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Nov 1, 2004 04:00 PM

Who Has the Best Pizza in L.A. and Why?

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My all time favorite is Orso's pizza, because the sauce is savory and not overpowering, the crust is thin and the toppings are evenly proportioned. Great pizza. Berri's Pizza comes in 2nd, but I would like other suggestions that I am sure are out there. I love pizza!

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  1. As a Valley-ite, I like D'Amore's Pizza Connection and Joe Peeps. D'Amore's dough tastes good -- they say its the water he imports from Boston -- I don't know if that's it, but he makes great pies. Joe Peeps has a crust that is not too thick and not too thin (in between NY and Chicago), and a list of toppings to beat the band.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pizzaman

      Wow, there are true pizza lovers out there! Thanks for all the great suggestions:)

    2. There's gotta be one guy who says it and provokes angry responses, so I'll be the guy: Good Pizza in LA is an oxymoron. Stick by the golden rule: Don't eat Pizza in LA or Mexican in NY.

      20 Replies
      1. re: Jon

        it depends on what you mean by "pizza."

        if you're referring to chicago-style, you couldn't be more correct. nothing in LA compares.

        however, if you're referring to NY-style, i will certainly dispute that.

        central LA: vito's (please reopen!)
        eastside: casa bianca
        westside: abbot's pizza (love that poppyseed!)

        1. re: smssms

          Stop!!!!! Some things are just sacred. There simply can not be poppy seeds on anything that even faintly resembles a NYC-style pizza! It's almost sacrilege - lol. Even though I LOVVVVVVE NYC pizza, I'm not one of those who refuses to eat pizza in L.A. I've even had a few good slices here.

          That said, I'm going to check out Abbot Pizza tonight based on suggestions on this board and from other friends. I'll give you my report tomorrow as a died-in-the-wool NYC pizza-eating-gal.

          1. re: Erica

            i wouldn't call abbot's pizza a clone of the NY-style. i'd say it's more of a socal twist on the thin crust style.

            in case you don't know, there's not much seating at abbot's pizza - mainly stools along the wall or a few chairs outside. so be prepared to order takeout.

            enjoy your pie! can't wait for your report!

            1. re: smssms

              Deep sigh (smile). First let me say that I will go back to Abbot's. Next (second deeper sigh), you're right, this is NOT NY-style pizza.

              I ate a slice of cheese pizza while waiting for my Wild Mushroom to go. I thought the problem was that the cheese pizza had been sitting out for a while. However, on both, the crust was really tough and overcooked. However, the sauce was tasty and they offer really nice toppings.

              The thing with NYC pizza is that the sauce and cheese are not really distinct from each other. They meld together in a lovely, gooey, kinda greasy conglomeration - ECSTASY! Also, the crust on great NYC pizza is an art form itself. I don't know how they manage to make the bottom crusty but the part right under the sauce layer is soft and a little mushy - Ayiyiyi, I'm gonna faint - lol.

              When I go back, I think we'll pick up a couple of beers or bring a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck, eat in and wait for whatever comes fresh out of the oven. That should enhance the flavor and reduce the crust problem.

              Until then, I'll keep looking for the best L.A. slice. But thanks fellow hounds for the referral.

              1. re: Erica

                Try Damiano on Fairfax across from Canters. Very (NYC)West Village pizza by the slice. Fresh ingredients. And that "soft spot" that you so fondly recall is there. I like it cause it's only 10 minutes away. They're pokey, so I call in my slices from the car as I leave the house, only have to wait a minute or 2 when I get there. You can always get a street spot between 7 & 11 pm. Oh, they serve till 5 am.

                1. re: ciao ny

                  I had Damianos once and found it too greasy. Mulberry St is the closest I have found to the regular slices I would get in nyc. Of course nothing tops Grimaldis. Did you also notice when their pies come out the slices of mozzarella are still semi solid? Man oh man!

          2. re: smssms

            casa bianca--never been able to get in

            vitos--not open as you point out.

            abbotts--you're joking, right? no offense

            1. re: Jon

              i take no offense, jon. my opinion is that of a pizza lover who has lived on both coasts, not to mention chicago.

              casa bianca - put your name in the waiting list, walk over the "the chalet" for a drink or two, and come back and enjoy your pie with a nice buzz.

              vito's - c'mon and hurry it up!

              abbot's - i will certainly not contend that it is an duplicate of a NY pie. it's instead a bohemian/venice take on the traditional. there's only 1 pizza place that i like better - just under the brooklyn bridge on the brooklyn side. what's the name of that place?

                1. re: Erik M.

                  thanks. that place...sure brings back memories.

                  if only grimaldi's had a left coast branch.

                  1. re: smssms

                    Believe it or not, Grimaldi's has opened a store in Phoenix (of all the god-forsaken places!)... coal oven and all.

                    Mr. Taster

                    1. re: Mr. Taster

                      Has that been verified? If it's true I'll be off to phoenix once a week. It's a world gone mad.

                      1. re: Jon

                        Yeah, I ate there during baseball spring training. Really good pizza, a little expensive but worth it.

                        1. re: Jon

                          Indeed it is verified. It's a totally baffling concept. I suppose some of the Grimaldi family decided to retire in Phoenix and bring the family business with them. I can't imagine any other connection.

                          Mr. Taster


                        2. re: Mr. Taster

                          And a little OT, but Pizzeria Bianco (with it's James Beard Award) is in Phoenix and started in the Bronx.

                    2. re: smssms

                      You're thinking of of fabulous Patsy Grimaldi's.

                2. re: Jon

                  As we all know, there are many east coast transplants here in So. Cal and you may be one of them, I am. I think we know what good pizza is from all the mom and pop pizza shops we grew up around. There weren't any chains way back when. California does has some decent sole proprietorships here, but many are your fancy goat cheese and duck droppings or pickled blackberries and rapini offerings on a pizza bianco and cracker-like crust from famous and not so famous chefs, not to mention any names like Mario Batali, Susan Feniger, and dear old Wolfgang. Anyway, what do Californians have to compare pizza places to? Nothing. They just go here and there and form their own opinions. There's a pizza for everyone, but the trick is finding yours. But don't call that fat savory cake from Chicago, a pizza. It's not, it's a cake with pizza-like ingredients, assembled backwards.

                  BTW -There is a large Hispanic community in NYC, and the north east in general, so your taco rule is false. Plenty of good tacos up there.

                    1. re: TarsTarkus

                      We have La Barbara's , Barones and the original Spago

                    2. re: Jon

                      You can't live without pizza. There are multiple styles of pizza. LA doesn't happen to make a good NY style pizza but there are many other varieties of pizza that are fantastic in LA. It really depends which of the many styles of pizza you are looking for.

                      For example, take hamburgers. Some times I crave a Fathers Office burger, sometimes In n Out, sometimes Houston's, sometimes Tommy's chiliburger, other times I crave my own BBQ burger. They're all good, just different.

                    3. Ciccero's on La Cienega between Cashio and 18th street. I'm telling you, I've been around some pizza, and this is legit. Great cheese and the crust is perfect. You just gotta try it.

                      1. Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, hands down. Best flavor, best crust, best toppings, best in show.

                        That of my favorite pizzas is at the Rainbow on Sunset. The rock and roll dive The Rainbow... has one of the best tasting pies in town, no kidding.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Woody

                          You know, I went to Casa Bianca once and was horrified to find grey, canned mushrooms on my mushroom pizza.

                          Mr. Taster

                          1. re: Mr. Taster

                            agree that canned mushrooms are a real turn-off - capri in eagle rock also used these on their pizza, which was rather disappointing.

                        2. b

                          where is orso's and berri's? are they better than Casa Bianca? havent tried but capri in eagle rock is rumored to be quite good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blackbookali

                            Orso is a restaurant on 3rd near Cedars Sinai Hospital with one of the nicest al fresco patios in town.