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Joe's of Bleecker Street - Unbelievable

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Just had a couple (four) slices down at Joe's. I had cheese, pepperoni, sicilian, and sausage. They were all superb. The thin crust pizza tasted just like it does in Manhattan. The Sicilian was great, too, though I'm not a huge fan of the thicker crust.

For those who don't know, Joe's in on Broadway between Ocean and 2nd in Santa Monica. The hours are Sunday through Thursday 10 til Midnight and Friday and Saturday 10 til 3 ayem. I don't know if they'll be open til 3 tonight but should be next weekend. Run, don't walk.

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  1. the one in nyc isn't unbelievable. it is a decent slice. how did they
    improve so much on the flight over?

    2 Replies
    1. re: epop

      I've been wondering about that too. Joe's in NYC is mediocre pizza, especially since they were booted from their corner spot. Even when they were at their famous corner, they made good pizza about 25% of the time. They were consistently inconsistent. I hope the one in Santa Monica is better than the one in NYC.

      1. re: E Eto

        Yes, I'm trying not to get too excited for this very reason. But it's difficult not to get sucked into the hype...

    2. The point is not whether it's good by NYC standards, the point is that it's a GREAT slice compared to anything else on the Westside.

      3 Replies
      1. re: samochows

        Just had a whole pie with mushrooms & sausage.......Ate 4 slices by myself...

        1. re: Skunk2Racer

          I just got back from Joe's too. Shared a half plain cheese and half pepperoni with my husband. Decent for NYC pizza but very good for L.A. WIll be back!!!

        2. re: samochows

          Agree!

          The crust is good - thin, crispy but still chewy. Sauce was good - freshy tomatoey taste that didn't detract. Wish there's more cheese though. It seems skimpy - have to make sure to order extra cheese next time.

          The pizza was so thin that my 9 year old easily polished off 2 slices.

          Overall it's pretty decent and beats a plane ride to NYC (or alternately begging my family to bring back a pie from NYC).

        3. It's the first and only time in Los Angeles that I've eaten a slice and can say it's a proper (and great) New York pizza. Part of the reason the slices are great is the high turnover at this Santa Monica store. There was a steady line of customers buying slices straight out of the oven, just like the old defunct Joe's location on the corner of Bleecker and Carmine.

          Tip: as great as a cheese slice is by itself, order your slice with toppings. That way, they go back in the oven for an extra crisp crust which snaps when you fold it in half.

          They couldn't do calzones today for some reason. They didn't have fresh mozzarella either. Clearly, they're not dialed in yet. It's their first full day of business, and hopefully they'll improve as their staff gets up to speed.

          It's a brilliant slice joint, and I'll be there any time I'm in that part of town.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Professor Salt

            Because they Ran out..... The guy at the counter told me they had 16 cases of buffalo mozzerella but ran out early in the afternoon. besides that he was still waiting for a shipment from NY for Sicilian Pizza. he also said they had 60,000 hits on their web site Absolutely NUTS!!!! So I told him WTF took you guys SSSSooo Long to get Here? I KNOW! we shoulda came here a LONGGGG Time ago..... LOL

          2. Went tonight and its the real thing. Now with Vito's and Joe's we can safely say we have to true NY style pizza places on each side of the city. You can debate all you want about if they would be considered great in New York, but the bottom line is we finally have pizza in LA.

            Joe's bottom crust was nice and crispy, which is huge in my book, and something that Vito's did not deliver when I've been there. Joe's should continue to get better as they get settled in and the ovens mature.

            Note: Joe's has virtually no seating and its really tough to park along the promenade so a drop-off or pick-up is the way to go.

            12 Replies
            1. re: ElJeffe

              Each side of the city? SaMo and WeHo don't define LA. If Brownstone is as good as the early reports indicate, the eastern border is getting closer, but until something notable comes up in East Los you're still way short of "each side".

              1. re: ElJeffe

                LOL! There's was good pizza in LA before Joe's, and with a few notable exceptions, pizza in NY is not as good as Angelino's choose to believe.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Ummm, I'm sorry that's just not true. LA, a city of almost 4 million people, hasn't the pizza of even cities like San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago, or Phoenix. There may be a handful of decent places, but per capita, LA has not had good pizza by any means.

                  The frenzied over-reaction over Joe's opening is just one example.

                  1. re: ElJeffe

                    I actually grew up in San Francisco, where the pizza is laughable. The overreaction to Joe's opening is a combination of Angeleno's bizarre inferiority complex about their pizza and the nostalgia of east coast expats for a golden age of NY pizza that had clearly passed by the time I lived there.

                    Case and point, I tried Joe's yesterday and was reminded why I wasn't a fan of the NYC branch. The crust is nicely crisp, and the proportions of sauce and cheese are correct, but the pizza lacks flavor. There's no smokiness or yeastiness to the crust, and the tomato sauce might as well have been the generic stuff they serve at a million other slice joints.

                    Then there's the "mushroom" slice I ordered, where they dumped a bunch of raw mushrooms on a slice of cheese before reheating -- feh. Give me a slice of Abbott's mushroom pie with olive pesto and a combo crust over that travesty any day of the week...

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      i think that quality you want in the bread is a SF thing, btw.

                      i couldn't agree more about NYers and their pizzas-- we somehow think
                      we've got the best when we don't. the same goes for ny bagels.

                      not all of us are blinded by nostalgia

                      1. re: epop

                        Could be, epop, though I was actually thinking of the crust at Antica when I wrote that. Which reminds me, Jeffe, you might want to check out Antica if you haven't already. It's more traditional Neapolitan than Tomasso's, but it also is more reliably crisp because they don't weigh down the pies with too much cheese and toppings.

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          Antica is great -- much tastier than Joe's, I think. Outside of me and a couple other folks who mention it, Antica doesn't get enough play on this board IMO. The ambience and location leave something to be desired (anytime you share a wall with Souplantation, you've got worry about held guilty of food sins by association).

                          1. re: glutton

                            Antica's = too salty (entrees too).

                            1. re: glutton

                              i agree. i almost went to antica tonight. but it is comparing apples/oranges. ny pizza is different.

                              i greatly prefer antica to mozza.

                              i never found their pizza/salads to be salty but wouldn't go there for the other food

                              1. re: glutton

                                I agree.

                                The Souplantation remark is funny, but, really, Antica's location is inconvenient.

                                There's a seafood place right there, too, and I've never even tried it.

                                It's funny, because I live a lot of my life in the Marina Marketplace across the street, but I can't stand the Gelson's side of the center. I only go there for Sports Chalet.

                                1. re: PaulF

                                  Do you go to that sushi place below Antica? I can't remember the name, but I think it's Ballona. Is it any good?

                                  1. re: glutton

                                    It's mostly big messy rolls that are overpriced. Much better sushi at Irori just across the shopping center parking lot.

                  2. dissenters - you are on glue - Joes NYC is a great slice. so there.

                    1. i agree. while i am a ny'er my least favorite pies are ny pizzas. but i love pizza in general. i went tonight--- joe's in SM is actually quite authentic and shd be a must visit for fans of this style.

                      1. Yes...it's NY Pizza..not sure who Joe is...but the man in charge took a cheese pie out of the oven placed in before me and sliced it..I heard the crust "snap" and knew it was the real deal..I sat at a small table and was quickly asked to share by 3 guys...one reached for the parmasian cheese immediately (if your from NY you understand why I say this..real parmasian btw)...Your from NY, I said...he bit into the slice and said "..just as good as in NY..." I could tell he was a person who would not confuse a PapaJons, Dominoes etc thin crust with the real NY taste. The only other place that even comes close to NY taste, to me anyway, is La Monicas - Westwood.
                        Now I have one more reason to be happy I live in Santa Monica.

                        1. Just returned from Joe's. I'm glad it's nearby because it is decent pizza, but it's not something I would drive across the city to eat. The crust has a good crunch, the sauce is decent, and the toppings seem to be of decent quality. But all said, we're talking about a pretty simple piece of pizza that would not stand out in many cities (not just NYC). It's definitely very good by LA standards. So, I'm glad it's in the neighborhood because I'll stop by from time to time for a slice, but I am not in the same ballpark as all the other posters who have developed a crush on Joe's already. (And I think some of those groupies were there today, taking pictures, posing as they ate a slice, creating a traffic jam in front, and otherwise acting like young dogs that need to be fixed.)

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: glutton

                            I had a slice there this afternoon and completely agree with glutton.

                            1. re: mollyomormon

                              Ditto...just OK...kind of "card-boardy" crust. Nice sausage tho'.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                that's ny pizza in a nutshell

                                1. re: epop

                                  LOL. Exactly.

                                2. re: Ciao Bob

                                  You know, I loved the crust, didn't care for the sausage at all...

                                  --Dommy!

                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    It is a very New York-Pizza-Joint-Sausage, and therefore, I probably like it more for nostalgia than aesthtics. It certainly doesn't compare to the incredible sausage at Pizzeria Mozza and -- my LA favorite sausage -- Sabatino's on Lido. I like it because it reminds me of my childhood.

                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                      I'm a little confused. The Sausage and the meatball looked exactly the same when they were handed to me. it is possible with so many people in there there was some confusion but I will try it again to make sure.

                                      1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                        I haven't been yet but that sounds like what the folks above are talking about. NY sausage is often prepared meatball style and sliced to look (and taste) fairly similar.

                                        1. re: wutzizname

                                          I think that is right, wutzizname, they both have the same greyish color. The saugage has strong taste of fennel, and generally the meatball a strong taste of nothing....so I go with the sausage, or plain.

                            2. I have had slices at joe's twice and I have had them deliver two whole pizzas. I think that they are making authentic NY pizza. I really enjoyed the slice of white pie, which is my favorite so far, as i think the red sauce is not exceptional, and the quantity of cheese is a little light on the cheese slices as well. I also think that it is better eaten at the restaurant with a reheated slice straight from the oven, as the crispness of the crust diminishes on delivery and improves with the reheating of the slice.
                              They are now making the mozzarella pie the way they do in NY so I am looking forward to trying that as well. they seemed to have already adressed this issue as well as several logistical ones since opening last friday. Today was the best slice yet. I am very happy to have them in the neighborhood.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Mateo R

                                Try crisping them up with a pizza stone or even a frying pan next time you get delivery.

                                BTW, I overheard talk of a Grandma slice the other day. Anyone try it?

                                1. re: Mateo R

                                  What is their delivery area? Do they charge for delivery?

                                  1. re: igj

                                    Don't know if they charge, but the guy on the phone told me they only go about as far east at 20th-26th Streets.

                                2. I loved NY-style pie until I went to Caioti Pizza Cafe in Studio City. Now I'm quite happy waiting to get my NY pizza in NY, and Caioti in LA.

                                  1. I don't get the hype. I was so excited to try Joe's after reading all the hoopla surrounding it's opening. We ordered 1 cheese and 1 pepperoni pizza to share between 4 people. I don't know if it was an "off" night, but the cheese pizza was burnt (dark, dark brown on the bottom) and had hardly any cheese on it. It tasted like burnt bread sprinkled with a LITTLE mozzarella on top. Really disappointing. The pepperoni was slightly better, but nothing to rave about. I might give Joe's one more try -- seeing as I live in Santa Monica, but not any time soon.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: KaceyLaine

                                      I actually prefer my pizza a little burnt (i.e., brown on the bottom with black char marks on the crust). IMO, overcooked is when the crust breaks completely in half like a cracker, though I'd much rather it be like that than limp and undercooked. I think this partly explains why it's hard to find east-coast style pizza on the west coast -- expectations differ on this very point. Another example of differing expectations is the amount of cheese and toppings, which tends to be less on east coast pies. All of which is just to say, revisiting Joe's may not change your opinion since the things you didn't like are basically what they aspire to do.

                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                        For purposes of comparison, here's what NY pizza (from Difara) is supposed to look like, courtesy of the Slice blog:

                                        http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/2...

                                        http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/2...

                                        As you can see, the crust has significantly more char and pizza is a lot more oily than you find on most LA pies. Thus far, Antica is the only place I've tried that gets the char right, though the pictures I've seen of Bollini looks like they do, too.

                                    2. I tried Joe's at lunch yesterday. I thought it was quite good--a solid rendition of NY style pizza. It's tasty, cheap, filling, and not excessively bad for you. Good NY pizza doesn't really aspire to be anything else and I think that's why it may be disappointing some folks whose expectations differ.

                                      I'll likely eat lunch there once a week, but as much as I love NY pizza and the nostalgia of my childhood, I wouldn't drive across town to Vito's (I've never been there) b/c that's not the point of pizza.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: chowbee

                                        I tried Joe's earlier this week. It was good but not great, though the best bet on the west side. I found the sauce a tad bland but did like the crust. Still prefer Casa Bianca, especially the sausage.

                                        1. re: chowbee

                                          It's fine that you don't want to drive for pizza, but what's the point of pizza? I thought it was to be delicious. I drove to Phoenix for Pizzeria Bianco and will do so again, soon. Once a month I'll drive from WeHo to SGV or Eagle Rock for Casa Bianca and Petrillo's. I live 5 blocks from Vito's, but I'll still hit Joe's on occasion. Good food is good food, whether it's sushi or pizza.

                                        2. ok here's my little mini-review:

                                          i don't know much about new york pizza (had it on a couple occasions my last two trips to manhattan (years ago, mind you, so i don't even remember where i went, it was good but i didn't jump out of my pants). other than that, my "new york" pizza training has mostly been confined to lamonica's in westwood while at UCLA (what do you guys think of that one? i still like lamonica's, though i have no idea how close it comes to the "rea" deal), but anyway, i decided to check out joe's after all the hype i've been hearing.

                                          it was great stuff, and i guess joe's lives up to the hype? i can see what people mean by the texture of the crust, which i haven't really encountered in most pizzas here, chain or otherwise (they're either soggy, like crackers (papa john's) or taste like leather (domino's ugh). i can see what people mean by getting to the rim of the crust and having it still be dang good.

                                          all told, my experience at joe's was good, and the place is worth the drive across town, although the server was a bit dense (i ordered a pepperoni and a sausage, and he somehow managed to relay to the guys in back that i wanted a pepperoni with extra sausage, but that could have been my own fault). then i asked him what was in a sicilian, at which point the old guy (joe?) said "we don't have the sicilian today," never mind that that wasn't really my question. it took three tries before i got them to explain that a sicilian is square-cut and thicker, and i'm not sure he actually said anything about what sort of toppings are on it (can anyone help me out here?)

                                          but those are small quibbles, and i chalk it up to a bit of authentic, stereotypical new york brusqueness transplanted to the tony westside, which could use a bit of an attitude smackdown anyway.

                                          wound up having a pepperoni (with) sausage XD, and a "white" slice with added meatball, which was fine, but not something i'd put on my ordering routine just because it's not really my thing. oh yeah, and a mexican coke (i still miss my beloved rc draft cola *sniff*)

                                          at any rate, best pizza in town? aw heck i don't know... i still like the way lamonica's would slice up their sausage into these thin shavings, although i haven't been there in a good while (do they still do that?) is joe's the most authentic? i haven't spent enough time in new york to say, but i'll trust you guys that it is, and i can see how they do it different from everyone else in town. in my mind, joe's is just a great pizza place that i'll definitely hit up whenever i'm in the mood again for a slice or two.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rameniac

                                            Yeah lamonicas still shaves all their toppings. Still a best Buy also. a whole pie with mushrooms is around $13. But Joe's Is great crispy pizza.

                                          2. Went with ny 10 year old son today. We were at the right place at the right time. First we had 2 slices plain cheese right out of the oven. Slices were big and very tasty. We added pepper flakes, oregano, and grated chese. I liked that the crust was firm and not soggy at all, if fact my son ate the slice like a big triangle. Next we had 2 slices White Pie ( Joe said to my son "Pizza Bianco" ) again very nice with a touch of garlic. But I am a fan of the plain cheese and will be back for sure. I just like the fact of the freshness. There was allot of walk in traffic and they had no issue with us asking for a fresh pie when we just wanted slices. IMHO its worth the 2 step process of ordering, paying, eating a slice and going back for round 2

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Foodandwine

                                              Had another pie. This one was better than last week. Better than Vito's for sure, this is the best NY style pizza place in town. Too bad it's so far away from me.

                                              1. re: sloanedone

                                                check it out yesterday. ordered a plan cheese slice. liked the crust...but there was something slightly sweet about the flavor...

                                            2. I checked out Joe's last night. Pretty good and the guys in back of the counter are super nice. Though I think I still like Vito's...

                                              http://mikeyhateseverything.blogspot....

                                              1. My friend and I ate there yesterday. I'm not from NYC so I don't know how authentic it is other than comparisons with what I've had when visiting there. And it compared favorably (although I haven't been there in 2 years). It wasn't amazing, but it was pretty darn good for what it was. It'll definitely be my go-to when in Santa Monica (at least for NYC style pie). Although when in the mood for pizza more like Italy itself, I will still head down Ocean to Bruno's...

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: soccerandlost

                                                  Bruno's? There used to be a Bruno's on Centinela just south of Venice on the east side of the street. But it's been gone for several years. What other Bruno's do you go to for good pizza?

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    I don't think it is the same owners. I haven't been there in a while, but used to live within walking distance and ate there often. I'm italian and wasn't a big fan of their pastas (but that's nothing new -- nothing is as good as grandma's). But I loved their pizzas. They are located on Ocean, just south of the the pier in a storefront on the west side of the street (they share the building with a tiffany-style lamp and craftsman furniture place).

                                                    Here's a chowhound thread on the place: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/339386

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      S&L makes a good rec ...

                                                      Bruno's makes very tasty and very simple red sauced Italian food. He (the owner chef is Bruno) is right on Ocean south of the SaMo pier. I don't really eat pizza, so I can't really comment on it, but my kids and my dad especially loved it. (My pop is a Brooklyn born and raised pizza and Italian food lover.)

                                                      I really like Bruno's Caesar salad with lots of anchovies. The rest is basic eggplant parm, chicken cacciatori and chicken marsala type stuff. It's a lot of locals, plus tourists who wander in..

                                                      Cash only ...

                                                      1. re: PaulF

                                                        funny to see bruno's here.

                                                        I actually like Bruno's a lot. Not something to cross town for, but very good. Bruno is very pleasant, very italian (not italo-american) and the pizza is one of my faves around.

                                                        Don't tell too many people. The price might go up.

                                                  2. finally tried Joe's - and after recently returning from a visit to new york where, let's face it, the pizza just tastes better - it's nice to say that Joe's really is a little slice of new york in LA - yes there are places to get good pizza in LA but in a city of 6, 8, 10 million, we should have a lot of neighborhood choices like Joe's - so let's support this place and more will follow - and with respect to the crisp "burnt" crust, i'm sorry but that's pizza - i am so sick of having to ask LA pizza places for my pizza "well done" - why does no one get this?? i'm not from new york and intuitively i feel that's how pizza should be (also as someone who lives close to lamonica's and goes there too often, i have to say joe's is better - it's just not as greasy and is more "cohesive" for lack of a better word)

                                                    1. Tried Joe's for the first time. This is a seriously good slice. I had a cheese that was perfect ratio toppings and a PERFECT crispy chewy crust. Ditto w/ my sausage slice.This is a mere 5 minute walk from my place so I am happy to have Joe's in the hood. Better than Abbots IMHO. Their crust always tastes like cardboard even though the toppings are good.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: marlane

                                                        Ate there for the 2nd time yesterday. had the sausage & mushroom. Excellent, also took home a slice each of white pie & sicillian. white pie was not my cup of tea. But the Sicillian, good thick crust but very light and airy. The counter guy said T-shirts come in next week.

                                                      2. Went to Joe's finally. Had a cheese slice and a pepperoni slice. Really enjoyed it, and glad Joe's is in my neighborhood for delivery. The slices were nice and crisp and saucy.

                                                        Having said that, I think I like Vito's a little better. Not to start an argument, because I do like Joe's, but I prefer the slightly thicker dough at Vito's.

                                                        But to be able to walk around the Third St. Promenade and have a place like Joe's for lunch is great. If anyone asks for a great place to eat at Third Street, you can point them to Joe's.

                                                        1. Went to the one here this weekend and thought it was good. The slice with the fresh mozzarella and the white slice were great. My wife had a slice with veggies and wasn't impressed. She thought the ingredients at Vito's were much better. Over all, if I was at the 3rd St. Promenade, this is a good choice. To drive, from Hollywood, not so much. I guess we will stick to Vito's. I'm not a NY pizza expert, but I've been to most of the well known places. I don't think this is living up to the hype.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: bsquared2

                                                            went on Saturday. tried 4 slices, pepperoni, white, cheese, and pepperoni & mushroom. Good and addictive. Would I drive out of my way for it? No. But if I'm at the promenade then I'm DEFINITELY getting pizza.

                                                            i actually still like Lamonica's better =X I think they're more generous with the toppings (ie cheese) and it costs a bit less as well.

                                                          2. Made it out there last night for a "light" dinner after all the T-giving leftovers I had been stuffing myself with. Friend and I tried 3 cheese slices--one with tomato sauce, one white, one sicilian. All had that crispy crust I dig so much. 2 coca-cola bottles ran me $5 though.... but worth it b/c that coke went really well with the food. Oh and they have those little garlic rolls... I had 3 (they sell 3 for a buck). I want to try some toppings next time but wanted to keep it simple. Thumbs up. I also like the setup of the place. Very casual and comfortable.

                                                            1. I don't see the big deal about "New York Pizza" but I went to Joe's on Friday with the BF (who makes a big deal about "New York Pizza") and it was pretty good. I got a slice of white pizza with sausage and it was delicious. I finished it while waiting for the BF's whole pizza to get done in the oven and they accidentally warmed me up another slice, not knowing I already ate mine, so they ended up giving me another slice of white pizza with sausage on the house, which I thought was nice of them.

                                                              1. Was there over the weekend - had a slice each of the cheese and the white pizza (mozzarella, fresh ricotta, garlic and parsley, no sauce). I really enjoyed the pizza as did my toddlers. I found the cheese slice to have a great balance between a sauce on the sweet side and cheese on the salty side. It's a pretty great slice. The kids really liked the white, in particular, BTW. Service was friendly - the counter guy even came out to our table to slice the white into smaller pieces so we could share easily.

                                                                A great addition to LA Pizza. Which never was all that bad a scene, IMO. The way I see it, we're not a walking town, we're a loose confederation of pseudo-neighborhoods, so the concept of grabbing a slice, eating, and moving on down the street (all in 5 mins) doesn't have the same need here as it would in NYC. Thankfully, I believe the parking scene will keep Joe's from getting completely overrun, and it won't be or become too much of a hassle to visit.

                                                                But it's nice to see the scene improve, anyway.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: CulverJack

                                                                  "A great addition to LA Pizza. Which never was all that bad"

                                                                  I totally agree. Vito's IMHO is my favorite of the NY style pizzas that I have tried. Joe's is a good addition. But there are others. Johnnie's on Third Street Prom makes a good pizza, as does the Coop in Cheviot Hills and Delmonicas in Westwood. One thing I have found in these best pizza discussions is that everyone has a different definition of what makes a pizza great.

                                                                  I hope more good pizza places open up.

                                                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                                                    In Westwood that would be La Delmonica's (or the more proper non Spanish version - Lamonica's). ;-D

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      Sorry, alzheimers has really kicked in in my old age.

                                                                2. I just visited today. Since I was in a bit of a hurry, I just had a slice of the white pie. It wasn't all that great. The crust was thicker than what I've gotten in NYC, though it was nicely crispy. But the pizza lacked flavor. A good dose of garlic and a little olive oil would have helped it immensely. For $3, I could have done better.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                                    I made a second visit today for a slice of cheese. There was a HUGE difference in the crust this time -- it was thin and crispy and very tasty.

                                                                    The flavor of the sauce was still...lacking.

                                                                    1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                                      i tired joe's for the first time yesterday - a slice of cheese and a slice of sausage - i liked the crust but i wish it had the charring / blsitering that you find at bollini's....i thought the sausage tasted great - nice fennel tanf to it...very, very, very light on cheese and somewhat bland as was the sauce....i think a little romano might help the cheese and good idea about a little garlic - that might make a difference - if in the area i will try again but i will continue to make the trek to bollini's - i'm excited about another taste of ny coming to the west coast - grimaldi's in las vegas - i'm trying that tommorow !!!

                                                                  2. Another former NYer checking in. I had a slice at Joe's this weekend - cheese with tomato. Blaah tomato, but t'is the season -- or not the season, if you see what I mean. The slice was a decent neighborhood NY slice and was better than the dreck I found on a recent pizza by the slice crawl through the Times Square area recently (long story, but was stuck in the area for business reasons). The crust was crisp and slightly blackened, a good sign. The sauce was scant. It was a good slice with a poor quality topping.

                                                                    I don't think this place would really stand out in a crowd in NY; in LA, if this is what you are looking for, it is a good choice. If you like more Cali-pizza or Italo-pizza, there are plenty of decent options too. I am not a real pizza purist; I gave up bagels when I moved here but I can deal with non-NY style pizza. For me, since I apparently can't go back to my old neighborhood joint (Nino's in Carroll Gardens, which seems to have closed in October), Joe's will do if I am in the area. Of course, I only had one slice so there is much more to try, including a mozzarella pizza. Maybe those other options will make this place a destination. For now, it seems like a 'if you are in Santa Monica anyway' type of place.

                                                                    1. The pizza breaks in half when folded! Amazing! Unheard of in LA!!! The sauce was a tad bit sweet, missing that deeply salted "I could eat this forever" taste that I love of New Haven pizza.

                                                                      Interesting news though-- I asked the head guy if they ever offered clam pizza, and he said he had never heard of such a thing. I explained what it was, that it was the big thing in New Haven, and he sounded intrigued and said he'll definitely be trying one of those in the future. So, possible menu addition?

                                                                      1. I was able to try the pizza over the weekend. We had a white pizza and pepperoni pizza. The white pizza with garlic and ricotta cheese, was realy good, BUT the crust was burnt on the bottom. The pepperoni was delish...love the sauce...I dont live in SM, but may consider moving there to have the pizza closer.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: yummyinmytummy

                                                                          Burnt = Good. That's NY pizza.

                                                                        2. FINALLY made it to Joe's, have been dying to try since Day One. You know, it was good, but that's really all. I found it a bit dry, frankly, all crunch and no chew. I also finally hit up Vito's the very next day and thought it was much, much better - probably my favorite of the LA NY pizzas, including Mulberry, Village and D'amore.

                                                                          1. Just tried it, a slice of cheese. Crust is absolutely the best I've had in LA, ever. Toppings only good, not great. Not particularly flavorful. Still, I'll be back, though I would go with toppings next time....maybe pepperoni.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Alimentary My Dear Watson

                                                                              Definitely try a slice with pepperoni next time. Adds just the right amount of flavor and oil. The plain cheese is a tad bland for my taste.

                                                                            2. When I moved from New York to LA I was completely surprised to find a Joe's here! I agree with everyone else, too, the Joe's in LA is infinitely better. I only went out of home sickness for something New York and was greeted with something better than I ever expected!

                                                                              1. One more ex-NYer weighing in...

                                                                                So, I finally made it to Joe's today, having visited both Vito's and Brownstone within the last week.

                                                                                Ordered the same 2 slices at each, ate in at all three. And for me, it was literally no contest:

                                                                                Joe's is the best NY pizza in all of LA. Crisp, tasty and authentic.

                                                                                Vito's and Brownstone feel like pizza that's trying to remind you of NY. While Joe's transports you there.

                                                                                1. Had my first intoxicated Joe's experience over the weekend. We picked up a pizza there after the bars, ate it, dropped off a friend, and called in another pizza and picked it up on the way home!!! Joe was in his jacket ready to go home when we picked it up so we literally shut the place down. Sounds like Joe is still trying to figure out how long he's going to live out here or go back home. One 70 degree day in December should make it an easy choice.

                                                                                  While the intoxication certainly contributed, Joe's is getting even better with a few weeks under its belt. The crust is perfect and the cheese is really nice.

                                                                                  I'm open to differences of opinion on Vito's vs. Joe's, personally I like Joe's for the crispy bottom crust. However, for people to claim its not great, authentic NYC style pizza, there is no credibility in that argument whatsoever...the real deal has arrived.