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Apr 27, 2009 01:03 PM

Authentic Italian Pizza

My lucky younger sister got to travel for a few weeks in Italy last summer and fell in love with the pizza. Now she wants me to take her somewhere in LA where she can relive the experience. I've already made it clear that wherever I take her will obviously not be 100%, but I'd do my best to get "as close to authentic" I could possibly do.

Other then Antica in LB, is there anywhere else I could take her?

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  1. Where in Italy was she-- or more specifically, where was she when she fell in love with the pizza?

    4 Replies
    1. re: noahbites

      She was in Piacenza. Which restaurant in particular she doesn't recall, and she's never been very descriptive. The best I can get out of her is "very thin and fresh."

      1. re: ReelMike84

        Hearing "very thin", my first thoughts go to Spark. Know there's one in Studio City and I think also BevHills. Roman style, matzo-thin pizza.

        1. re: ReelMike84

          hearing 'very thin and fresh' i think of the neopolitan style that they make at antica pizzaria in marina del rey.
          they import their flour from italy and have a wood-burning oven.

          if you do search it out, be aware that it is on the second floor of a shopping center that is located is on the NORTHWEST corner of maxella and glencoe in marina del rey.

        2. re: noahbites

          Hands down, The Good Pizza in Westchester is the best place to eat pizza in L.A. The owners are from Napoli, where pizza was invented. These guys got their pizza mojo down.

        3. Pizzeria Ortica? Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton's Italianer-than-thou Pizzeria Mozza?

          I don't know anyplace that does pizza by the gram the way it's done in southern Italy except for Whole Foods and... well... let's just say that if they made pizza in Naples, La Cosa Nostra wouldn't want their pizzo*.

          * protection money

          1. I've had better pizza in Italian airports than in most places I've been to in Los Angeles. The closest to Italian (memories, at least) that I know around here is Bollini's. I'm not terribly fond of the tomato sauce, but they offer several more -- it's a build-your-own approach with numerous sauces, cheeses, vegetables, and meats to choose from -- and the toppings and thin crust are generally excellent. While waiting for your pizza, you can dream away the night watching the flames dance in their wood-fired oven.

            Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
            2315 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

            9 Replies
            1. re: Mel Gee

              I'll second this recommendation as being closest to what would be defined as "authentic". It's as close to a true Neapolitan pizza you can get that I know of in Los Angeles. The crust is super thin, crispy yet chewy and fired in a real wood-burning oven.

              1. re: Mel Gee

                Agree with the Bollini recommendation; I've been addicted since I tried it. They also have excellent salads.

                There is also a place in the Marina that has authentic, certified Neopolitan style pizza -- I've been there a couple times -- the name is slipping my mind. It might be Antica.

                1. re: NAspy

                  I liked Bollini better than Antica... :D


                  1. re: Dommy

                    Dommy, what kind of pizza did you have at Antica? I'm interested in trying the place, but your comment gives me pause. Did you get a sense there might be something better than the one you ordered? Thanks.

                    1. re: Mel Gee

                      I've tried several... The Margarhita, the one with clams, one with sausage... the ingredients where meh and more often than not the pizzas over done or under done (And don't tell me about char... I LOVE char but this was serious bitter carbon)

                      At Bollini's it such a small joynt that they seem to have tigher control over the quality issues of the pizza that Antica just does not.

                      And in the neighborhood, I recently tried The Good Pizza in Westchester, which was a slightly different style, but an overall BETTER pizza.


                      Good Pizza
                      7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                      1. re: Dommy

                        Thanks. I hate to hear the clam pizza is no good, because I've been dreaming about Frank Pepe's in New Haven recently. Hmm, I wonder if Big Mista' could develop a pulled-clam pizza? ;-)

                        1. re: Mel Gee

                          LOL! If you want Clam pizza... the one at Mozza is the best I've had... :)


                2. re: Mel Gee

                  Not true! I've been to Italy too, and lots of the food is pretty uninspired, especially at airports. On balance, I've had better Italian food in American restaurants of high quality than in Italian establishments. I'll give an unqualified rave for Antica in Marina del Rey. It's authentic, but that's not the issue because authenticity is contentious and suspect. It's just perfect.... thin crust, classic toppings and altogether inspired. LA has loads of other great pizza too, but for no-nonsense classic Neapolitan, go Antica!

                  1. re: jono37

                    "Not true!"?

                    Were you the guy behind me in line at the vending machine in the Firenze airport? Now you have to understand -- I wasn't lying, above. I complained about that pizza, because the cellophane packaging specifically promised artichokes, and they were nowhere to be found. Also, yes, I'll agree that you can get better Italian food at some top places in the U. S. "than in [some] Italian establishments."

                    After Mattapoisett in LA's clarification of Dommy's earlier post, I intend to try Antica and will report back. I hope it's good, because I disagree with the notion that "LA has loads of other great pizza." We need mo' better pizza.

                3. I'll give a shout out to Anitca Pizza in Marina Del Ray. Really excellent pizza. Their pizza guy spent months in Italy learning to make pizza and has a class here now (it's pricey). but the pizza is excellent. highly recommended.


                  1. From the responses I'm gathering that it's basically a tossup between Bollini or Antica.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ReelMike84

                      Angelini Osteria is closer to Italy.

                      1. re: sloanedone

                        Certainly not! Bollini's has to be at least 15 miles further east than Angelini Osteria.

                      2. re: ReelMike84

                        i think that when i hit my target weight, i need to to a tasting comparison between the two on the same evening.

                        i disagree that with Dommy's assessment that the GOOD PIZZA is better than ANTICA PIZZARIA. to me, the pizza at antica edges out that seved at the good pizza. don't get me wong,though, to me, they both serve extremely good pizza. also, antica, with their wood burning oven is a real restaurant so you are sitting inside at tables with tablecloths instead of eating at tables outdoors on the sidewalk of a strip mall.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          I will qualify Dommy!'s comments with the fact we went once. and at that time the Pizza was made in a wood oven that had not been cleaned well enough and wasn't hot enough. The Pizzas had a lot of ash on the bottom of it and the pizza dough wasn't cooked thoroughly and it was raw in patches, though there was ash char on the bottom of the crust.

                          At that point we said life is to short for pizza as bad as that and haven't been back, but maybe it is time to retry Antica.