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NY Style Pizza

  • j

Have just moved from NYC to Santa Monica and was hoping someone could recommend a place on the west side to get a decent slice of pizza....

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  1. Leave your memories of Ray's on 6th Avenue behind. There's great pizza in L.A. (do a search here), but generally not great pizza by the slice. So while places like Mulberry Street offer by the slice, it's generally popped back in the overn for a re-heat (just like 90% of the places in NYC...).

    That said, because of customer turnover, Costco's is surprisingly okay, as is the place in the Glendale Galleria. Johnny's (sp) in the Westside has its proponents and detractors. I've had a slice at Village Pizza in Larchmont, and it was re-heated, but okay.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Briggs

      My bad - I totally spaced out on Lamonica's (sorry I haven't been in awhile). You really should check out the Westwood branch since it is pretty close to NYC pizza slice.

      1. re: Briggs

        Costco? You just said that to a guy coming from NYC? Jesus, man. Jesus.

        1. re: Briggs

          Sorry but Costco is nothing but an insult to decent pizza anywhere not just NY. I have been to LA many times I do not think you can anything even resembling NY "street Pizza" anywhere on the west coast. With that being said you can get Brick oven Pizza in LA. I have been to Pizzaria Mozza & Pitfire Pizzaria. Mozza was better but does come with a price. But anybody thinking Costco pizza is even edible I feel for you.

          Ciao- (Brooklyn Pizza Snob)

        2. Forget it, Jill, just enjoy the weather and Mexican food here. Your fave NY slice will taste even better when you return home.

          Mulberry St is the closest you'll find but it's not by us out here in SM.

          1. You can't really compare it to New York pizza, but I do like Abbott's pizza. The Santa Monica location is across from Santa Monica College on Pico and 18th (or 17th). They've usually got about 5 of their pizzas at a time (or more?) available for slice, which they do reheat. Good enough for me. (I was only born in NYC but did not grow up there).

            1. Not too far, next to UCLA, try Lamonica's New York Pizza. Good luck in your search.

              1066 Gayley Ave Westwood, CA 90024

              1. I don't usually like chain food, but I just tried a Red Brick Pizza the other day, and found that it taste like NY style pizza (salty, greasy, cheesy, thin chewy-on-the-inside but crisp-on-the-outside crust). I grew up in NYC too, so I think I know what you might be looking for.

                The one closest to you is probably Culver City.

                Link: http://www.redbrickpizza.com

                1. It depends how far you're willing to drive for that taste.

                  Village Pizza (on Larchmont, south of Melrose)
                  Slice of NY in Seal Beach
                  Mulberry Street
                  Vito's on Vermont was really authentic (which closed months ago... I keep hoping it will reopen)

                  But remember what people here are saying... LA doesn't have the pedestrian pizza traffic that NYC has, so pizza by the slice is really sub-par here. To really taste NYC pizza you need to go there and order a fresh pie. And ask for oregano... these places have it but only by special request.

                  And while you're chowing on your good-but-not-great pizza, just remember how much better our Korean BBQ and Thai food is than in NYC!

                  Mr. Taster
                  (who is from central New Jersey)

                  1. IMHO, Greco's NY Pizza comes about as close as you'll get to NY pizza. It'll never be quite the same, something about the water out here.

                    Greco's is on Hollywood Blvd. (south side of the street), one-half block west of Highland. It's across the street from the Kodak Theatre, and now that the Oscars are done, it's safe to venture back there.

                    1. I don't know any place near Santa Monica, but I've got a few favorites.

                      I've been here occasionally when I have the chance.

                      Brooklyn Pizzeria
                      6745 Tampa Ave
                      Reseda, CA 91335
                      (818) 344-2473

                      This is not NY style pizza but by far the best pizza joint I've been to. I've took my relatives from NY and Jersey here - they loved it.

                      Folliero Pizza
                      5566 N Figueroa St
                      Los Angeles, CA 90042
                      Main Phone: 323-254-0505

                      *There's nothing here in CA that is compared to real NY pizza - I think it's the taste of the water that makes the difference.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Applesseed

                        Hogwash! I'm from New Jersey, and while you won't get sublime pies like you get at DiFara in Brooklyn, LA's best NY pizza is certainly comparable with what would pass for a decent, standard pie in the NYC area.

                        Mr. Taster

                        1. re: Mr. Taster

                          Apparently you've been away from Brooklyn a long time. The pizza out here $ucks by and large, whether they put a NY in fornt of the name or not.

                          1. re: RudyG

                            You're reading too much into my words. Nowhere did I say that most of the pizza in LA was good. By and large (as you say) it sucks.

                            But it's still important to not be an elitist snob and give their due to those places that do it right. As I stated elsewhere in this post, there are a few NY style pizzerias in LA which make a pie comparable to an average New Jersey/New York pie. But if you're really from the NY/NJ area, you know that even the average pie is still pretty good.

                            Mr. Taster

                        2. re: Applesseed

                          We ordered a sausage onion pizza from Foliero's the other night and were disappointed. The pizza was pretty good, but not fantastic. I prefer the sausage pizza at Casa Bianca.

                          Did we just order the wrong thing? Is there a killer pizza at Foliero's that we don't know about? It's so close to home that I want to give it a second shot...

                          1. re: Ingrid

                            I usually go for their pasta dish like lasagna, spaghetti with clams, and yesterday I had meat ravioli for the first time - it just simply melts in your mouth. You're right - their sausage ain't that great - I was just asking the same question when I was eating the leftover over lunch today. I usually get plain cheese or Jalapeno topping. If you order a pasta dish like ravioli, save the sauce so you can dip it with your pizza.

                            1. re: Applesseed

                              I like Foliero's and Casa Bianca's equally - CB for their sausage/eggpant pizza, and Foliero's for their plain cheese. Their sandwiches are dirt cheap (2.50-3.00 IIRC), and can vouch for the sausage hero.

                              FOliero's is of course a lot easier to get in and out of.

                        3. you can not find good pizza in LA ever..im a new yorker and have been here for 4 years

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chowbry

                            "you can not find good pizza in LA ever..im a new yorker and have been here for 4 years"

                            Untrue and unfair statement.

                            I lived in NYC and ate pizza there for 35+ years. Before moving here 10 months ago I lived walking distance from Grimaldi's. The pizza in NYC, and everything else, started going downhill more than a decade ago.
                            Visited LA maybe 25 times over a 15 year period before moving here; the food, and the pizza got better and better. Nicky D's and probably a dozen other places serve really great pizza.

                            NYC has only pizza memories, just read the NYC CH board; they just complain how even the the best has become disappointing.

                            1. re: ciao ny

                              We still have L&B Spumoni Gardens...

                            2. re: chowbry

                              While I would agree that the pizza in southern California is generally disappointing, there are three places I would recommend in the Los Angeles area for thin crust pizza that I think folks would find terrific. My first choice would be the original Domenico's in Pasadena; my second choice would be Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock; and my third choice would be Petrillo's in San Gabriel. Domenico's is more like New York-style, with plenty of cheese, sauce, and toppings; Casa Bianca is more Chicago-style, with the crust being very thin plus the cheese, sauce, and toppings being tasty but less voluminous; and the regular Petrillo's pizza is pan-shaped, square-cut, and has crust that is Sicilian-style thick, with New York-style substantial cheese and sauce and toppings - though an off-the-menu secret is to ask them to bake the pizza with thin crust that is pan-shaped and pan-sliced.

                              2411 East Washington Boulevard
                              Pasadena, CA 91104-204
                              (626) 797-6459
                              Open Tue-Thu, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-10:30pm; Sun, 11am-9pm; closed Monday

                              Casa Bianca
                              1650 Colorado Boulevard
                              Los Angeles, CA 90041-1436
                              (323) 256-9617
                              Open Tue-Thu, 4pm-12am; Fri-Sat, 4pm-1am; closed Sunday and Monday; and call before going in August, when the family takes vacation and closes the restaurant

                              Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant
                              833 East Valley Boulevard
                              San Gabriel, CA 91776-3643
                              (626) 280-7332
                              Open Mon-Thu and Sun, 11:30 am-9:30 pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30 am-11 pm

                            3. I just made the NYC to Santa Monica move last year, and went through the pizza withdrawal you're now experiencing. Nothing I've tried has really jazzed me, but I guess the best pizza I've come across is from Bravo on Main Street in Santa Monica. (I think they have another location near the Promenade.) It wouldn't be noteworthy in NYC, but it temporarily satisfies my craving. And they sell cannoli from Ferrara's, so their heart is in the right place.

                              I miss Big Nick's and New Pizza Town from the Upper West Side. Sniffle. But then again, they're digging out from 6 inches of snow right now, so I'll get over it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Lucky Penny

                                Try Lamonicas NY Pizza at 1066 Gayley Ave, Westwood, CA 90024.
                                Phone: 310-208-8671

                                This is THE CLOSEST I've had to real NY Pizza.

                              2. Years ago (well before i ever thought i'd be moving to Orange County from NY/NJ) i saw a Food network show on this transplanted Pizza Shop owner from NYC that couldn't replicate a 'real' pizza here in LA and he discovered that it was the water compsition that made bad dough. so he opened a chemistry lab, sort of a microbrew for water in his restaurant to make true NY pizza in LA. But i can't find any info on this any where. Anyone heard about this at all and where he is. I'd love to try it out some time.

                                1. Wow... Old thread (2005).

                                  But has anyone mentioned Joe's of Bleecker Street (near 2nd. & Broadway). Pretty decent NY pizza (by LA standards).

                                  Joe's Pizza
                                  111 Broadway
                                  Santa Monica

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: J.L.

                                    Valentinos Pizza on Avaition in Manhattan Beach has a good rendition.. The family is from New Jeresey and the pizza is very good..

                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                      +1 for Valentino's Pizza. They also have a second location in El Segundo on Sepulveda Blvd.

                                      150 S. Sepulveda
                                      El Segundo

                                  2. We're recent Brooklyn ex-pats and have really come to appreciate LaRocco's in Culver City. Thin, crispy crust and great sauce. (Not too sweet, a touch of spice in it.)