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New York Style Pizza in OC?

  • j

I am wondering what places are good for New York pizza in Orange County. I've heard of places like Nick's in Costa Mesa and NY Upper Crust in Laguna Niguel. Any comments on these places or suggestions on others?

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  1. Pizza Bakery on 17th in Costa Mesa is very good, New York style pizza. Small area of delivery, but they do sell by the slice at their shop.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ginger Wolf

      Thanks Gingerwolf. I got a pie from Pizza Bakery last night. They got my order all wrong and I had to ask for some money back. But the pizza was terrific. It was the best I've had in awhile. While I was a bit perturbed at the poor service, I'm debating whether or not to go back there again.

    2. What makes pizza NY Style? I'm a NYer, I know that Chicago is synonymous with deep-dish, but isn't NY Style just sicilian style round pizza that's served all over the country? (albeit of varying quality, just like in NY?)
      Thanks!

      3 Replies
      1. re: James

        I realized after I posted that sicilian is not round but rather square thick crusted pizza.

        1. re: James

          My definition of New York Style pizza is thin crust pizza served in big slices that curls up in your hand. Most pizzas (see Pizza Hut's hand tossed)are in between this and Chicago style. What I like about NY style is the emphasis is on the cheese, toppings, and sauce rather than the bread like Chicago or Sicilian pizza.

          1. re: Jake

            I think everyone has their own definition of what characterizes "New York-style" pizza. For me, there are two kinds:

            1) A pizza with a wafer-thin, crispy, fresh, handmade crust baked in a coal oven at a very high temperature, topped with a thin layer of tomato-based sauce and cheese (perhaps with "traditional" toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms, prosciutto, etc.), and served freshly baked as a whole pie. Places in New York that serve this style pizza include John's, Arturo's, and Patsy's.

            2) A pizza with a more chewy, slightly thicker, but still thin crust, topped with tomato-based sauce and a generous amount of cheese. Toppings are applied with a heavy hand. Often the dough is frozen instead of made fresh by hand. This is the more common "street" pizza served by the slice, usually precooked and reheated when ordered. Places that serve this style include the various incarnations of Ray's, Joe's, St. Mark's Pizza, Stromboli, and your average corner 'za joint.

            My favorite "New York-style" pizza is both and neither: Two Boots - either at the "sit down" restaurant on Ave. A or at the "by the slice" joint on Bleeker St. (which should be renamed "Pizza St." for the presence of John's, Joe's, and Two Boots, amongst others). I particularly like Two Boots' "cajun-style" toppings (particuarly the andouille sausage-, crawfish-, and jalapeno-topped Bayou Beast) and I always have to get a least two slices from them every time I'm in New York. It's the flava that's got me hooked.

            I haven't found anything in Orange County that qualifies as any of these definitions of "New-York style" pizza, although there are a handful of places that do a respectable pizza in the "street" style. But none of them serve a sausage roll or stromboli.

        2. Has anybody tried the Johnnie's NY Style Pizza
          at the Block in Orange??

          I always go past there on my way to the theatres
          and see lots of folks downing pizza that visually
          appears to be what you're talking about.

          Of course, taste is an *entirely* different matter.

          -Cid.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cid

            Johnnie's NY Pizza chain is awful. It's nothing like NYC pizza, and it's obscenely expensive to boot.

          2. Try Ray's, across the street from UCI. I think the street is Campus, and there's an In-N-Out in the parking lot.

            1. Al's New York Cafe is Costa Mesa is the best New York style pizza in OC. The best on the west coast is Bronx Pizza in San Diego.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Kapiolani

                Al's is great, but can be somewhat uneven. Just a little down the block from Al's (17th street)brings you to Massimo's Pizza, in the same strip mall with Plums and Pan Asia Mongolian BBQ.

                Best. Pizza. Ever. Crust, sauce, cheese--everything. For some reason, I just can't stand the pizza bakery, other than their garlic knots.

                1. re: spicy pony head

                  I have never been to Massimo's and want to try it after see your recommendation (I've tried both Al's and the Pizza bakery and much prefered Al's pizza----although Al's was only for takeout since they don't have much of a dining area). Is the pizza at Massimo's thin or thick? Should I order it in any special way?

                  1. re: HBfoodie

                    it's pretty thin, and I prefer to order it with extra sauce--but it wil be perfectly edible without my fetish for lavish amounts of tomato sauce that may cause untimely cheese slippage, etc.

                    1. re: HBfoodie

                      I forgot about Massimo's and from what I remember it was pretty good. Al's and Pizza Bakery are pretty good but for my taste not special enough to go back.

                2. Al's NY Cafe in Costa Mesa.
                  LaRocco's in San Clemente (apparently Hunt. Beach now too)
                  Rocco's in Mission Viejo (Just went here for the first time last night. Liked it.)

                  1. Slice of New York, on Main Street, in Old Town Seal Beach. Iirc, it's an offshoot of Bronx Pizza from San Diego, noted by OP above. It's a small (3 booths and a coupla high top tables) joint, two slices and a large drink will set you back $6. Thin crust, and as close to NY style as I've tasted out here.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: russkar

                        Slice of New York Pizza is very good. I wish they had a hotter pizza oven so the crust was crisper yet still soft in the middle but this is a good pizza. The key is to get a fresh pie not the re-heated slices though.

                    1. Al's pizza is a joke. I have also tried bronx and slice of ny and I wasn't that impress with either one.

                      1. The only pizza i've had in OC that is almost good is Haus of Pizza in Costa Mesa, on Adams and Harbor. The sauce is pretty good and the crust is ok if you ask them to go extra crispy. I do not pine for it though the way i dream of the pizza memories from living in NYC, Brooklyn, and Italia. All very different types, but all excellent examples of a ubiquitous product that most purveyors screw up royally.

                        The water in NYC is what makes the baked goods incredible......and no one out here knows what the good stuff is really like. I dare someone to do it right.

                        I try in my own oven and I can't come close. Its truly perplexing,,,,,,

                        Haus is cool too because of the family atmoshpere and the 70's vibe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Lex

                          I like the vibe at Haus of Pizza too but I do wish the pizza was better. Like you said the crust could use a bit of help. I still go occasionally because it is a good value. Two people can split a small.

                        2. mrsjoujou, you werent impressed by Bronx Pizza? I guess someone better tell the line that wraps around the place at lunch and dinner and every table filled inside then because we all have it wrong.