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Pizza Comments and Help Wanted

My family -- my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, and I -- are officially obsessed with pizza this week. We moved (from Sherman Oaks to Sherman Oaks) and for various reasons did not have a fridge for a full week, ending today I hope. So it became sort of an excuse to eat a lot of pizza. We like El Greco's and Spumoni in the valley, and flung to Mozza and Mulberry and Vito's and Jacopo's on the other side of the hill. We even ordered Domino's one night (horrid).

Here's the upshot. We love Mozza, especially the fennel sausage pie. Most others mentioned are pretty good. But Vito's absolutely blew our minds. We tried most every slice available and each was special and delicious. The pesto one is ridiculously good. The Mediteranean Veggie is stunning and I don't like veggie pizza. It all goes down so easy because for some reason the crust is just perfect and completely unobtrusive in the best sense. I'm from New York and have had a lot of good pizza there but somehow this crust seems like the ideal. Granted, I talked to Vito for awhile and told him how much I loved his pizza and he brainwashed me further with his insistence that absolutely no one in L.A. takes pride in ingredients and craft the way he does. He says he's the only guy around making his own yeast. He says he could work with Nancy Silverton for half an hour and fix some of her problems with her dough and how she puts the toppings on her pies.

Okay, I'm in danger of thinking Vito's is the ONLY pizza in L.A. Please help me out. Send me someplace new and off the radar. It can be a fancy Italian restuarant, it can be a hole in the wall, it can be some random thing like a Thai pizza. (Note: I had Casa Bianca about a year ago and was underwhelmed, but I don't really remember why)

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  1. Have you tried caoti in Studio City? Not a NY pizza, I guess, but good. I have heard good things about red balls in Woodland Hills.

    1. I'd give the new Terroni a try. Love their crust and 30 variations. Just go early: they don't take reservations. Be un-picky: no modifications. And prepare to cut: they don't slice their pies.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wutzizname

        Linked:

        -----
        Terroni
        7605 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      2. Thanks for those. Not a huge fan of Caoti but Red Balls sounds interesting, and I will probably end up at Terroni today. It seems like they're open all day.

        Here's another thought-- just looked at Spago's menu, they've got like 7 pizzas on their lunch menu. Spago. Pizza. Right? Anyone had it lately?

        4 Replies
        1. re: la tache burger

          Wolfgang Puck created the "california pizza" concept at the original Spago in West Hollywood back in the 1980s. They do a good job for gourmet pizzas.

          Other places you should check out are Joe's in Santa Monica, Brownstone in Eagle Rock, and Il Capricco Pizzaria on Hollywood/Vermont.

          http://joespizza.com/page9.html

          Brownstone Pizza
          2108 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA - Eagle Rock
          323-257-4992

          http://www.ilcapricciopizzeria.com/

          1. re: DanaB

            Actually, the guy at Caoti invented the California Pizza, and then taught Puck.

            1. re: Diana

              Ed LaDou was his name, and he passed away recently.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I know. It's sad.

                Caioti is still there!

        2. I hear you. It seems you have tried the pizza places many people would consider the best LA has to offer. I too consider Vito's my favorite, for the same reasons; His crust. I haven't tried Brownstone in Eagle Rock, but it's on my list. I also enjoy Joe's on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica and The Coop near Culver City. And I cannot seem to get into the Neapolitan style pizzas ala Antica. It goes back to Vito's crust. Its the way I like it.

          Have you tried Vito's Red Meat pizza? Great heart attack food.

          1. I have indeed tried the Red Meat Pizza at Vito's. Last night in fact. Awesome. On other issues, have tried Joe's and recently tried Brownstown. They are both fine and very similar to one another. Neither holds a candle to Vito's as far as my palate is concerned. I just saw an old thread on this board titled "NY Style Floppy, Greasy Pizza". That's Vito's. I'm not sure if that would have sounded appetizing before I ate Vito's, but that's it. And yet, I don't think that's the whole story, especially after hearing how psycho Vito is about the quality of his dough and his ingredients. It can't just be floppiness, or greasiness, both of which are of high quality here! (And yeah, can't wait to hit Spago for lunch soon.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: la tache burger

              For floppiness and greasyness, you can't beat Damiano's, across the street from Canter's on Fairfax. Closer to home (Van Nuys), give Lido's a shot (Victory just east of Sepulveda). EDIT: Also, Damore's on Ventura (west of Van Nuys) has great NYC-style, simple, flavorful pizza -- a lunch time fave.

              I tried El Greco the other night; while I certainly enjoy Vito's particular goodness, what I had at El Greco would qualify as "bland". As in, wow -- there is absolutely no taste to this pizza. Weird. The crust was quite nice but everything else? Non-noticeable. Hands down, the most boring piece of "pizza" I've ever had.

              At least the genius behind the counter neglected to charge me for this atrocity.

              1. re: CucumberBoy

                Yes, I realize my enjoyment of El Greco puts my credibility on the line, but I have had some delicious slices there, as well as some mediocre ones, as well as some really crappy ones. And I like the bigness of the slice, and it's right near where I live!!! And no, it in no way compares favorably to Vito's.