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Richie Palmer's - another authentic NY pizza?

Another pizza place has opened up in Santa Monica - on Ocean Avenue a block North of Joe's. They also serve an authentic NY slice, and the Cheese slice I had was better than the most recent slice from Joe's. The atmosphere is nicer than Joe's as well. People may complain that there is no NY pizza in LA, but it seems in Santa Monica we may have a problem with too many authentic NY pizza joints bunched too close together - I hope they both do well.

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  1. Mateo R, thanks for the tip. I live in the neighborhood & can't wait to check it out.

    1. I have been twice. The good is the pizza and the subs are very tasty. The bad is the cost and parking. $9 bucks for a sub and $3.75 for a slice with a topping. The parking issue is being worked on but right now you have to get lucky with a metered spot or pay $1.80 for every 20 minutes in the lot next door.

      1. Richie Palmer is 'The' Richie of Mulberry St. Pizza.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blakekitty

          i was just going to ask if mulberry street opened yet... so they decided on a different name - looking forward to trying....$3.75 a slice...hmmmm....

        2. I tried the pizza at Richie Palmers over the weekend, and it was GREAT!!! The slices are paper thin, which not only takes my back to NY, but it really shows off the quality of their cheese. Reminds me why I have tastebuds!

          4 Replies
          1. re: foodhappy

            I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have been back to Joe's and I prefer the slice from Richie Palmer's. I am now wondering if the subs are equally good (I guess they might be called hogies). I will try and report back if they are an authentic source of east coast subs, or if they are an acceptable alternative to Bay Cities.

            1. re: foodhappy

              Just got back - No cold Heros. the meatball sub was good - excellent meatballs and sauce, but the bread seemed a little too light with not much chewiness to the crust.
              They also have a sign up to add a covered patio to the front of the place. This could be very nice with the ocean view - they don't have anything like that in NY.

              1. re: foodhappy

                I never understand when people say this - I have had a lot of pizza in NYC and the surrounding areas, and it's barely ever paper thin. IMO, proper NY style pizza is not cracker thin / paper thin.

                1. re: will47

                  Not paper thin, like in Rome (those are literally crackers, or Terroni's locally is like that), but pretty thin when you compare to regular style.

                  When I was growing up in NYC and when the schools would get pizzas for lunch I remembered the crust as a bit thicker, and a regular cheese would have more cheese than a double cheese here (with a resultant layer of grease on top that I always have to put paper towels on to mop off).

                  Last time I went to NYC though we visited one of the 'better' pizza joints there and those pizzas crusts were noticeably thinner and more charred, and they have more novel toppings, beyond the normal regular or pepperoni I grew up with. Maybe even things changed there...

                  I still prefer the thinner crust, not paper thin, but thin, chewy and crispy, and with a lot of cheese. Joe's crust is close, but needs a lot more cheese. Will try this Palmer's out.

              2. Just tried Richie Palmer's. The slices (cheese and sausage) were thin and served piping hot. It is by far the best pizza I have ever had in the Santa Monica area.
                I agree with Mateo - the atmosphere was really nice and the staff couldn't have been nicer. A great place to pop into when you're stolling the area. Yes, parking is not great, but it's a short walk from the public parking structures along 2nd Street.

                2 Replies
                1. re: smfoodie

                  How much for a cheese pie?

                  Is it like Joe's and Vito's where there is only one size pie?

                  1. re: Wolfgang

                    $18 for a cheese pizza, $24-26 for pizzas with various toppings. One size. It's large but very thin.

                2. Went Satuday. Loved it. I like it a little better than Joe's, but great to have both. I want to try the sandwiches next. Plus they also deliver, as does Joe's.

                  1. Does Richie Palmer's have a website? Trying to track down a menu and address.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: fatassasian

                      Richie Palmer's Pizzeria
                      1355 Ocean Ave
                      Santa Monica, CA 90404
                      (310) 255-1111

                      Didn't see a menu

                      Add: EaterLA had it (click on it to enlarge): http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/03/...

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Wanted to try Richie Palmer's tonight. Is there space to dine in (about 10 people) or is it really geared for pick up?

                        1. re: handlertaper

                          Richie Palmer's has a huge dining room with plenty of booth seating. Much bigger than Joe's.

                    2. I'm about to order a pizza from Palmer's for the first time tonight. My expectations are low. I got excited about Joe's Pizza, which recently opened in Santa Monica, but the product was very disappointing.

                      First of all, "Will47" is right about "thin crust" -- real New York pizza does have not paper thin crust.

                      Second, most people in Los Angeles don't know the difference between good pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich! They'll eat anything called "pizza" (e.g., Pizza Hut, Domino's, etc). Even an English muffin with cheese and tomato sauce would probably be favorably viewed.

                      Third, Joe's Pizza featured thin crust -- and also thin ingredients. The cheese looked like white dots against thinly spread tomato sauce. When I got the super-large pizza, the box was so light I thought it was empty. That was $24.00. Although my days of powering down 5 slices of pizza are long gone, I was able to do exactly that on the flyweight Joe's PIzza.

                      Fourth, at the end of December I was in the City, where I sampled the pizza at various places. Even the pizza at Abetano's at the American Airlines Terminal blows away Joe's -- and probably Palmer's. If Joe's is any indication, the cheese and sauce are not making it to the West Coast. So are we supposed to bring our own Mozzarella? New Yorkers would never put up with skimpy paper thin crust pizza.

                      16 Replies
                        1. re: Akitist

                          If your a local in NYC you refer to Manhattan as "the city"

                          1. re: Foodandwine

                            Ah. Never heard Manhattan referred to that way. On this coast they sometimes call San Francisco that.

                        2. re: martinm

                          I haven't been to Palmer's, but I thought the thickness was approximately right at Joe's - the pizzas I've gotten from there have not been cracker thin / paper thin. That's not to say that Joe's crust is perfect (I think maybe they cook it a bit too long on too low a temperature or something), but the thickness seems reasonable.

                          Martin - did you get the fresh mozzarella pie, or the regular one? The description (and price) of your pie sounds more like the one with fresh mozzarella in little blobs, which isn't supposed to be a traditional NY style pie, but I think more of a hybrid of a Neopolitan style pie and a NY style pie. I don't eat cheese, but from looking, the regular cheese pie seems to have a reasonable amount of cheese on it.

                          I don't know if it's just that I've been out here too long, or because it indulges my nostalgia somehow, but I have really been liking Tony's in San Marino recently. Probably not worth a trip out there if you're not already nearby, but I think it's pretty good, and the texture of the crust is nice - the bottom is crispy, but the rest of the crust is still chewy and not dried out. I don't think either quite passes the "fold test" perfectly.

                          1. re: will47

                            RP's is just another Mulberry. They're making a chain out of them. The booths are nicer and atmosphere is better than the outposts in Beverly Hills, but the pizza can't hold a candle to Joe's.

                            I've really done everything pizza out here from all the small places in Manhattan Beach to Lamonica's to Vito's to Casa Bianca to Petrillo's. Joe's is king, and if you had one bad experience, I advise giving it another try.

                            1. re: sloanedone

                              I agree. Joe's is my favorite by far. But obviously...as has been made abundantly clear here on the CH...tastes vary.

                            2. re: will47

                              Hey Will47 (and Sloanedone),

                              The first pie at Joe's was actually the regular one. The second one I ordered was a Sicilian (Chicago style in the square pan, as you know) that was about 6 pounds of dough, 2 ounces of cheese, and a bit of tomato sauce. Disappointing. You're right, the crust is tough.. over-baked.

                              Sloanedone, I decided to give Joe's another chance last night. I called them and said I was from Brooklyn, and wanted a normal amount of cheese on the pizza. We settled on me paying $2.00 for "extra cheese." Mushrooms, olives and sausage on the pie were minimal, including the paper thin slices of "sausage" spread around.

                              This experience is the third strike on Joe's. This pie was virtually tasteless. Even the extra cheese barely brought the pizza to the normal level of cheese. The cheese lacked the rich buttery oil of authentic New York pizza. Tastes vary, but I suggest to anyone chiming in on this blog to sample NYC pizza on almost any street corner in Manhattan. The product typically blows away Joe's, Palmer's, etc.

                              In their promo flyer, Joe's cites positive reviews of Joe's Pizza on Bleeker in the Village in NYC. Joe's in Santa Monica does not even seem like the same business. Perhaps Joe's in NYC licensed their name.

                              For New York pizza in Los Angeles, Maria's in Brentwood (Barrington Court) is about the closest. I believe they are using a New York recipe and ingredients. You don't need to ask for extra cheese. Forget Joes -- it is phony New York pizza.

                              1. re: martinm


                                i'm glad you tried. I'm sorry it seems like I lied. But I haven't had a bad experience there. For what it's worth, it's the same stuff as in NYC. Check the post where the guy had them 12 hours apart.

                                Hope you find something else you like out here, pizza-wise.

                                1. re: martinm

                                  Uh, no. You may not like Joe's, but it tastes just like Joe's in NYC, for better and worse. We can agree to disagree re subjective preference, but your claim that Joe's is "phony New York pizza" is objectively ludicrous. They serve a quintessential NYC street slice -- again, for better and worse.

                                2. re: martinm

                                  abetano's is good? dang, i was eyeing it yday when i was waiting for my flight back to LA....should've tried the place....would've beat the inflight sammie i had.

                                  1. re: martinm

                                    You do realize that 99.9% of corner slice places in Manhattan use the same processed cheese and canned tomato sauce? That's actually what differentiates a slice joint like Joe's, where they offer fresh mozzarella and don't make tomato sauce from a mix.

                                    The level of misinformation on this thread is truly astounding...

                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                      That's true, but it's important to note however that the processed Italian ingredients in the Italian immigrant mecca of NYC are a cut above what's found elsewhere (Polly-O mozzarella for example, which is outrageously tasty for processed mozzarella, is nearly impossible to find here aside from Italian delis whereas back home it is available at every supermarket)

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        Good point, Mr. Taster -- I was actually looking in vain at the supermarket for any processed mozzarella besides that Sorrento crap. Perhaps I'll look at Bay Cities next time. Regardless, I doubt most NYC slice places are even using Polly-O anymore. Walk around in the early morning and you can see the cans and boxes the delivery guys leave outside the slice joints containing the "ingredients."

                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                          BTW, I can confirm that Bay Cities carries Polly-O.

                                  2. If Palmer's is just another Mulberry's, I'm not going to bother. After I read about how good Mulberry's was, I made a visit last weekend and was highly disappointed. Yeah, the slice was super thin, but that's not how pizza is served in NY. They used dried mozzarella and barely had any cheese on it to begin with. I am still searching for the ultimate NY pizza in LA....anything that can come close to Lombardis in Soho. Does anybody use fresh mozzarella to make pizzas in LA?!?!??!?

                                    So far, I thought Brownstone Pizza in Eagle Rock was the best NY style pizza in LA.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: TailbackU

                                      Palmer's is the EXACT same as Mulberry. Same oven, same everything.

                                      Joe's has a fresh mozzarella pie that I think is outstanding, but nothing is going to compare to Lombardi's because of the coal oven.

                                      1. re: TailbackU

                                        I tried Brownstone and found the ingredients cheap-tasting, off-tasting, and off-putting. The only thing I liked is that it's within 2,900 miles of New Haven's white-clam pizzas.

                                        1. re: sbritchky

                                          Larchmont Village Pizza makes a white clam pie as well, however I have never had pizza in New Haven so I can't vouch for its authenticity.

                                          Mr Taster

                                        2. re: TailbackU

                                          i think Brownstones in Eagle Rock is the best too~ but i haven't tried joe's yet or Richie Palmers.

                                          1. re: TailbackU

                                            " Does anybody use fresh mozzarella to make pizzas in LA?!?!??!"

                                            Sure, the best pizza in the country does. Mozza.

                                            Terroni, Osteria La Buca, and a ton of other italian places have fanstastic pizza and use fresh cheese.

                                            I dont really eat NYC pizza much. To me, an authentic NY slice is like an in n out burger. Its tasty and simple street food on the cheap. Nothing that mind blowing (at least to me).

                                            1. re: jlrobe

                                              p'mozza is nowhere near the best in the country, let alone in la.

                                          2. Yes, as people point out Palmer's = Mulberry (Lasagna pizza, Penne pizza, etc._. So Joe's is still by far the best option on the West Side. However, Richie Palmer's has booths, outdoor seating, and wine, so you can sit down and get a little atmosphere so that must be taken into account as well.

                                            Never been a huge Mulberry St. fan but I'm just happy to have some better West Side pizza options.

                                            1. After reading the discussion posted here, I decided to get some pizza delivered from Richie Palmer's tonight. It was perhaps the worst pizza I have ever had! I do not like loads of cheese on my pizza but this was rediculous- there was hardly any cheese at all! And I swear the pizza box was stored in a dank, dark, moldy basement because the crust (&box) had a very odd smell, seriously. At the same time the pizza was oddly sweet & not in that sweet san marzano tomato way. It was more like sugar sweet. Although Joe's is not the best pizza I have ever had, I definitly prefer their pizza, delivered or in house. In addition to the pizza (cheese) I also ordered a slice of spinach white pie, a sicilian slice, a chicken parm sub and a plain chicken cutlet for my son. It was all pretty much inedible. The sub was toasted & burned on the bottom & the chicken parm inside was all cut up which I found to be very weird. The cutlet was cut up as well & overcooked & the crust was just blah. The white pizza had no flavor & was soggy. The sicilian slice was the best of the lot but still just ok. Sadly this was one expensive lesson to learn but I will never ever return to Richie Palmers, not even for its proximity to the ocean, glass of wine or convenience of using my credit card (Joes' is cash only). BTW, Vito's in hollywood is my favorite casual pizza place but living on the westside I only get there now & again.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: dotrat

                                                It wasn't so much the texture as it was the flavor. I am serious when I say it tasted weird, almost chemically & there was no paper between the box & pizza. I too have been eating pizza (delivery & in house) all my life & I worked in restaurants for about 20 years so I do know a thing or two about food.
                                                IMO this pizza is aweful & I won't be returning. To each his own.

                                              2. Richie Palmer's is the real thing - i'm from queens and this is the pizza i grew up with. I like this cheese pizza alot more than Vito's. The crust here is perfect - so thin that it's impossible to hold a slice without some slippage. This type of pizza won't deliver well -- being cooped up in a box will moisten the crust too much. Actually, I think most pizza doesn't travel well -- if you're having pizza delivered, you've got to heat it up in a real gas oven before eating it. Trust me - I've been doing this all my life.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: chiliranch

                                                  Chiliranch, I completele agree with everything you just said. Richie Palmer's pizza is amazing. Delivered pizza really doesn't travel well. For the best pizza taste, nothing beats going to the pizza place itself.

                                                  1. re: foodhappy

                                                    Try crisping it up with a pizza stone or even a frying pan -- works like a charm.

                                                  2. re: chiliranch

                                                    Not arguing that Richie Palmer's is good or bad (I actually think its so-so), but for NY Style Slice places like Joe's and Palmer's I would argue you CANNOT order delivery. The key to enjoying that pizza is an ultra crispy crust, and once its sat for awhile, even after putting back in the oven or on a stone, you can't recreate the fresh-out-of the oven effect unless you have a restaurant quality pizza stove.

                                                    Vito's and Joe's are still the only true, quality NY style places I've found and I would recommend always eating in (despite their arse interiors).

                                                    As you can see, I obsess over this stuff.

                                                    1. re: ElJeffe

                                                      me too... Love Vitos and he is very cool to the little ones. My 10 year old high fives Vito.. I like it as "best of show" we will be back East in NYC in June will update then.

                                                  3. Can anyone with a menu confirm how far east their delivery zone extends? Thanks...

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                                      I just called & asked & they came to my place in Sunet Park area of Santa Monica though it did them an hour to deliver my food. Further up in this discussion, servorg posted a link to a menu which has their delivery area displayed though it was too small for me to see.

                                                      1. re: dotrat

                                                        Thanks -- I saw the link but can't read the map either. I'm guessing they only go as far as 26th Street but I'm too lazy to call and ask.

                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          I live five blocks from Vito's and go there all the time, but I think Joe's is still worth a drive every couple weeks. It really is better. One bad thing about Vito's; Since they brought all 48 new workers in, the consistency isn't there in slice size. Paying $3.50 for a little strip is never fun.

                                                          Had an amazing weekend of pizza last weekend. Grimaldi's and Pizzeria Bianco. Reminded me that as good as we have it, pizza is a lot better in a couple other places. Especially Bianco, if you haven't made the trek to mecca you are missing out.

                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                            Forgot to mention -- the menu says they only deliver as far east as 26th Street.

                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                              Just a quick follow-up -- RIchie Palmer's will deliver to some spots east of 26th. Bundy seems to be the outer limit.

                                                      2. Tried Richie Palmer's today. The sauce, cheese, and toppings (one with pepperoni, one with mushrooms) were right and the crust had a nice char. The problem, as others have noted, is that the crust was too thin -- thinner even than Joe's. Still, I'll be back if only for the wider variety of toppings available on slices.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          a and w, is richie palmer's the same as mulberry street pizza slice. if yes, then i'll pass. and stick with joe's

                                                          if no then i'll have to give it a try

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            It's identical to Mulberry St. Stick with Joe's unless you want the more out of the ordinary toppings like lasagna, penne, etc.

                                                            1. re: ElJeffe

                                                              Haven't been to Mulberry but have no reason to doubt Jeffe that it's the same. To clarify, however, I'm not just talking about specialty toppings like penne and lasagna (blech!). Joe's seems to make mainly cheese and pepperoni pies. If you want any other kind of topping on a slice -- e.g., mushrooms -- they dump them raw on a cheese slice before reheating . That's unacceptable.to me, so I stick with cheese or pepperoni when I order slices. I like that Richie Palmer's has actual slices of mushroom pizza available, though I realize the trade-off is they're not always as fresh.

                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                I so do not care about the overrated "New Yorkness" of a pizza (and good pizza of NYC is more of a myth than a reality. Most places in NY use crap quality cheese). The real question is: Is it any good?

                                                          2. BTW, Richie Palmer's is at the Americana at Brand. I do not know if it is open yet.

                                                            1. had the lunch special yesterday. 2 slices (cheese) 1/2 salad and a drink $7.95

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: wyatt3290

                                                                in the area i prefer joes but i drive over to vitos in hollywood which is my favorite slice place.

                                                              2. I agree that Joe's is very good too, just that Richie Palmer's has specials like the one I got or a large pizza, large salad & 2 drinks for $20. they also have booths & counter space, they always have a New York post to read & they have TV's. I have gotten the pizza at Joe's usually when I'm in a hurry.