NY style pie virtually always has sausage sliced thin similar to pepperoni.

Been to Abbots..swill. Been to Mulberry St...Congratulations, a NY style pie with interesting toppings, but not a very good one. Been to Mozza...decent, but at the end of the day, average. Without out a doubt, the best I've been to is Manhattan pizza right next to the pier. But unless you like the ambience of a 1950s bomb shelter, hard to motivate to go out of your way to get there.

As I head East of the 405 about twice a year at best, I'm enforcing the strict "LA" qualification. Larchmont? Sorry. Burbank. Sorry. Pasadena. Buh-bye. Even Silver Lake/Eagle Rock qualifies as an overnight trip. If it’s in the Valley, it better be right over the hill.

So let's hear it people. Is there anything else out there? Or am I doomed to a life without good pizza?

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  1. maxzook RE: ElJeffe Sep 16, 2007 01:38 PM

    Others have disagreed (violently), but IMHO the closest thing to NY style pizza in SoCal can be found at Little Toni's in North Hollywood.

    A good thin crust, crispy but sufficiently pliant for the slice to be folded. The cheese is half mozzarella and half cheddar, which is a combo I've only seen elsewhere in Manhattan. Good toppings.

    Note: they're closed for lunch but open until 2 am.

    Little Toni's
    4745 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

    1 Reply
    1. re: maxzook
      addy rourke RE: maxzook Sep 6, 2009 06:24 PM

      Sorry, but as a NYC resident for nearly 20 years I can tell you that Little Toni's is possibly the farthest thing from NYC pizza I have had in LA. Totally not what the original poster will be looking for. I too am looking for a good NY slice out here..unsuccessfully.

    2. a_and_w RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 12:27 PM

      I've eaten a lot of pizza in CT, MA, and NYC. I frankly think people who dismiss the pizza in LA are full of it. Abbott's is far better than "swill" and anyone that includes "Mozza" in a discussion of NY-style pizza obviously has no idea what they're looking for. Vito's, Abbott's, and Lamonica's are all places that do pizza better than 90% of the slice joints in NYC.

      1. mrshankly RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 01:15 PM

        Village Pizza on Larchmont or Damiano's on Fairfax... they are the closest thing to authentic NY pizza in this city and the closest thing to getting good pizza in the "LA area". Lamonicas has the closest Sicilian style pizza to NY but their regular slices are hit and miss... mostly miss lately compared to what they used to be like 10 or so years ago.

        Keep in mind that you're talking about LA here and EVERY trip around can be qualified as an overnight trip. It's not New York and it never will be (in some cases, for the better). Angelenos could criticize NY for the mediocre Mexican food, but that wouldn't be fair would it? Also, you're not doomed to a life without good pizza. Jet Blue sells round trip tickets to NY from Burbank every day... even one way tickets for those who really hate this city. I think I heard someone say Buh-bye? j/k

        1. s
          silence9 RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 01:20 PM

          Hi... Um, did you deliberately leave out Vito's (on La Cienega), in order to make your case appear plausible? Vito's even thin-slices their sausage topping per your mandate. If you've tried it and don't like it, so be it (but it's curious that you poo-poo'd other local joints and left Vito's completely out of the equation); if you've never tried it, you've been residing under a pretty sound-proofed rock as of late; and if you've tried it and do like it, then your complaint is rendered wan... And as for L.A.'s supposed surplus of health-conscious pilate-o-bots and dieters, I don't suppose you've come across the multitude of taco trucks, burger joints, and cupcake emporiums dotting the landscape yet? I recommend the local 1000 calorie chicherrone taco, poste-haste!

          2 Replies
          1. re: silence9
            wutzizname RE: silence9 Sep 17, 2007 02:09 PM

            No, he left out EVERYTHING east of the 405 to make his case, which is then, no case. Next.

            1. re: silence9
              treeboy RE: silence9 Sep 23, 2007 08:14 PM

              I agree 100% on Vito's -- great East Coast vibe in that place. Remind's me of the pizza joints I from where I grew up on Long Island - Mother Kelley's & Friendlier, anyone? And I couldn't disagree more on Mulberry St. -- that rivals most slices I've had in NYC.

            2. n
              NYCnowLA RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 01:27 PM

              Wow. Joe's Pizza better open soon and be good or we are all in trouble.

              3 Replies
              1. re: NYCnowLA
                yogachik RE: NYCnowLA Sep 18, 2007 03:25 PM

                When DO they open? I thought it was supposed to be a couple weeks ago?

                1. re: yogachik
                  NYCnowLA RE: yogachik Sep 19, 2007 10:17 AM

                  according to their out going message..."very soon". :)

                  1. re: NYCnowLA
                    Mateo R RE: NYCnowLA Sep 23, 2007 04:53 PM

                    They wer just putting up drywall inside this week so I think it is still a while from opening. I am anxiously waiting and I will be sure to post when they open.

                    Mateo R

              2. l
                Liskypisky RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 01:51 PM

                You must go to Vitos on La Cienega Just sounth of Santa Monica...it is just like home!

                1. luswei RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 02:10 PM

                  we also vote for vito's on la cienega
                  when we were there sun, so was cheri oteri (SNL fame) for whom a pizza is named on the menu

                  1. DanaB RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 03:20 PM

                    >>>Or am I doomed to a life without good pizza?<<<

                    If you are unwilling to go east of the 405, then I would say the answer to your question is "yes."

                    1. l
                      LisaStitch RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 03:28 PM

                      I think you'll have to go to Vito's, though it is east of the 405. It's always worth the drive for me, though the crust is a little droopy, not super crispy (I like it, others don't). Overall it's a big winner here for NY-style pizza. And Vito himself is the best, a great guy, and he's from Jersey.

                      When I don't feel like driving to Vito's, Frankie & Johnnie's NY Pizza (not just 'Johnnies' - must also have Frankie in the name) is not the best, but it satisfies my craving. That I know of, they have a location in Venice & one in West LA on San Vicente I think... Their sausage is particularly great - it's not the rounds that you prefer, but it is done in wonderful tiny crumbled morsels (far from the big chunks you mention - I don't like those either). Best sausage pizza I've had in LA.

                      My favorite pepperoni pizza is Bossa Nova. The cheese is perfect - wonderful flavors.

                      1. J.L. RE: ElJeffe Sep 17, 2007 10:25 PM

                        Pretentious indeed (thanks for the warning). Many of us "local" Angelenos are East Coast transplants, and yes, many of us "locals" HAVE HAD NY pizza before.

                        Your strict LA qualifications are hilarious. My sister felt the same when she lived in NYC..... As she left the Upper East Side about twice a year at best. Midtown? Sorry. Tribeca? Sorry. The Village? Buh-bye. Even Brooklyn qualifies as an overnight trip. ("Because that's not really part of New York, you know...")

                        Having said all that, try sneaking ever so gently east of the 405 for once and get yourself a slice of Lamonica's in Westwood Village. Their pizza is as close to home as we can get for now.

                        From one ex-East Coaster to another, my houndish advice is this: Embrace the sprawl that is LA. It ain't gonna change. Fighting the sprawl will do nothing more than to limit your food options here.

                        1066 Gayley Ave.
                        Los Angeles, CA 90024
                        (310) 208-8671

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: J.L.
                          erintoc RE: J.L. Sep 17, 2007 11:48 PM

                          I would have to say that you are probably destined to average pizza in LA. I am also originally from New York. I moved to Orange County in late childhood and distinctly remember missing NY pizza. Every summer when visiting my relatives, I would savor the opportunities for great pizza. I just moved to LA after being on the East Coast for over 8 years and I became a pizza snob. So far, I have only tried Vito's here in LA. It was okay. It definitely isn't anything close to real NY pizza - dough was too chewy, not enough sauce, and it was under-seasoned. I am hopeful that there is better out there. But, I assume that I will never be quite satisfied with the pizza in LA, just as I was absolutely never satisfied with the Mexican food back East.

                          I guess we'll have to live without real NY pizza in LA. I have accepted it. I am quite enjoying the best weather in the world and the excellent Mexican food. :)

                          1. re: erintoc
                            sloanedone RE: erintoc Sep 18, 2007 01:32 AM

                            If you're talking coal oven pizza, it isn't here. If you're talking Baker's Pride oven, there's plenty, most of them covered above. And sorry, as someone who's done plenty of NY, it's not that bad here.

                            My Chowhound fantasy is for the dozens of "only good pizza is in NY" posters to go down to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and taste the best pizza in the country. Then they'd be going back to the NY board and whining about how they wish NY pizza could taste like Arizona's.

                            1. re: sloanedone
                              Jeryy RE: sloanedone Sep 18, 2007 04:11 AM

                              Hi -I'm writing from NYC. Just got here from DC where I tried their famous 2 Amys pizzeria Napolitana. Quite good Neapolitan style but not NY pizza.

                              I would mostly agree with above about Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix - great. The best? Maybe. Also very good in Phoenix is NYPD - the p standing for pizza.

                              But back to LA - try The Coop just off Palms where National intersects with the 10 Fwy. Very acceptable and only a mile East of the 405.. Also the NY Pizza place next to Nordstroms at The Bridge - maybe 200 feet West of the 405.

                              But my best suggestion is to buy one of the frozen pizzas at Trader Joes, but ONLY the ones imported from Italy. Brush with olive oil, add a bit of TJ's
                              marinara (green can), maybe some extra mozzarella and slices of sausage. This should save you approx. 400 dollars in airfare.

                              1. re: Jeryy
                                SauceSupreme RE: Jeryy Sep 18, 2007 10:09 AM

                                I'm going to try The Coop today. Any particular pizza toppings you recommend?

                                1. re: SauceSupreme
                                  Foodandwine RE: SauceSupreme Sep 19, 2007 07:47 AM

                                  So Sauce how was the Coop? Will be in that area in a few day, should I stop by.. See you next week..

                                  1. re: Foodandwine
                                    SauceSupreme RE: Foodandwine Sep 19, 2007 09:07 AM

                                    Didn't get any answers as to which toppings to get. A little searching on the board found that people weren't happy with the cheese pizza, which is one of my favorites, so I decided to hold off on Coop for now.

                                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                                      schmamo RE: SauceSupreme Sep 19, 2007 01:05 PM

                                      The Coop is great and will deliver West of the 405 to meet the needs of our OP. My friend is allergic to soy, which believe it or not is in most pizzas. Not the Coop's. They delivered our topping free pie this weekend just in time to see Eli Manning blow it again. I hear the pepperoni is good too, but have not personally tried it.

                                2. re: Jeryy
                                  Pigeage RE: Jeryy Oct 13, 2008 03:16 AM

                                  Oh, man Jervy - I'm from New Haven and brother you have said a mouthful - I can bake a better Trader Joe's pie at 500 degrees for 3 mins with fresh mozz and basil and pelati and skip all the nonsense here in town now - none of the crust in L.A. is right - it tastes like dust in the mouth (same with the bread - who ever heard of "baguettes" that are blackened like the La Brea Bakery's? I think it's the polution to be honest.)

                                  1. re: Pigeage
                                    a_and_w RE: Pigeage Nov 30, 2008 08:57 AM

                                    That's just ridiculous. I've lived (and eaten a LOT of pizza) in New Haven and NYC. Joe's, Vito's, and Richie Palmer's all do a better crust than Trader Joe's.

                                    1. re: a_and_w
                                      Pigeage RE: a_and_w Feb 1, 2009 03:37 PM

                                      OK. To each his own. Since these cost three times the price, I will continue to buy a frozen pie with a real crust at TJ's and wring my own fresh mozz and shred my own basil and rinse my own pelati and tweak out my own pies until I can have real pizza. Knock yourselves out - I'm not saying it's not good. It's just not where I'm gonna spend my dollars - and my doctored TJ's pies rock the cashbah, so there. :-)

                                      1. re: Pigeage
                                        a_and_w RE: Pigeage Feb 2, 2009 09:55 AM

                                        Just to clarify, are we talking about actual frozen crusts (i.e., rolled and formed) or balls of dough you roll yourself?

                                3. re: sloanedone
                                  oysterspearls RE: sloanedone Sep 18, 2007 06:16 AM

                                  I could not agree more! With the ingredients Chris Bianco is using and the passion he puts into his work, I can't imagine a better pizza out there.

                                  Your fantasy became a reality as this New Yorker drove" Yes drove" to Pizzeria Bianco this past July.

                                  For the sake of argument though, NY pizza and what Chris Bianco is doing are totally different. Like apples and oranges, unique in there own way but different styles.

                                  1. re: oysterspearls
                                    sloanedone RE: oysterspearls Sep 18, 2007 10:13 PM

                                    Oysterpearls, I agree with you about NY being different -- I was just talking best pizza IMO.

                                    Regardless, knowing that a New Yorker has made the drive and appreciated it like I did made my Chowhound fantasy complete. Danka.

                                4. re: erintoc
                                  mrshankly RE: erintoc Sep 18, 2007 12:10 PM

                                  I would give Village Pizza a try. My NYC and NJ friends agree that this is as close as it gets to authentic east coast pizza. I've visited NYC and the pizza is so consistently good from place to place that it's overwhelming. That city has it really nailed when it comes to great, consistent pizza. I think you'll find Village Pizza on Larchmont pretty damn close. You can also try Damiano's on Fairfax but I recommend getting the Extra Large size pizza... for some reason, the proportions of cheese/sauce/dough on that size seems to be the best out of all of their sizes. Oh, and their calzones are quite good as well.

                                5. re: J.L.
                                  a_and_w RE: J.L. Sep 18, 2007 08:41 AM

                                  JL, as another ex-East Coaster, I couldn't have said it better myself.

                                6. r
                                  RSMBob RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 09:27 AM

                                  Wow, attitude without knowledge...what a combination! Hey, just kidding there...I sense your frustration but given that it's SoCal and not Manhattan, the density of people and pizza places is not as great. Not sure how I can understand you being willing to go over the hill into the SFV but you won't go east of the 405? That's just plain silly.

                                  I love good pizza, and having now been in SoCal for 22 years, I have experienced my share of frustrations in finding decent pizza. In fact, one of the first things I learned to do is make my own and I still do it at least monthly.

                                  I'm in south Orange County, yet I still drive to Vito's on occasion, and Little Toni's was my favorite in the SFV (NoHo) even though I lived in Woodland Hills. Here my go-to place is 20 miles/30-40 minutes away (Tony's Little Italy in Placentia). No, the good or better places are not on every street corner and there is a lot of bad pizza. However, there is plenty worth eating if you make the effort to find it, and you and I and everyone else here is very fortunate to have a resource like CH to find the places worth going to, even if it takes an effort to do it!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: RSMBob
                                    HBfoodie RE: RSMBob Sep 18, 2007 04:16 PM

                                    If you can make your way over to the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area I would love to hear your comments about Al's NY Pizza Cafe in Costa Mesa on Irvine Blvd/17th St. Its next to a 7-11 and is a tiny joint that is run by transplanted New Yorkers who serve up pizza slices (along with a huge menu) that after you bite into them might make you feel like you're back in Manhatten...

                                  2. k
                                    klaatu RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 09:44 AM

                                    I asume you're not including Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Malibu, El Segundo, or Culver City since despite being west of the 405 they are not part of Los Angeles.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: klaatu
                                      Servorg RE: klaatu Sep 18, 2007 09:51 AM

                                      I do believe that Marina DR officially belongs to LA (and is home to the very good Antica Pizzeria for excellent pizza)

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        a_and_w RE: Servorg Sep 18, 2007 10:23 AM

                                        Love Antica! To clarify, it's traditional Neapolitan, not NY style. It may, however, scratch the itch regardless.

                                      2. re: klaatu
                                        wilafur RE: klaatu Sep 18, 2007 09:56 AM

                                        as mentioned by klaatu, mdr is part of the city of los angeles.

                                        as for culver city, it depends on where you are. 2/3 of culver city is east of the 405 whereas 1/3 is west of the 405. =)

                                        as for the OP staying west of the 405, that is fine by me, one less car on the road. hehe!

                                      3. Kris P Pata RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 10:28 AM

                                        So "East of the 405 about a twice a year at best" with a co-opted sn en Espanol? Hmmmm.

                                        Just about the all the suggestions here are good ones, namely VITO'S and VILLAGE but, if you invest in the 50 minute drive south on the 405 -- don't worry, you won't be crossing east, you'll be on it -- to the quiet, secluded seaside burg known as Seal Beach and specifically to SLICE OF NY, that's where you'll find what you seek. LA? Technically no. But, Arte Moreno and the best baseball team in Southern California have blurred the lines of what is and what isn't "Los Angeles" so in that regard, it qualifies. Besides, 50 minutes is a lot closer than 5 hours, ya' know whatta'mean?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Kris P Pata
                                          humberthumbert RE: Kris P Pata Feb 29, 2008 04:30 PM

                                          I concur with Kris' recommendation: SLICE OF NY is the best I've had in this city for actually resembling NY pizza. But to reiterate what others have said: you just need to appreciate what we have here for what it is. Places like Mozza and Abbot's are *better* than many NY and CT pizza places, but they're also *different.*

                                        2. e
                                          Ernie RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 10:56 AM

                                          We've got great pizza in San Pedro (Buonos', Domenick's, etc.), which is part of the City of Los Angeles. In fact, San Pedro has the highest concentration of Italian-Americans in the City of Los Angeles. But go ahead and limit yourself to west of the 405 like most tourists/East Coast transplants do.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Ernie
                                            zruilong RE: Ernie Sep 19, 2007 01:56 PM

                                            Well, I guess technically San Pedro is still "West of the 405" and therefore meets the OP's criteria. Any other pizza suggestions for San Pedro? Always looking for good eats in that area.

                                            1. re: zruilong
                                              Servorg RE: zruilong Sep 19, 2007 02:00 PM


                                              1. re: zruilong
                                                Ernie RE: zruilong Sep 19, 2007 09:44 PM

                                                Technically, San Pedro is south, not west of the 405. In addition to Buono's and Domenick's, Sorrento's make a decent pie. Just be sure to specify thin crust at any of these places

                                                1. re: Ernie
                                                  Vikzen RE: Ernie Sep 22, 2007 08:49 PM

                                                  Thank you Ernie! Not only for the navigational instruction for those who don't dare stray harborward. I grew up in Pedro, and I can vouch for Sorrento's which still wows after almost 40 years of first having eaten there. The Sorrento's special was always such a feast for us as little kids. (25th & Western.) Buono's was our favorite lunch spot/hangout when I was in high school and probably still serves the Dana Jr High/ Pedro High crowd. These are bonafide Italian-American eateries, absolutely sans Westside snobbery. There used to be some fantastic Sicilian bakeries in Pedro - I remember one around 15th & Meyer (?). For those of you transplants, yes, San Pedro attracted a large number of Sicilian immigrants as well as Serbian and Croatian immigrants to work at the LA Harbor. Best Italian-American food you'll find in their kitchens at home!

                                            2. e
                                              Ery1 RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 03:57 PM

                                              Not sure if anyone already mentioned it (a lot of responses on this subject) but a little hole in the wall in Palms, CA call the COOP pizza is a new york style pizza. So far it's the closest I've come to near authentic taste without all the resturant glitz (there's not tables or chairs, it's mostly take out). They make their dough from scratch and pies made to order. Honest and simple pizza pie they have other menus on the list like chopped salad and calzones and sanwiches. Closed on Mondays.

                                              Your right with all the health consciousness of LA, people don,t eat as much pizzas as they like to. For the price and quality, this I would definately recommend if you're Palms.


                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Ery1
                                                Jeryy RE: Ery1 Sep 18, 2007 09:38 PM

                                                And they do deliver - I've had pizza delivered many times from the COOP.

                                                Still in NYC -- had three slices today. The best was a Sicilian slice from Luigi's at 88th and First Ave. Not transcendent but very good. It was fresh from the oven - thats half the battle.

                                                Health conscious? I'm still walking around!

                                                1. re: Jeryy
                                                  wutzizname RE: Jeryy Sep 18, 2007 09:44 PM

                                                  When in NY, it's all about the WHITE pizza for me. The now defunct St. Marks Pizza was my late-night standard. But virtually every NY pizza place has it in the case and ready to (re-heat and) go.

                                                  Thank god we don't have NY-style pizza here. I'd be twice as large.

                                                  1. re: wutzizname
                                                    Jeryy RE: wutzizname Sep 18, 2007 09:57 PM

                                                    To each his own, but to me white pizza is like white chocolate; once in a`while is enough.

                                                    1. re: wutzizname
                                                      wilafur RE: wutzizname Sep 19, 2007 09:55 AM

                                                      i got your back on this one. something about the white pizza at john's just makes me so damn happy.

                                                2. maxzook RE: ElJeffe Sep 18, 2007 09:41 PM

                                                  In case anyone hasn't noticed, the OP hasn't been back to followup, nor according to his profile has he posted anywhere else of late.

                                                  "I really do hate pretentious restaurant posts"... Ladies and germs, we have been trolled.

                                                  And by the way, the lack of authentic Chicago deep-dish within walking distance of my apartment is proof that southern California should slide into the ocean.

                                                  But only west of the 405.

                                                  Thank you.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: maxzook
                                                    SauceSupreme RE: maxzook Sep 18, 2007 10:19 PM

                                                    "...proof that southern California should slide into the ocean...but only west of the 405."

                                                    Yeah, but Musha (both locations) are on the other side of the 405!

                                                    Can't we all just get along? The OP is clearly not trying very hard. There are many options available for LA residents. Complaining about the lack of NY-style pizza in LA is like complaining about the lack of truffles in the Angeles National Forest. Let's appreciate what we have, because there are a lot of pizza makers (many of them ex-NYers) who are putting out really good product. And I'm sure a lot of them have been put on notice by the notoriety of high end places like Mozza and neighborhood joints like Vito's. The stakes are high, and you bet that New Yorkers are up to that challenge, to say nothing about LA businessmen who would be thrilled to have repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising.

                                                    Disagreement over who's best is healthy. Many like Vito's; I like Village; that's great. That's what Chowhound is all about.

                                                    But OP, you've gotta put in legwork because in a city like Los Angeles, you'll never appreciate the city without embracing the city in its entirety. And you certainly can't see the Brooklyn Bridge from Cheviot Hills.

                                                    Antica Pizzeria
                                                    13455 Maxella Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                                                    Village Pizzeria
                                                    131 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

                                                    Vito's Pizza
                                                    846 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                                                    Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
                                                    1650 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                                    Damiano's Mr Pizza
                                                    412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                    LA-NY Pizza
                                                    518 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                                                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                      Bruin2 RE: SauceSupreme Sep 19, 2007 04:22 PM

                                                      Sauce, your list could have been mine, but for Antica which underwhelmed me. Substitute Mulberry for Antica, and you have my list for the best NY style pizza in LA. I'd gladly eat a pie from any of those places. (This from someone who ate pizza for EVERY meal, during a two day stay in Manhattan for business.)

                                                      1. re: Bruin2
                                                        SauceSupreme RE: Bruin2 Sep 19, 2007 10:49 PM

                                                        Done. Also, I seemed to have linked to the wrong Damiano's, but Places is broken at the moment.

                                                        Mulberry Street Pizzeria
                                                        347 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                      2. re: SauceSupreme
                                                        calabasas_trafalgar RE: SauceSupreme Sep 26, 2007 12:37 PM

                                                        The last one is no longer Lamonica's. It's now called LA-NY Pizza, but the food's still the same. I go at least once a week(it's across the street from my office)

                                                        1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                          big_apple RE: SauceSupreme Nov 20, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                          Village Pizzeria is nothing close to NY pizza, although they would have you think otherwise by the decor. Not very good either. Case Bianca is not close to NY, although it's very good California pizza. Damiano's has good Sicilian, regular pizza is so so, but again not like NY. Greco's is a notch below Vito's, which isn't very good either. The Mass.-Conn. person who lived in Manhattan for a while must have only been to the touristy Manhattan places (not Bklyn or Queens) that are owned by non-Italians to think that Vito's is better than 90 percent of the places in NY. Yes, I know Vito is Italian, but he doesn't make very good pizza. Must think LA people won't know the difference, which is evident by the above list. Joe's looks to be the most authentic.

                                                          1. re: big_apple
                                                            silence9 RE: big_apple Nov 20, 2007 12:09 PM

                                                            Casa Bianca is most nearly related to thin-crust (and square-cut) Chicago-style pies (in the tradition of Aurelio's); they don't claim otherwise...

                                                            1. re: silence9
                                                              big_apple RE: silence9 Nov 25, 2007 12:27 PM

                                                              I was responding to SauceSupreme's above list of LA's best New York style pizza.

                                                      3. t
                                                        The Chewy Kid RE: ElJeffe Sep 19, 2007 07:04 PM

                                                        Damn, all these Angelnos sure get defensive when it comes to pizza...

                                                        I hear ya dude. I'm a snob too. I'm from Boston. My brother lives in Manhattan, my cousins live in Brooklyn and Jersey. I have been to Naples twice and travelled extensively thru Italy. Basically I know a good pie from a flavorless approximation.

                                                        Mind you, what I consider a great pie is not something in NYC from the Rays or even Ray Barry. That is flavorless commercial garbage. IMO: Real pizza comes out of coal ovens or wood ovens. You can find a great pie out of a deck layout but it's rarer than rare no matter what city you're in or what coast you are on.

                                                        As there are ZERO coal ovens in LA already you are already in trouble. If we are talking aboiut a pie on par with Luzzo's, Patsy's, Di Fara's, Totonno's or even one as good as Lombardis which has been slipping for years in the Village, you won't find one in LA. Period. The End. No matter how many proud LA people direct you here ther and everywhere, you will never find it. Why is out of the scope of my post so I wont even go there.

                                                        Accept it. Live with it. LA has probobaly the best food of anywhere in the world. So you can't get NYC pie. Oh well. That's about the only thing tho.

                                                        NOw then, If you want a pizza you can eat, that doesn't totally suck, you'll be able to find one on the Westside. And from a Deck oven. Go figure.

                                                        Johnnies on Main St. in SM. It's not awesome, but it's got a nice crispy, slightly charred crust and the cheese blend and suace feel like NYC. I get a slice so they put it back in the oven and usually it gets charred. Yum.

                                                        Someone mentioned The COOP. That's a good pie too.

                                                        Antico uses a wood oven but the pie is a bust. No flavor.

                                                        Haven't been to Vito's but the name sounds right. I ate at that one in Larchmont yrs ago. It was okay too. The others that have been pimped on this list like Abbotts are decent eatin' for sure. I like Abbots and the vibe a lot. But it's got a "bagel crust" for chrissakes. That is no pie.

                                                        Okay I am done

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: The Chewy Kid
                                                          silence9 RE: The Chewy Kid Sep 20, 2007 09:05 AM

                                                          Hi... You state: "Damn, all these Angelenos sure get defensive when it comes to pizza". That's akin to saying: "Damn, that crowd sure got defensive when I plowed my SUV into 'em". The original poster stated: "Pizza in LA is really not that bad --- WRONG. Per capita, this has got to be the most pathetic offerings of pizza pies in the country". He also referred to one place's offerings (which you actually characterized as "decent eatin") as "swill". Nah, nothin' to get defensive about there... It's not like we're willfully incompetent with our coal ovens out here. There are none, as you know all too well...

                                                          1. re: The Chewy Kid
                                                            a_and_w RE: The Chewy Kid Sep 20, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                            People tend get defensive when others generalize inaccurately, which the OP has clearly done. As for your comments, I agree there is nothing like Patsy's, DiFara, or Totonno's in LA. But those are the absolute cream of the NY pizza crop and thus not a fair comparison. Also, none of the places you mention is centrally located -- they require travel just like pizza in LA. Finally, you seem to imply that DiFara uses coal or wood ovens. That's just false.

                                                            I totally disagree with your appraisal of Antica -- I find the crust to be very flavorful with nice char. Again, however, that's Neapolitan, not NY Style, so I agree it may not satisfy. I also would be willing to bet that, if Abbott's didn't advertise its crust as "bagel," you and the OP wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. That said, I concede it's at its best when doing a CA twist on NY pizza (e.g., olive pesto).

                                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                                              kevin RE: a_and_w Sep 20, 2007 04:45 PM

                                                              Domenic's joint is just a regular oven, no coal there.

                                                          2. h
                                                            hyperboy RE: ElJeffe Sep 19, 2007 11:55 PM

                                                            I like Mulberry pizza, but I don't realy think of it as authentic NY style. However, I stumbled upon Maria's Pizza in Brentwood - an LA native introduced me to it after our trip to the dog park. It doesn't claim to be NY style, but this Jersey Boy was very impressed with the two slices of plain cheese that I got - right sized crust, and the right amount of sauce, cheese and a little oil on top to make it just like a pie from home. :-)

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: hyperboy
                                                              ElJeffe RE: hyperboy Sep 22, 2007 06:43 PM

                                                              Hmmm...tell me more. Anyone else out there been to Maria's? Where is it in Brentwood? Its dangerously close to the 405 for me:)

                                                              1. re: ElJeffe
                                                                hyperboy RE: ElJeffe Sep 25, 2007 10:39 PM

                                                                Maria's is in a strip of stores on the west side of Barrington just Soutrh of the corner of Sunset Blvd to the north. I would say check it out. I definitely enjoyed it.

                                                            2. The Chowhound Team RE: ElJeffe Sep 20, 2007 06:16 PM

                                                              We've split off a discussion on NY style pizza in NYC to the Outer Boroughs board. You can find that topic at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443307

                                                              1. ElJeffe RE: ElJeffe Sep 23, 2007 04:35 PM

                                                                OP here. Well, I went to Vito's last night and its the real deal. Perfect cheese & sauce, and that NYC style throw-away crust. The location leaves a little to be desired, i.e. you definfitely wouldn't want to take a date here.

                                                                Vito was there in full effect and its fun to talk with everyone who works there as they're very chatty..real neighborhood feel. Only complaint is that they won't do half & half ingredients (e.g. sausage/roni) which is a little Soup Nazi'ish. You can only order larges here, buts its not a big deal as its real thin NYC style so the lady & I were able to finish 7 of the 8 slices there. I'd have to rank it #1 in LA so far.

                                                                So in summary, the only two endorsed pizza places in LA (which I've tried) so far are:

                                                                Vito's Pizza
                                                                846 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                                                                Manhattan Pizzeria
                                                                133 Manhattan Beach Blvd Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                                                Will try Village, Casa Bianca, Damiano's, and Little Toni's next and post my evaluations to see if they pass the test.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: ElJeffe
                                                                  kevin RE: ElJeffe Sep 23, 2007 06:24 PM

                                                                  how was manhttan pizzeria in mb.

                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                    ElJeffe RE: kevin Sep 23, 2007 07:46 PM

                                                                    Very good, authentic NY style pies. They are steps away from the Manhattan pier so it has a huge walk-up slice business and lots of tourists & families. I like to bike down from Santa Monica, grab a slice or two, and bike back on weekends.

                                                                    There are a few tables inside tucked away int he back, but overall the atmosphere is pretty crappy. But if you're just in it for the pie, who cares!

                                                                    1. re: ElJeffe
                                                                      sloanedone RE: ElJeffe Sep 24, 2007 11:43 PM

                                                                      Gotta say, the OP has me doubting now. Though I'm a big Vito's fan, Manhattan didn't do it for me in the slightest. I'm surprised Mr. NY gave it a pass.

                                                                  2. re: ElJeffe
                                                                    mattraibert RE: ElJeffe Oct 5, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                    That you wouldn't take a date to an authentic NY-style pizza place seems like a strange criticism.

                                                                    1. re: mattraibert
                                                                      dj food RE: mattraibert Oct 6, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                                      I understand that comment. I drove there from SMonica and they had no AC! It had to be 100 degrees in there! so we ate our slices in the car...not exactly ideal.
                                                                      I don't mind hole-in-the-walls but that was intolerable.

                                                                  3. s
                                                                    silverlakebodhisattva RE: ElJeffe Sep 23, 2007 09:56 PM

                                                                    OP sez:

                                                                    " I'm looking for decent NY style pizza in LA,
                                                                    As I head East of the 405 about twice a year at best, I'm enforcing the strict "LA" qualification. Larchmont? . . . . . Even Silver Lake/Eagle Rock qualifies as an overnight trip. If it’s in the Valley, it better be right over the hill."

                                                                    Nah, man, you're looking for N.Y. style pizza in West L.A. or Santa Monica, and excluding most of LA. There are pizzarias in New York that have pans older than most of the buildings in Santa Monica.
                                                                    Larchmont and Silverlake were part of the City of Los Angeles when Santa Monica was bean-fields, and Venice was a beach resort. L.A. is the stuff EAST of the 405. . . . like Vito's, (glas you liked it) Casa Bianca, Nicky D's, Cappricio. Even "Next Door" downtown . . .

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                                                                      Das Ubergeek RE: silverlakebodhisattva Oct 31, 2007 10:01 AM

                                                                      This happens often. "I must have authentic Chinese food, but not east of 405!" "Why are there no banh mi worth eating? Oh, I won't go past Beverly Hills."

                                                                      That said, the pizza I like best west of the 405 is at Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen on Wilshire and 14th in the People's Republic. If La Cienega is really too far for people to drive then they need to embrace the chow they have in WLA.

                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                        kevin RE: Das Ubergeek Oct 31, 2007 10:21 AM

                                                                        i was sorely disappointed int santa monica pizza kitchen, even Bravo on Main and Abbot's on Kinney and especially Wildflower on Main are all much better.

                                                                        what do mean by people's republic?

                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                          Das Ubergeek RE: kevin Oct 31, 2007 12:53 PM

                                                                          The People's Republic of Santa Monica. Berkeley South. And if you're going to restrict to west of the 405, the choice is pretty small. I don't like Wildflour. Abbot's is OK but it's always been so busy -- and we lived walking distance from SMPK.

                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                            westsidegal RE: Das Ubergeek Jan 20, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                                            as a transplanted new yorker, i have to say that i adore abbot's BUT i adore it as CALIFORNIA-style pizza.

                                                                            if i ended up moving back to new york, i'd miss abbot's for CALIFORNIA-STYLE pizza

                                                                    2. j
                                                                      JimmyC RE: ElJeffe Sep 25, 2007 08:28 AM

                                                                      san bagio upland mountain exit bolleni sic grand terrace barton rd bothgood but a trek from la cucamonga guy

                                                                      1. j
                                                                        Jaybay RE: ElJeffe Sep 25, 2007 10:31 AM

                                                                        this Jersey-girl loves Village Pizza on Larchmont. I think its worth the drive...

                                                                        1. m
                                                                          Meals RE: ElJeffe Oct 30, 2007 09:18 PM

                                                                          My vote is definitely for the COOP. I will break down the reasons why the plain cheese pizza is the perfect pie:

                                                                          1) The cheese- a blend, I am guessing mozzarella and something else, bubbly at the crust, but just melted perfectly in the middle. The KEY is the amount of cheese on the pizza. It is not smothered with cheese like many pizzas you will have. Instead, there is just enough to cover the surface, and therefore it does not overpower the sauce.

                                                                          2) The sauce: a tangy, herby, sexy sauce. Best I've had outside of Italy.

                                                                          3) The CRUST: Crusts are so crucial to a good pizza... but delicious crusts are so elusive. The crust is thin, but not so thin that the piece collapses in on itself. It has almost a nutty quality. Heaven.

                                                                          4) The price- $9 for a large.

                                                                          5) It is unpretentious, fresh, delicious cuisine at its finest.

                                                                          Note: I have not tried anything besides the plain cheese, because... well try it, and you'll see for yourself.

                                                                          Also, I live close by, so I pick up the pizza myself. I am not sure about punctual their delivery is.

                                                                          Here's the address:

                                                                          10006 National Blvd
                                                                          Los Angeles, CA 90034
                                                                          (310) 837-4462

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Meals
                                                                            kevin RE: Meals Oct 31, 2007 10:22 AM

                                                                            is there any seating at coops so you can much on your cheese pizza right there on the spot?/??

                                                                            1. re: kevin
                                                                              NYCnowLA RE: kevin Oct 31, 2007 10:48 AM

                                                                              no. there is a ledge in front of the window that you can stand at, but you would probably be in the way!!

                                                                          2. e
                                                                            erintoc RE: ElJeffe Oct 31, 2007 01:04 AM

                                                                            I think I have been converted to Vito's...I am a serious NY pizza snob and was not that impressed by Vito's at first, but after a couple of tries, I am really starting to see how it *may* be the closest to NY pizza I can get in LA....still have to try a few of the other suggestions to decide for sure.

                                                                            BUT, I have to say that the 3 cheese Trader Joe frozen pizza, imported from Italy, is as close to pizza perfection as I think we can get out here in LA. For the money, at less than $5 a box, it is unbeatable...especially compared to the $18 cheese pie at Vito's. For a night at home watching a movie, it is perfect. Try it, you'll like it.

                                                                            1. t
                                                                              tag heuer RE: ElJeffe Oct 31, 2007 11:00 AM

                                                                              You go east of the 405 only twice a year ??! Since you went to Mozza already, perhaps you should use your other foray into the big bad city to try one of LA's world class restaurants. Forget pizza, you're missing out on a some great cuisine with your strict "LA" qualification. ("LA" but not really LA). You've nulled out pretty much the entire city Los Angeles and C'mon, everyone knows, there's no good pizza in West Los Angeles or even Westwood.

                                                                              Of all the places mentioned so far, Casa Bianca is by far the best. And hey, there's a Courtyard Marriot in Old Town Pasadena, so perhaps you can spend the night there, so you don't have to drive the forty minutes back to Santa Monica after dinner.

                                                                              1. r
                                                                                rftc2121 RE: ElJeffe Oct 31, 2007 11:41 AM

                                                                                #1 Albano's
                                                                                #2 Purgatory Pizza (delivery only)
                                                                                #3 Mulberry Street

                                                                                Addendum: the Tomato Pie at the aptly named "Tomato Pie" is the closest thing I've been able to find out here to the Tomato Pie I ate growing up outside of Philly. Just get it served at room temp...its solid and does the job.

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: rftc2121
                                                                                  kevin RE: rftc2121 Oct 31, 2007 11:49 AM

                                                                                  where's tomatoe pie, and what exactly is a tomatoe pie, just tomatoes/sauce and bread? or is there cheese there too. you're not talking about a joint on melrose are you???

                                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                                    rftc2121 RE: kevin Oct 31, 2007 02:10 PM

                                                                                    tomato pie is sort of like Sicilian style crust that hasn't risen. It's thicker than thin, cut in squares, light dusting of parmesan and this one has some greens. and yes, it is the joint on melrose...mind you, I am limiting any approval to their tomato pie.

                                                                                    1. re: rftc2121
                                                                                      a_and_w RE: rftc2121 Oct 31, 2007 03:03 PM

                                                                                      Is there lots of garlic? Sort of like a grandma pizza?

                                                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                        rftc2121 RE: a_and_w Oct 31, 2007 04:21 PM


                                                                                        1. re: rftc2121
                                                                                          a_and_w RE: rftc2121 Jul 7, 2009 11:13 AM

                                                                                          It is indeed grandma pizza. Alan Richman just named it one of the top ten pizzas in the US. Any recent reports?

                                                                                          1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                            lapizzamaven RE: a_and_w Sep 9, 2009 09:07 AM

                                                                                            If anyone thinks Tomato Pie is one of the 25 best pizzas in the US theyre seriously deluded...including Alan Richman, who either was paid by some of these places or his agenda is to agravate pizza lovers..I tried 3 different pizzas and though they were fairly tasty, I was crushed once again, as I went there the day after the GQ review...Go to Joe's or Vito's...For the best pizza non NY style, Mozza and Antica in MDR win ,hands down!

                                                                                            1. re: lapizzamaven
                                                                                              a_and_w RE: lapizzamaven Sep 9, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                              Sadness...I'll still give them a shot but with lowered expectations.

                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                ns1 RE: a_and_w Jan 27, 2010 08:41 PM

                                                                                                Vito's was my #1 until I found tomato pie.

                                                                                                grandma > *

                                                                                                and I thought vito's was WAY better than joe's.

                                                                                                in summary, TP > Vito's > Joe's

                                                                                      2. re: rftc2121
                                                                                        kevin RE: rftc2121 Oct 31, 2007 06:06 PM

                                                                                        so there's no mozzarella on it, just parm.

                                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                                          rftc2121 RE: kevin Oct 31, 2007 06:15 PM

                                                                                          yea, just a light dusting of cheese, so its not exactly a grandma slice which from what i always understood was a thin crust square of sicilian.

                                                                                  2. katkoupai RE: ElJeffe Oct 31, 2007 06:33 PM

                                                                                    There's a place called Greco's in Sherman Oaks. Their slices remind me very much of the slices I used to eat in New York. They serve huge, *thin* slices, for only a few dollars each. I recommend the cheese slices. Greco's is right next to Humphrey Yogart, which has very good frozen yogurt, so save some room for dessert. :)

                                                                                    Greco's New York Pizzeria
                                                                                    4572 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

                                                                                    1. ElJeffe RE: ElJeffe Oct 31, 2007 11:18 PM

                                                                                      I like it. Now we're starting to see the passionate responses. Vito's certainly passed the test. The Coop is next on my list.

                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                        big_apple RE: ElJeffe Nov 19, 2007 02:53 PM

                                                                                        I'm a Queens native and believe it or not, the closest I've found is Johnnie's for NY pizza. There are a few locations. I tried Santa Monica, Century City (across from the mall), Wilshire (museum district) and Crescent Heights @ Sunset in W. Hollywood. The two best locations are W. Hollywood and the musem district. Century City was okay. Santa Monica, not that good. The only other place with good pizza is Patsy's at the 3rd Street Farmer's Market. The crust not so much, but the cheese and sauce, delicious and just like NY. Mulberry Street is ok, more like some of the less tasty pizza in Little Italy, which isn't close to the best places in Queens and Bklyn. Vito's on La Cienega pretty much sucks. The employees, including the owner, are "cheeseballs" and mainly interested in hitting on who they think are good looking women or who might be a celebrity. It's a typical cheesy LA restaurant. The pizza lays there and isn't even good when it's fresh. I tried it twice, fresh and not fresh. The bread for the hero sandwiches isn't anything like NY and the egg plant parm. has ricotta!! No decent NY pizzeria would put ricotta in egg plant parm. Skip Vito's. Mulberry Street, at least uses good bread for their sandwiches. Johnnie's and Patsy's are the best places for NY pizza.

                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                          big_apple RE: ElJeffe Nov 19, 2007 02:58 PM

                                                                                          Damiano's has decent Sicilian with the crust being light instead of doughy. Give up finding it anywhere else.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: sloanedone
                                                                                            big_apple RE: sloanedone Nov 19, 2007 03:17 PM

                                                                                            Guess Big Apple is behind on her Joe's Pizza in SM, but will try it. I still think Vito's sucks...but won't call you crazy for liking it. Bless your heart...you just don't know.

                                                                                            1. re: big_apple
                                                                                              a_and_w RE: big_apple Nov 19, 2007 03:58 PM

                                                                                              Well, I just moved here from NYC and have lived in CT and MA, as well, so I think I know a thing or two about good pizza. Vito's has plenty of room for improvement, but it most definitely does *not* suck.

                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                big_apple RE: a_and_w Nov 20, 2007 09:29 AM

                                                                                                I lived in NY most of my life, but never in CT and MA, so you got me. However, Vito's is not very good.

                                                                                            2. re: sloanedone
                                                                                              geekbruin RE: sloanedone Nov 19, 2007 04:12 PM

                                                                                              went to joe's pizza two weeks ago. the pizza's great. the SO is from NY and agrees.

                                                                                            3. b
                                                                                              bsquared2 RE: ElJeffe Nov 19, 2007 03:53 PM

                                                                                              You only head east of the 405 twice a year? As a proud member of the "323", that's OK with me. I go to Vito's about once a week. The service can be a little spotty, but the pizza is always good. By the way, I went to Terroni on Friday and thought the pizza was good there as well.

                                                                                              LA isn't a 'pizza town' like NY but there are some good spots. By the way, ever had a taco in NYC? They are the worst. Hamburgers? LA has the best. Ethnic food (Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, El Salvadorian, etc.) is also one of the reason I'm a proud native LA resident.

                                                                                              Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I know many people who come from NY and complain about what they can't get in LA. When I go to NYC, I don't complain about crummy tacos, I eat the NY specialties and enjoy them! I wouldn't order a Cheesesteak in Portland or BBQ Brisket in Boston.

                                                                                              Feel free to cross the 405 more often. Some of the best places in LA are east. Downtown, Eagle Rock, East LA, Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, Artesia. The Eastside is LA's most interesting food mecca these days. You can even get some really good pizza in Monterey Park!

                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                FIDO RE: ElJeffe Nov 19, 2007 04:12 PM

                                                                                                I haven't seen it mentioned. But Tarantino's in Pasadena (damn the rules) is the best NY style pizza I've found. Thin crust, but you can request thick, flavorful real cheese (blend of mozz and something...), EXCELLENT crust I don't know what the h-ll your talking about - NY style pizzas must have good tasty crusts with just enough bite to them. Sauce is their weak point, but it's serviceable.

                                                                                                Plus they have Peroni beer - a great smooth, almost sweet, lager.

                                                                                                Dave (18+ yr ex-New Yorker)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: FIDO
                                                                                                  Jeryy RE: FIDO Nov 19, 2007 08:31 PM

                                                                                                  I've posted some of my favorites before, and I too think that the frozen Made In Italy pizza from Trader Joe's is possibly the best NY style pizza in LA. Brush on a little olive oil, add your own toppings and enjoy. The Coop, The Slice on Ocean Park Blvd, and Z's Pizza on Larchmont are also first rate. I'll add a new favorite to the list - it's both hard to find and only open for lunch, but it's delicious. Napoli Pizza on the East side of Sepulveda just North of LAX. It fronts on a parking lot in back , just across from Mervyns. Weird location - great by the slice pizza. Next time you go to the airport try to find it.

                                                                                                2. e
                                                                                                  elliot.hanna RE: ElJeffe Nov 20, 2007 02:07 PM

                                                                                                  I, too, am a huge pizza snob. I highly recommend Valentino's Pizza. There are two locations: one in Manhattan Beach and one in El Segundo. It's family-owned and the owner, Val, watches over everything. The pizza is Brooklyn style with a thin, crispy crust - just like it's supposed to be. I've been going there for 15 years and I highly recommend it.

                                                                                                  Valentino's Pizza
                                                                                                  975 N Aviation Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                                                                                  Valentino's Pizza
                                                                                                  150 S Sepulveda Blvd Ste A, El Segundo, CA 90245

                                                                                                  1. Das Ubergeek RE: ElJeffe Nov 20, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                                                                    I hold up Luigi's D'Italia in Anaheim, on State College.

                                                                                                    No, it's not equivalent to the best pizza in New York. If you're looking for the best pizza in New York while here in Los Angeles, you are a geographically-impaired fool -- the same way that the fish tacos available in New York are not going to be equivalent to the Tacos Baja Ensenada or El Taco Nazo fish tacos. That said, Luigi's and Vito's are two of the best New York type pizzas in the LA area and would do perfectly well in any suburb of New York or even in Manhattan.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                                      mangetoutoc RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 29, 2008 05:29 PM

                                                                                                      Luigi's is definitely good pizza and some really good Italian food with fantastic prices too. And, if it's anything like it used to be back in the day, the busboys clearing tables in seconds is almost a floor show unto itself.

                                                                                                    2. k
                                                                                                      kicah RE: ElJeffe Nov 25, 2007 07:30 PM

                                                                                                      I've never been able to find anything that quite replicates good NY pizza, but Joe Peep's in North Hollywood is pretty close. Lamonica's in Westwood was acceptable as well, acceptable enough that we were sad when the one in Pasadena (where I live) closed.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: kicah
                                                                                                        Skunk2Racer RE: kicah Jan 17, 2008 03:39 PM

                                                                                                        Drive over to eagle Rock..... Brownstone Pizza 2108 Colorado Blvd. My Now favorite pizza, 2nd Joe's of Bleecker st Santa Monica, 3rd Lamonica's Westwood

                                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                                        fuppeduck RE: ElJeffe Jan 17, 2008 03:13 PM

                                                                                                        Someone tell me how can be about the water, when the tri-state Metro area has good pizza throughout (and bagels) while being served by diferent water companies getting water from the adirondacks vs. the Delaware Water Gap... Its about the recipe, and Pizza is just a regionally diverse type of dish. We all grew up accustomed to Pizza a certain way. I suspect the real culprit is that Los Angeles doesn't have a clue what good bread is.

                                                                                                        Meanwhile, Johhny's NY Pizza in Downtown Laguna Beach spins a very credible pizza, and the owner is straight outa Bensonhurst wit' the accent to prove it.

                                                                                                        1. h
                                                                                                          Hackenbush RE: ElJeffe Oct 12, 2008 02:48 AM

                                                                                                          Vito's! Vito's! Vito's!

                                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                                            wojpol RE: ElJeffe Oct 12, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                                                                            As I mentioned in a previous post , Nonna Pizzeria ,818 S. Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, makes among the top 3 best in Southern California New York style cheese pizzas around

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: wojpol
                                                                                                              Wheggi RE: wojpol Nov 30, 2008 01:41 PM

                                                                                                              I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems as if recently Brooklyn Pizza in Reseda (Tampa and Vanowen) has changed their recipe for thier crust. It's much thinner, with a crisper outer crust that is really quite good.

                                                                                                              1. re: Wheggi
                                                                                                                ns1 RE: Wheggi Nov 30, 2008 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                Interesting, I'm there every other week for Fabs. Do they do pizza by the slice?

                                                                                                                1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                  Wheggi RE: ns1 Sep 6, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                  Not too sure: I've only purchased whole pies, and in my house they go quick ;)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Wheggi
                                                                                                                    TragicSandwich RE: Wheggi Sep 9, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                    I've only been there once--and that quite recently--so I can't compare to what it may have been earlier. However, we did pick up some pizzas at Brooklyn Pizza a couple of weeks ago when we had company, and everyone loved it. We'll be back, I know.

                                                                                                            2. OC Mutt RE: ElJeffe Feb 1, 2009 07:45 PM

                                                                                                              You're not doomed but, the best you can hope for is a B, when you can get many A's and A+'s in NYC. I prefer to make my own, it's been years since I've ordered pizza from a restaurant.

                                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                                fillmecup RE: ElJeffe Feb 2, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                I know, I know, the South Bay is the last place you'd expect, but Pedone's in Redondo Beach is legit steel oven pizza. I truly love it.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: fillmecup
                                                                                                                  Servorg RE: fillmecup Feb 5, 2009 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                  Sorry. Tried to link to Pedone's in Redondo and chose a Hermosa Beach location for Pedrone's - which is a wholely different place with a different spelling.

                                                                                                                  In anycase the contact information for this location is:

                                                                                                                  Pedone's Pizza Rivera Village
                                                                                                                  1819 S. Catalina Ave.
                                                                                                                  Redondo Beach, CA 90277-5510

                                                                                                                2. o
                                                                                                                  ohdaylay RE: ElJeffe Feb 5, 2009 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                  Come on, ElJeffe, take a trip to Highland Park. Follerio's on Figueroa is pretty good. Ask for crispy crust, you won't be disappointed.

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                                                                                                                    foodface RE: ElJeffe Jul 7, 2009 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                    Pizza Napoli on Sepu;veda in Westchester

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                                                                                                                    1. re: foodface
                                                                                                                      westsidegal RE: foodface Sep 5, 2009 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                      respectfully disagree with the Pizza Napoli recommendation.
                                                                                                                      terrible, sugary, greasy/oily, crust.
                                                                                                                      has the texture of frozen white bread dough that has been thawed and rolled out and greased up, and baptized as pizza crust.
                                                                                                                      didn't even finish one piece of the pie i bought there.

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                                                                                                                      dip22 RE: ElJeffe Jul 7, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                      Bravo Pizzeria
                                                                                                                      2400 Main St Santa Monica, CA

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                                                                                                                      1. re: dip22
                                                                                                                        westsidegal RE: dip22 Sep 5, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                        sort of off-topic, but
                                                                                                                        the cannoli they sell at bravo pizzeria are the best i've had in LA.
                                                                                                                        they don't pipe in the filling until after you order the cannoli.

                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                          kevin RE: westsidegal Sep 5, 2009 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                          the ones at the italia bakery in granada hills are great as well as the ones at al gelato on robertson.

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                                                                                                                        Drkxman RE: ElJeffe Sep 5, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                        Okay well there are only two Pizza places In L.A. and you haven't been to either of them if you haven't had a good pie. Paisano's in Hermosa Beach and Bonello's in San Pedro. Everything else is just Pizza.

                                                                                                                        I've had real NY Pizza and these are the only two places and I've lived in LA for a Long time.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Drkxman
                                                                                                                          Servorg RE: Drkxman Sep 5, 2009 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                          Have you been to Pavich's in San Pedro for Croatian pizza yet? If not it will be interesting to hear what you think.


                                                                                                                          Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzeria
                                                                                                                          2311 S Alma St, San Pedro, CA 90731

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                                                                                                                          estone888 RE: ElJeffe Sep 5, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                          Unfortunately, having sampled a great many pizzas in the New York / New Jersey area, I have concluded that the best of those pizzas always come from places that use coal-fired ovens. That is one reason why the best pizza places in NY / NJ are older places, that have been there for a long time. Their coal-fired ovens have been grandfathered in. You can no longer open a new restaurant in most places, with a coal-fired oven. Consequently, I don't know anywhere in California that has pizza that is as good as the best places back east. The closest place I know that uses a coal-fired oven is Grimaldi's in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. And their pizza is the closest I have tasted to the best pizzas to be found in NY / NJ.

                                                                                                                          There are pizzas I enjoy in Los Angeles: Tomato Pie in Silverlake, Vito's, that place on Figueroa in Highland Park (but you have to insist on their cooking it well-done) and a few others. But none of them come close to the pizza back east. (Which is frustrating to me, as I am a Los Angeles person through and through and delight in the many things we have out here that kick New York's butt.)

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                                                                                                                          1. re: estone888
                                                                                                                            a_and_w RE: estone888 Sep 6, 2009 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                            While I would love to see coal oven places in LA, it's not an absolute prerequisite for good pizza. Probably my favorite pizza in the US is at DiFara in Brooklyn, and Dom uses plain old gas ovens. I'm glad to see you like Tomato Pizza -- that's next on my list of places to try. I've read good things elsewhere, but few on Chowhound seem to have heard of it. If you find yourself in WLA, the pizza at La Bottega Marino on SM Blvd is worth a try. I'm partial to the Atomica.

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                                                                                                                            boopboopdedoo RE: ElJeffe Sep 6, 2009 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                            There's only 2 places I visit for REAL pizza. Too bad your qualifications are strict.

                                                                                                                            D'Amore's Pizza in Malibu or Westwood

                                                                                                                            Two Boots Pizza...hands down THE BEST IN L.A. in Echo Park.

                                                                                                                            I'd even venture to say Caioti's is pretty damn good.

                                                                                                                            Anyway, good luck searching for the virtually impossible in your area.

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                                                                                                                            1. re: boopboopdedoo
                                                                                                                              a_and_w RE: boopboopdedoo Sep 7, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                              Two Boots is nowhere near the best and REALLY stretching the definition of pizza. But I'll admit I love the occasional Tony Clifton with andouille.

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                                                                                                                              garyis RE: ElJeffe Sep 7, 2009 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                              what irks me here is more about LA versus NY. NY has better pizza. but LA does have decent to very good pizza. the fact is you may have to travel to get it. imagine if this report was about getting good tacos in NY. and the person looking does not want to travel outside chelsea. if you crave good pizza you have to travel in LA. and no, it will not be as good as NY.

                                                                                                                              now as a native Los Angeleno i contend that Mozza is as good as most of the comparable pizza's of the same style that are in NY. and my favorite is currently Franny's
                                                                                                                              which is in Brooklyn. and if you live in Manhattan the travel time is like going to Pasadena from Hollywood. BTW- the best pizza in the US is usually considered to be in Phoenix or New Haven.

                                                                                                                              if you want to discuss what NYers feel is the best pizza, than Deninos is Staten Island, Lombardi's is on the LES, Patsy's is in Brooklyn, Nick"s is in Queens and now on the UES, Arturos in the village, Totonos UES, Sac in Queens, Da Fara's Brooklyn in etc.
                                                                                                                              i can go on and on. i have been searching out pizza places in NY for years. i would bet i have tried at least 250 places. it is not like they are all within a 15 minute drive of each other.

                                                                                                                              LA will never have pizza as good as NY, just as NY will never have Italian food (as good as it is) as good as Italy. the average local slice of pizza in NY is usually always pretty damn good. just as is/was the case with the average mom and pop hamburger stand of LA, and the average waffles of Brussels and the average felafel in Tel Aviv. and to me, that is the way it should be.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: garyis
                                                                                                                                The Chowhound Team RE: garyis Sep 7, 2009 10:57 PM

                                                                                                                                Folks, being this is the Los Angeles board, please keep us on track by discussing what's here in L.A.

                                                                                                                                Discussion of pizza in other parts of the world is out of bounds on this board.

                                                                                                                                1. re: garyis
                                                                                                                                  peppermonkey RE: garyis Sep 7, 2009 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                  agree with your comments

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                                                                                                                                    DanaB RE: garyis Sep 10, 2009 02:48 AM

                                                                                                                                    Love your post! Verily the truth. Even though its tagged along a thread that was 2+ years old to begin with ;-)

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                                                                                                                                    lagourmet34 RE: ElJeffe Sep 8, 2009 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                    Tarantino's in Pasadena

                                                                                                                                    1. kushnerom RE: ElJeffe Sep 8, 2009 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                                      I like Bonello's in Torrance. Simple NY style pizza, subs, and pasta (although I prefer the pizza!) They have a great lunch combo (two slices of pizza, salad, and drink for about $6) and they make a great dressing. It's a hole in the wall type place, so don't expect decor, but they do get busy at lunchtime!


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                                                                                                                                      1. re: kushnerom
                                                                                                                                        Wolfgang RE: kushnerom Sep 10, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                        I went to Joe's in Santa Monica this week. Not my first time and probably my last. We ordered a fresh pie--half pepperoni and half sausage. The crust is dry and tasteless with no freshness. It tastes like 2 day old pizza that you put back in the toaster oven. It gets hot but the flavours and textures have died. The toppings are sparse where you have to manage your bites to get a piece of sausage or pepperoni, the only thing on the pie with any flavour. It's bad pizza.

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                                                                                                                                        dj food RE: ElJeffe Oct 6, 2009 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                        you might try "The Slice" on Ocean Park (there's also one on Wilshire and in Playa Del Vista)
                                                                                                                                        My girl was raised in Manhattan and she likes it. It's not NY, and is sometimes inconsistent but it's the best we've had on the Westside. we through it on the bottom of the oven for a few mins when we get it home which helps a lot.

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                                                                                                                                          bobby baby RE: dj food Jan 27, 2010 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                          the closest thing to NY Pizza I've found here in 30 years. Great thin crust pie and open 'til 6:30 AM! They also deliver anywhere (for a price)

                                                                                                                                          Damiano's Mr Pizza
                                                                                                                                          412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bobby baby
                                                                                                                                            mrshankly RE: bobby baby Jan 27, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                            Agreed but if you order a full pizza, get the extra large... it's the size the slices are based off of and easily the best proportion of ingredients among all of their sizes. Their calzones are delicious as well along with their baked ziti with eggplant.

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                                                                                                                                          jay968 RE: ElJeffe May 3, 2014 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                          I lived the first 41 years of my life in NY and the past 20 in LA. I can honestly say, I have heard it all..try this place, try that place. In a nutshell, they DO NOT make pizza in California! Some of it is fine, some of it is very good, but NONE of it is pizza.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: jay968
                                                                                                                                            bopdd RE: jay968 May 3, 2014 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                            Being from NJ (and having tried plenty of pizza in NY), I don't even know what to make of this statement. There is plenty of "pizza" in LA, including Joe's, which started in NY and set up a bunch of pizzerias here. I guess I'm not even sure what the heck you're trying to say.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jay968
                                                                                                                                              Discokill RE: jay968 May 3, 2014 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                              I lived the first 25 years of my life in NYC. The last 10 or so in LA. I think there's lots of good pizza here. So we have opposite opinions. Since we both have significant amounts of time in both cities with roughly the same ratios, the only difference being that you are older the only conclusion I can draw is the your taste buds have deteriorated with age. I better start eating now before I start losing my joy of pizza and feel the need to dredge up 5 year old threads to complain about it.

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