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LaRocco's Pizzeria - A Quick Hit

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After seeing many years of east coast transplants [yes, I am one of them] whine about the lack of a certain style of pizza in Socal. I have woken up to realize the cry has been heard and while the options are not near the best I've ever had, they are a reasonable substitute.

The latest option poped up in Culver City a few weeks ago. LaRocco's is a small hole in the wall on Main Street. We had a project which needed to be slogged through on a Saturday night and Dommy and I thought ordering a pizza and a salad would sate our appetites for the work ahead. We ordered sausage mushroom and onion and it was one size only, a large 18" Pie.

When I went in to pick up the pie the place was more of a slice joint with a case of premade cut up pies ready to reheat for the orders which came in. Our pie though was hot and fresh from the oven when we came in. Also in the case were garlic knots and they looked good so I added them to the order and the counter guy reheated them while we waited.

The Verdict. Salad was Fesh Greens and a tasty dressing but it is what has become standard fare in Socal. I told Dommy a salad which came from a East coast place would be mostly Iceberg Lettuce, raw onion, styrofoam tomatoes, Cukes with a pepperoncini and drowning in Italian dressing if you got the Antipasto add cold cuts to that mix.

The Garlic Knots had potential. They were drowning in garlic and olive oil and the bread was good but because I ordered last minute, they weren't fully reheated.

The Pizza looked good and smelled good on the car ride back. The crust was thin, strong and floppy but not crispy or as flavorful as I like. [My gold standard is the original Pizzeria Regina In Boston] There was a good amount of cheese though it as a little light on the other toppings. What set this Pizza apart for Dommy and I was the sauce. It had enough flavor and a little acid to cut through the rest of the Pizza.

I am glad they opened and are so close maybe I can get them to keep my pie in the oven a little longer.

Take Care

- P.

My top 4 LA thin crusts are:
Joe's Bleeker Street Santa Monica
Vito's
LaRocco's
Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana

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LaRocco's Pizzeria
3819 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

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  1. P. -- Thanks for the heads up. A few questions:

    I'm assuming that the 18" pie was sliced into 8 pieces. With salad too, I'm thinking there were probably at least a couple left over?

    I doubt they deliver?

    How much for the 3-topping pizza?

    Have you tried the pizza at Victor Jr.'s? Do you like them? How did it compare? Yes, I know Victor Jr.'s is closed on weekends...

    Finally, how much $$$ did you grease the doorman???

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      Heh... I was just doing the dishes when I heard P. peel over with laughter... so I had to come investigate.

      The a cheese pizza was $15.00 + 3 toppings at 1.75 each. Not a bad deal or such a big pie (and yes, it was 8 slices and no, in the middle of wedding invitation assembly there was no left over) And they do deliver.

      We haven't tried the pizza at victors, although we LOVE his chopped salad and the meatball sandwich hits the spot!

      Anyway, this and Okonomiyaki from a stand outside of Mitsuwa were our two big dinners for this weekend. So it's no wonder we are ignorant and appauled by the bribing habits of our fellow dining breathren... ;)

      --Dommy!

    2. Do you know if this one has any relation to the one on Main St in Huntington Beach? The one in HB also has garlic knots...can't recall about the salad though. I love that place~!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dlish

        Not according to the Website. But you never know.

        1. re: Dlish

          Also a LaRocco's that sounds identical to this in San Clemente. I'm betting they are related.

          1. re: Itslikeimsayin

            Update: I was just in San Clemente yesterday and went to the LaRocco's there. In talking with the guys I have found out that the Huntington Beach, San Clemente and Culver City ones are all related.

            Love their specials: choose between any 2 slices and bottomless drink or 1 slice, house salad, and bottomless drink for $5.50.

            Also try their calzone....delicious and definitely big enough for two.

        2. Hmmmmm, now there's an interesting "project" for two! Congrats!
          Everyone on this board will want to know who's catering....

          5 Replies
          1. re: Ciao Bob

            In New England it's Irish Pub Fare... Corned Beef and Cabbage and the like... In L.A. it's Dim Sum!

            --Dommy!

            1. re: Dommy

              Yes - congrats! I always enjoy both of your posts - espec when they are close to CC. So are you doing carts for Dim Sum? Do Dim Sum restaurants actually cater out?

              1. re: CulverJack

                It is not carts and the place is surprised we are doing a "Banquet" of dim sum.

              2. re: Dommy

                Much congrats, as a born and raised Bostonian kickin' it in this no fried clam havin' palm tree infested culinary chaos you've both given me some good heads up over my time on the CH. Your combined Chow-ness only promises good things. And not for nothin', this pizza place sounds like it deserves at least a two-slice drive by by me and the SO!

                1. re: PinotPlease

                  Thanks for the Props. Post when you've tried it. I'd like to know what you think.

                  My next type of Pizza yearning out here is a House of "Greece" Pizza. For the uninitiated a lot of Immigrant Greeks opened these places called House of Pizza and they would have Pizza, subs and Gyros. When cooking the pizza, they would load the pan with Olive Oil so the crust would fry on the bottom.

                  Take care

                  - P.

            2. This sounds a lot like the LaRocco's in San Clemente. Are there a bunch of NY Yankee's and Frank Sinatra pictures on the wall? Being a NYC transplant, I'm always looking for "real pizza." NO, BBQ CHICKEN DOES NOT GO ON A PIZZA.

              Although not perfect, the LaRocco's in San Clemente offers a solid, reliable piece of pizza just like you'd buy on the corner in Manhattan.

              1. Try Slice of New York, on Main Street, in Old Town Seal Beach, just up from the pier. I'm born & bred in Brooklyn, and Slice of New York is the best I've found in California. Slice of New York Pizza
                142 Main St Ste B
                Seal Beach, CA 90740-7900
                Phone: (562) 493-4430

                1 Reply
                1. re: Atlas The Dog

                  I've heard of it, but never have a reason to go from Culver City. Next time I'm in the neighborhood I'll make an effort

                2. thanks for te review matt. this place sounds like it is worth trying out as i was not very thrilled with the pizza at joe's in sm.

                  regarding the hole-in-the-wall status....do they have tables for folks that want to dine in?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: wilafur

                    Yes there are about 4 tables in the place.

                    Take Care

                    - P.

                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                      coolio. thanks!

                  2. i ate there last nite after the Farmer's Market. CC really needs a good pizza joint. there is another place right across the street from Sony next to The Conservatory coffee shop, but i never liked their pizza. so...all i got was a single pre-made slice with artichokes, olives and i think basil and maybe a little chili flakes. the pizza was great!! the crust was perfect NY style, very firm and crispy with a nice bite and flavor. most of the other slices had meat, except one which looked like tomato and a hunk of mozzarella. I would definitely go back and order an 18 inch pie to dine in. i'm always dubious of pizza to go...pies sweat in the box and the crust get's soft...it's hard to judge a new pizza joint if you get it to go...

                    1. Thanks Matt, I had been avoiding it thinking I would be disappointed after having become a fan of Joe's in SM. Went in and had a couple slices. Pepperonin and Sausage, pretty good. I really like the nice crisp crust, could go for a little less cheese but that is being nit picky. The sausage was flavorfull, pepperoni was nothing to write home about.

                      All in all a good addition to the neighborhood. I just wish someone would bring back the monster pepperoni's they had at Maria's Italian Kitchen before the daughter took over. Used to be a real treat going to sunset as a kid.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AAQjr

                        I've been there twice and their pizza by the slice is very good. Thin, crispy crust. No deep dish there. Very tasty toppings. Will try their chicken parm sandwich next time.

                      2. We live walking distance to downtown Culver City and just returned from a late afternoon walk with two little kids for dinner and ice cream. We intended to go sit down at Ugo, but saw that LaRocco's is now open and were glad to go more casual. We had a couple plain cheese slices, a slice of white pizza with tomato and basil, and feeling hungry I tried a meatball sub. The pizza was nicely thin and had just the right crispiness. The dough could have used a little more salt imho. The sauce was just great however as already mentioned, tangy with the a good mix of spices. The cheese was not overdone and very tasty. Overall some great slices of pizza. And now for the sub. The meatballs were fantastic! Tender and flavorful, on a beautifully crispy roll, with just the right amount of that great sauce and some beautifully smooth mozzeralla. Just perfect.

                        They are squarely on my list of top Pizza in LA along with the Coop on Exposition at Palms. Mulberry in BH is also reliable but just too pricey at this point, but their sicilian slices are the real deal. Welcome the LaRocco's to the westside! Oh, I spoke with the owner and they are indeed the same LaRocco's from San Clemente, and that shop will continue too.

                        Someone asked about Victors. If you like Pizza Hut and only during the week, you might like Victors....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: richardsaddiction

                          I would say LaRocco's is a cut above the Coop. As they should be, they are a bit more expencive.

                        2. Great pizza. Great owners, Sue and Paul. Don't need to say much more. It's been said here already, but I must have been there six times already. And a very good meatball sandwich, too.

                          1. Ordered delivery from LaRocco's--pizza, salad and garlic knots. The delivery guy showed up without the salad and garlic knots and said that the garlic knots weren't ready, so he'd bring them back (along with the salad). It's funny because someone on Yelp said that this happened to them. Anyway, he came back as promised, but by that time we were about half way done with the pizza. The pizza was really good. The salad was a basic green salad with a balsamic type Italian dressing -- nothing special, but it was fresh. The garlic knots were mediocre. They seemed undercooked and were very blah (Victor's, Jr. has much better garlic knots in my opinion). I would definitely go to LaRocco's if I only wanted pizza, but because I almost always order salad with my pizza I will probably keep ordering from Mulberry (really like their Lorna Luft salad).

                            1. Finally got to the LaRoccos. It was definitely a Boston style pie versus New York and we tried to separate out the ingredients and figure out why. I think it's mostly the sauce, which is probably cooked and not as sweet as say, a Joe's. And the crust is more dense and bready than lofty and more baguette-y. Although they don't oil the crust at LaRoccos, I remember at least half the places growing up in Boston had the shiny, oiled crust, may not have been proper but it sure was tasty. But to be sure, LaRocco's definitely has a unique "thing" I guess all the years elsewhere have made me more of a thin crust NYC Joe's/Vito's fan, but this definitely held it's own and the meatball parm sandwich definitely begs a second visit as it looked pretty damn good!

                              1. I've always dined in at the one in HB and the crust has always had a wonderful slight crisp to it. If you do delivery or take out they suggest sticking in the oven for a few to re-crisp it.

                                1. LaRocco's is a solid NY pizza. I have had pizza in NY, Connecticut (Frank Pepe's) and every other city I have been too. This is a very good pizza, and for delivery in this area, you can't beat it