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Good Thin-Crust Pizza on Westside?

  • c

Hey gang. Been a resident of Santa Monica all my life (40 years), but I've just recently found this message board. How little one truly knows about his hometown.... Terrific!

Anyway, I had a question for thin-crust, NY-style pizza lovers. Is there anything on the westside of LA worth noting? I am old enough to remember the halcyon days of LaBarbara's (on Wilshire), Regular John's (San Vicente), De Vita's (on Wilshire back when it was worthy), etc. While I'm a fan of such ingongruous spots such as "NY by the Slice" on Venice Boardwalk and SM Pizza (on Wilshire), is there anywhere else worth noting in this area? I'm not talking Calif. Pizza Kitchen or Pucks either - just the real-deal thincrust. I realize I'm being a a fussy connoisseur/snob, but finding such a gem is truly a quest. If anyone can solve this dilemma, this board can.


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  1. Have you tried Abbott's Pizza? They have two locations, one in Venice and one in Santa Monica. They serve excellent pizza with traditional and "Gourmet" ingredients. Their crust is supposed to be based on bagel dough. I don't know if that is true, but it is the best pizza I've found since moving to LA about a year ago. I particularly like their Tomato Basil and BBQ chicken pizzas.


    6 Replies
    1. re: RussellH

      The pie at Abbott's Pizza Company, 1407 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Venice, is just OK - a small cut above normal, but only because of their homemade sauce. You have to ask for "more sauce, less cheese, please" or it comes out California style - way too much cheese. The crust is 1/4 inch thick and too soft and gummy, no crispness at all. The edge is hand squeezed into a dam, the pie is under-baked or their oven isn't hot enough, and therefore the artificially constructed edge has no natural puffiness, no crispiness or char from the hot oven. I couldn't believe it - they asked if I wanted the edges coated with poppy seeds! And these guys are from New York! A coupla young New Yawkers - Tom and Rich Schiffer. They do not drizzle olive oil or sprinkle oregano on top unless you ask. Eating the pie there is a grubby experience - they only have a few stools next to a narrow shelf along the walls. This is not a sit-down restaurant, the pizza is meant for delivery or takeout only. Street parking only, if you can find it. There are a few parking spots around back through the alley, but there is no back entrance for the customers. Sorry Chowhounds, this joint rates a 5-1/2 on a scale of 0-10.

      For a really good thin-crust NY style pie, point your browser to the link below.

      By the way, a search for pizza on the Chowhound Los Angeles board yielded 104 entries as of today. You might try this feature on the main Chowhound page. Just type pizza los angeles and your taste buds will start tingling.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. re: Mas


        Sorry you had such a bad experience (quality can vary) but:

        Their pizzas don't always have "too much" cheese, apparently their regulars like it that way. And as you pointed out, you can always ask for less.

        You might have received a pizza with a gummy crust, but I generally don’t. The crusts are usually crisp, with “char” on the bottom. I know because it often comes off on my hands and clothes. (I’m a bit messy)

        You seem to have a bit of an issue with standard and nonstandard ingredients. If their customers want poppy/sesame seeds, why not? Furthermore, not everyone wants olive oil and oregano sprinkled on top of their pizza, but since you can get it if you want, why worry?

        The dining experience at the Venice location can leave something to be desired, but the coffee shop next door will let you eat you slice(s) there if you ask nicely. Abbot’s has as much parking available as any place on the Westside besides McDonald's, especially at the SM location, which has its own lot, not to mention about 10 or so tables plus stools.

        I’ll stand by my original comment though, I think the pizza is excellent, particularly for the price. The restaurant isn’t trying to be something it’s not. It serves very good pizza at a low low price. If you want ambiance this is not the place for you.

        I look forward to trying Patsy’s though, it sounds tasty.


        1. re: RussellH

          At Earth, Wind, and Flour (2222 Wilshire. SM), they have a very thin crust, crunchy, Pizza Altobelli that is dynamite.

          They also have mushroom ravioli (it's not listed) in a creamy marinara sauce. My GF-who is comped worldwide, swears it's the best sauce she's ever eaten.

          1. re: RussellH

            I just had a slice at the Abbotts Pizza on Sepulveda in Culver City (just south of Culver Blvd) and it was very good. The crust was thin and crisp and a good size. There are 10-12 tables so much better space than the Venice location. They also serve salads. Downtown Culver City on Main Street is La Rocco Pizza. Also, thin crisp crust New York style.

        2. re: RussellH

          How about Maria's in Brentwood off Sunset and Barrington? Maybe not earth-shatteringly unforgettably great, but a super-thin crispy crust w/ a tangy sauce, fresh toppings, and a quaint atmosphere reminding you of its 25-year heritage. (Skip the deli next door...)

          1. re: Kara Elise

            I will second Maria's in Brentwood. Great pizza, and always a friendly neighborhood place.

        3. Just wanted to say that I miss Regular John's in such a deep and profound way. I grew up in the valley, but made regular trips to Brentwood with my dad to visit a barber right behind the old Corkscrew. On nearly every visit, we'd get a calzone or mini Pizza. Even with the distortion of memory, I think those things were pretty damn great. And to be replaced by Louise's! Man, that pisses me off.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Jeff Shore

            Regular John's was incredible pizza. No one has come close to replacing them. I grew up in Brentwood and if I had known they were going to close, I would have eaten there more often. If anyone who remembers there pizza knows of anything similar, please let me know.

            1. re: Tom

              It was the crust, remember...? Nice and crispy with a slight spice to it.... Thin crust heaven...

              1. re: cagey

                It was dfinitely the crust. Any topping including "the works" was great. There cheese was a little different than most places. Maybe they had a little cheddar thrown in?

                1. re: Tom

                  Regular Johns! That place rocked. We followed them from Brentwood to their second location on Peco just east of Beverly Drive. It was just as awesome there... and then... they closed. I've never had a pizza come close, either here or in NYC. But I do have a very strong affection for Village Pizzaria on Larchmont Blvd. VERY good pizza (not quite the same crust as Johns, but really delicious) and their salads and sandwiches (sausage!) are great. Anyone know what happened to the Regular John family? Are they still making pizza!?

              2. re: Tom

                I remember an amazing pizza place that I thought was in Brentwood -- was very crowded, I think in a plaza with parking in the center, small place, lots of people eating standing at tables, had by the slice -- went there about 4 years ago on a visit to LA. But forgot the name and was eager to find it again. Don't tell me this is Regular Johns and it's gone??

                I did just find a pretty good by the slice place on Santa Monica (maybe Wilshire) around Bundy on the south side of the street in a plaza next to a fish 'n' chips place and a yogurt shop. Sounded something like Johnny's. Had a nice crispy thin crust and tart sauce. I added sliced tomatoes. The manager said they also had a full-service restaurant in town -- Santa Monica I think he said.

                1. re: Tom

                  hi, i too grew up in brentwood and regualr johns was definatly the best i have ever had, i would go there weekly, in fact when i moved to westlake village, i would pass by brentwood just to pick up 20 pizzas and freeze them at home. i was so pissed off they closed. i even asked for there reciepe for there pizza, the crust was like i never have had since, and th mix of chesses was fantastic, what li loved best was how they got the crust to seperate and create air bubbles, i do have or had a contact from the former owner, i could try her again to see if i could still get the reciepe. but marias pizza is ok , not great to greesy and not crisp at all. once is enough there a year, but regular johns was a weekly must.. when i would bring back 20 large pizzas, my kids 4 of them would go through it in about 10 days., worth the 10 miles out of my way to get there. to bad they closed.

                  1. re: sherwoodegbert


                    Did you ever get in touch with the owners... and or locate the recipe for the pizza? I was watching ferris buellers last night... and started dreaming about it.


              3. I recently had a great (first time) pizza at Lamonica's New York Pizza, on San Vicente, in Brentwood. What I was most impressed by was how it was made. When laying it out... the pepperoni, sausage and a small sprinkling of the veggies (black olives, green peppers and mushrooms) were applied and then it was placed in the oven. I was really annoyed, wanting lots more of the veggies. Every few minutes the pizza was checked and moved around, and after several minutes it was taken out and handfuls of the selected vegetables were placed on the pie before it was returned to the oven for its final few minute bake.

                The result was sensational, the best I think I've ever had. I've ordered out from other locals, i.e. Louise's, San Gennaro Cafe, and Frankie and Johnny's but none could hold a candle to this. I just hope they're consistent. I'll be checking 'em out again soon.

                1. La Monica's really is the best, in my book. The crust is crispy, the cheese is not overdone, and the toppings are really fresh. Try the "white pizza", which is ricotta without tomato sauce! There is a location in Brentwood, and in Westwood.

                  I also fondly remember Regular Jon's, with the sawdust floor and Charlie Chaplin movies. I still remember the taste of that awesome Pizza.

                  1. all right for all those that don't know there are two great pizza places in Westwood. i go to ucla and living in an apartment with six guys (one of them from new york). la monica's new york pizza on gayley is fantastic...i recommend the sicilian style pizza. the other place is enzo's. both of these places deliver and offer large pies and a two liter for around eleven bucks...try it and you won't regret it

                    1. One place: Joe's.
                      2nd and B'way in S Monica

                      1. Joe's in Santa Monica is pretty good. It's on Broadway.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: ohdaylay

                          the original post is pretty old, but gjelina is relatively new and has good (very) thin crust pizza (on abbott kinney)

                          1. re: marilees

                            Yes, the original post is extremely old. (In fact, I don't even live in Santa Monica anymore. Miss it? Not really.) Also, this type of pizza question has been addressed in subsequent threads.

                            Anyway, to update the original "quest" post, I have been to most of the suggested places - Joe's, Abbott's, etc. Joe's I don't get, and I found Ritchie Palmer's (Ocean Ave, Santa Monica) to be serviceable (if not pricey for a cracker-thin pie).

                            And because I work in Pasadena, I've been to Casa Bianca many times (any fans of the old Regular John's would not be disappointed as the crust is very similar, but I've noticed a decline the last few years and the pizzas themselves can be hit or miss).

                            OK, want a laugher? I actually have liked Patty's take-home pizzas (on Montana in Santa Monica). There, I said it. It does in a pinch and beats any other take-home-and-cook pizza, especially if you have a pizza stone for the oven. No, it's not perfect thin crust but it works for me when I'm in the area and want to drag a pie home.

                            As I said, there have been many posts since the original that detail all the great pizzas across So. Cal. My original question was westside and now that I live in El Segundo, I'm looking for ideas further south.

                            I hate to reignite the whole New Yorker's lament of "no good pizza in LA" but this link always makes me drool:


                            THOSE are pizzas.

                            1. re: cagey

                              not further south, but not too far north,
                              try THE GOOD PIZZA in westchester

                              7929 Emerson Ave
                              Los Angeles, CA 90045
                              (310) 215-1883

                              sepulveda north to 80th st, hang a left to go west to emerson

                              1. re: cagey

                                I generally find that people underestimate the quality of pizza in LA and romanticize corner slice joints in NYC to a fault. But that link from the Slice guys is a reminder that we have nothing like the very top echelon of NY pizza places. BTW, have you tried Vito's in WeHo?

                                1. re: a_and_w

                                  I have not tried The Good Pizza - we moved from Westchester last year, but I know the location. I have tried Antica (marina) which to me is the best neopolitan style in the area. Next time I'm over at my favorite Von's, I'll try TGP, thanks.

                                  <<<But that link from the Slice guys is a reminder that we have nothing like the very top echelon of NY pizza places.

                                  I try not to "underestimate" what we have here, but what I dream of is that wood-fired crust, tangy (not acidic) sauce, and great quality cheeses cooked to bubbly / crunchy perfection. The closest crust I have seen that resembles those in Slice guy's pictures is Tomasso's in North Beach, SF. *Excellent* crust, gooey pizza though. Must be eaten with a knife and fork. Sin. It's like eating a burger with a knife and fork. Stoppit already.

                                  That said, LA has plenty of serviceable pizza..... just not any that natives here can seem to agree on.

                                  >>BTW, have you tried Vito's in WeHo?

                                  Nope. Haven't. Will have to next time I ramble through there.

                                  1. re: cagey

                                    Believe me, as an ex-NYer, the natives don't agree on pizza there either LOL! Keep in mind that my favorite place on that Slice list (i.e., Difara) uses plain old gas ovens. But I do eagerly await the day someplace in CA gets a variance and installs a coal oven. For wood-fired pies, have you tried Bollini's in Monterey Park?

                                2. re: cagey

                                  I shouldn't have looked at that link, because now I'm hungry and angry. After too many bad pizza experiences since moving to the Valley, I've been limited to Trader Joe's Pizza Parlano, Mulberry Street, and my only occasional visit through the pass to Joe's. I lack the confidence to try anywhere else around here anymore. :(

                                  1. re: cagey

                                    Updates to a really old post:

                                    Since the request is now toward the South Bay, I like Eatalian in Gardena. A bit of a drive from El Segundo, but good Neapolitan pizza. Also if you are still working in Pasadena, I would highly recommend Settebello. Others like the Luggage Room, which is a sister pizza to Santa Monica's Stella Rosa. These are all Neapolitan pizza places.

                                    If you're ever in San Pedro/Rancho PV, try Pavich, which is a Croatian take on pizza. Excellent.

                                    1. re: Ogawak

                                      > Luggage Room, which is a sister pizza to Santa Monica's Stella Rosa

                                      Are they related? I know Stella Rossa is where La Grande Orange used to be, but I believe Luggage Room is owned by LGO Hospitality (http://lgohospitality.com/) and Stella Rossa is owned by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (http://www.leye.com/).

                                      1. re: Peripatetic

                                        sorry for responding so late. Yes they are related, or were. Last year M Street (Formerly LGO Sant Monica) and LGO Pasadena split off.

                              2. If you're ever south of Marina del Rey, Berri's Playa Cafe in Playa del Rey has nice white pizzas, great thin-crust. (Good goat cheese and mushroom etc.)

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: Cinnamon

                                  >>>For wood-fired pies, have you tried Bollini's in Monterey Park?

                                  Now we're really traversing the city in search of pie. I have a hard time going out of my way home (thru Monterey Park) without getting a hankering for good chinese bbq or dim sum. One of the hazards I guess. I will note Bollini's.

                                  >>If you're ever south of Marina del Rey, Berri's Playa Cafe in Playa del Rey has nice white pizzas, great thin-crust. (Good goat cheese and mushroom etc.)

                                  Have tried Berri's in Playa a couple of years ago, but wasn't "wowed" by it. It is a pretty good attempt at a white pizza though.... along the lines of Ritchie Palmer's white cheese / spinach. Maybe I'll revisit it.

                                  1. re: cagey

                                    someone mentioned richeie's palmer's on ocean ave in santa Monica closed down earlier this year , is that correct or just a rumor?

                                    1. re: cagey

                                      If you do, would recommend the mushroom/goat cheese.

                                    2. re: Cinnamon

                                      must respectfully disagree.
                                      berri's pizzas are YUCK as is most of the other food they serve.
                                      once i was there with a party of 5 and watched as three of the people scraped off ALL the toppings from the pizza and only ate the crust. these were folks who i eat pizza with all the time, and i've never seen this behavior before or since. truly lousy pizza.
                                      also, for being so bad, it is expensive.

                                      the closest ok pizza nearby is beach pizza on manchester, and for better pizza go to THE GOOD PIZZA on emerson.
                                      the best pizza in the area can be found at antica pizzaria in marina del rey, but it is neopolitan style with a very thin crust; they use excellent ingredients..

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        what about the pizzas at Riva on wilshire and 3rd, or how about wildflower in manhattan beach, or the manhattan beach pizza next to the pier.

                                        now i got a hankering for pizza, but good pizza.

                                        has anyone tried pizzeria ortica near south coast plaza, that might just be a keeper.

                                          1. re: epop

                                            alright, maybe i should just persuade Dominic Demarco to semi-retire in sunny southern california, specifically on the Westside, and preferably West LA.

                                            I could go for an artichoke slice, and a baby egpplant slice right now, as well a cheese slice dusted with grana pandana, and perhaps a veal parm hero if i'm still hungry. oh, boy.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          RIP berri's
                                          thankfully their awful food will no longer be served in my town.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            Have you heard anything about Antica - the place above Gelsons in the Marina? I know they closed (sadly) but I've been waiting for them to reopen somewhere. Their pizza was my favorite.

                                            1. re: Baron

                                              sorry, i haven't heard nor seen anything about antica since the closing.

                                              1. re: Baron

                                                I received an email from them a few weeks back that they did not know to where or when they would be relocating. Makes me sad too.

                                        2. There is a new branch of Abbot's Pizza by the way on Sepulveda Boulevard, south of Washington.

                                          Good thin crust pizza can be found at the Coop, which is literally a hole in the wall joint. We just had it last night and it's our favorite NY style on the Westside.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: NAspy

                                            ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fly the coop!

                                          2. I love the pizza at Il Forno Caldo in BH. Maria's in Brentwood is great too. The best in LA is Barones in the Valley.

                                            2 Replies
                                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                lol! maria's in B'wood was good 30 years ago when they had pepperoni 4" in diameter and i could barely look over the window into the kitchen. The pizza scene has come a long way since then!

                                            1. Wowee. Old, OLD thread!

                                              Cafe Angelino, just east of the corner of 3rd & Robertson, near Cedars-Sinai.

                                              Order the pizze funghe (mushroom pizza). Just do it.