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Sep 6, 2008 07:30 AM

Cristoni Pizzeria - Double Bust

I checked this new place out because the restaurant blog said the pizza chef came from Naples and trained at Da Michele, which is one of the originators of the pizza style I most love -- think Antica, not Vitos.

Well, bust 1 was when I saw the deck ovens, no wood-burning. There was a guy making pizzas but he did not look Italian.

And the margarita pie was 2 notches above inedible. Tough and leathery crust, non-descript cheese and sauce. A real jaw workout for no payoff.

I usually don't write about first impressions but I really don't see the pizza changing that drastically to the point where it will take on the deck oven places like Terroni, no less Naples.

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  1. Here is the press release i found:

    Cristoni Pizzeria boasts an extensive menu of classic Neapolitan style pies created under the direction of Enrico Sautto, a 4th generation Pizzaolo who was trained in the traditional methods of pizza making at his family’s world-renowned pizzeria - Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples, Italy.

    Which means that the menu was created by a guy from Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, not that he is working here. It also does not mean he oversaw the training and execution of the recipes. I learned a long time ago to read between the lines.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      He created the menu? Margarita pizza. Pepperoni. Wow, he must be creative...

      I thought some of the Naples flair might rub off, but alas, none.

      1. re: Adsvino

        Maybe they were shooting for Naples, LB?

          1. re: Adsvino

            Why on earth nobody does fugazzetas ???


            Or even better, fugazzeta rellena ( with the mozarella INSIDE the dough)????


            1. re: RicRios

              I will take 2 for here and 6 togo, for the freezer. Why on earth does no one make one like that. Fahgetaboutit!

              1. re: RicRios

                Looks like Chicago stuffed crust does it differ.

                1. re: RicRios

                  Fugazzetta is Argentine in origin, which is why Italian-run pizzerias tend not to have it. Locally, you can find pizza fugazetta at Damiano's Mr. Pizza on Fairfax and at the Mercado Buenos Aires in Van Nuys.

                  1. re: RicRios

                    The best fugazetta in town is at Carniceria Argentino (or Alex's Meat Market) on Victory just west of Lankershim in NoHo. You have to order ahead because they make them custom, but they stuff the crust with meat. They prefer pepperoni, but I prefer prosciutto. They're fantastic!

                    The meats there are amazing, too. Hand-cut beef to your specifications at half the supermarket prices.

            2. re: Burger Boy

              This is picture of a pizza from Da Michele:

              Go to Cristoni and see if the margarita looks like this.....

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  Yep. That pizza is so good the sauce and cheese are pointless--the crust is to die for. I couldn't even DIGEST the crust at Cristonis.

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. Thanks for taking one for the team.

                I saw it promoted, I mean mentioned on the official Primo Corporation newswire, I mean that eating blog. They've already got a guy holding a sign blocking west bound traffic on Sunset, it doesn't matter what they serve, there's a certain demographic that will eat there anyway.

                What is with all the site-seeing tour busses, parking & advertising sign-holding people holding up traffic? With all the congestion it seems like the city would curb that activity.

                1. bumer, i got an email from Urban Daddy yesterday advertising this new *great* pizza place... too bad it didn't live up to billing... i may try it yet anyways, but thanks for the heads-up to expect little...

                  fwiw, was the pizza thin crusted enough? how was the sauce and toppings, in terms of quality for what you had?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    I spoke to the pizza chef last night - not his menu - not his ovens - not his idea of pizza - unfortunately he's not the boss.......
                    He is who they say he is - but he has no control - it's pretty sad.

                    1. re: shebop

                      Man, they must be paying him some serious money for him to stick around then. If they are hyping him so much, I wonder why he had no say so in the ovens and the recipes? Interesting? Is this how restaurant groups do business, just hype and hype?

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        The ovens were already in when he arrived - owners feel that Los Angelenos won't understand a more "Italian" menu - ARRRGGGHHH.
                        He moved here from Florida - we'll see how long he stays. Really nice guy.

                        1. re: shebop

                          Oh yeah, we angelenos don't know good, authentic Italian food. wtf.

                          LOL "Not his idea of pizza"

                        2. re: Burger Boy

                          There is hype and there is quality. If you are in Beverly Hills, on the Strip or Hwood Blvd, you need hype. If you are on Beverly Blvd or Culver City, you need quality. Yet there is only so much you can hype pizza, I would let the Naples guy do his thing.

                    2. Tried a couple slices. It's not entirely awful. Canned sauce for sure. Crust had a better texture than what I heard, but an odd wheaty taste. Maybe he's using dough that should be cooked at a higher temp. Cheese didn't cut through the sauce. Sausage was tasty, but that taste overshadowed the rest of the slice. With all that said it's better than some others in the neighborhood (North End, Tomato Pie) but it gets massacred by the big dogs (Vito's, Joe's, Mozza is in another state from it). That little twit from Entourage was there...eating a salad of course. I'm going to try a whole pie and make a final decision after that.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          3rd I think--isn't that the Boston style pizza place. Can someone tell me what Boston style pizza is?

                            1. re: RicRios

                              Nope--pizza in a Boston, MA style, not the Boston chain.

                              Anyway, speaking of new pizza experiences, I schlepped out to Monterey Park at lunch to try Bollini's the other day, which was only one notch above Cristonis, and that with a woodburning oven.

                              Honestly, the only game in town for my beloved VPN pizza is Antica. Kinda sad.

                              1. re: Adsvino

                                Went back to Cristoni and had a whole pie. Crust was burned black, the rest was soggy. I'll go back if I'm on Sunset at 3AM, but then again I'm not 22 and obnoxious so I doubt that will happen.