If you want unique, there is a branch of Two Boots; their pizza is very polarizing however and I would not consider it a "gourmet" slice along the lines of Co, Keste, Luzzo's, Motorino. THeir slices are thicker crust with oregano in it and their sauces have some zing; New Orleans-style flavors.
Glad you brought up Lazzara's. Can those who like it talk more about the appeal of it? I was at the 38th St location on Saturday and was unimpressed, to say the least. It took me a while to realize what the taste of the pizza reminded me of, but then about 3 slices in, I realized it: frozen pizza! Is this style of pizza native to somewhere? It didn't taste like typical (good) New York pizza, and it certainly wasn't Neapolitan (and I'm not saying that it was supposed to -- I'm just wondering). I don't mean to be unduly harsh -- but I thought it wasn't appealing at all, and even as I was eating it, I was thinking of posting here to ask why people like it.
I've been to Co, Motorino, John's (long time ago), Patsy's East Harlem (often), Artichoke, Totonno's, etc., and I couldn't figure out why Lazarra's is often mentioned as maybe just one step down from these guys when actually it seemed like way, way below them in quality. Sorry again for being harsh...I'm just befuddled! What do you like about it? Are there other places making similar pizza so I could compare?
I enjoy Hell's Kitchen Pizza (47th St & 10 Ave) quite a bit. It's not specialty pizza like Co or Motorino but more like your NYC type pizza. I'm a huge fan of their Hellfire slice which is spicy in a good way. I think the toppings are hot italian sausage, pepperoni, and cherry peppers. I'm unsure if they offer salad though.
Great pizza in Hells Kitchen is a void that needs to be filled.
Angelo's is merely good. Fine if you are nearby.
I agree with the others that a better bet is to head down to Chelsea (Co.) or West Village (Keste', No. 28, John's of Bleecker St.') and options increase. Chelsea all has newly opened Ovest Pizzoteca (affiliated with Luzzo's) which I have not tried yet.
Co. might be the best bet for a decent fresh salad to go along with the pizza.
With regard to pizza, you will not find what you are looking in Hell's Kitchen.
Heading west, Angelo's, on 57th, b/t 6th & 7th, is supposed to have good pizza, but we've never tried it.
Heading due south, the pizza at Co., on the corner of 9th & 23rd, is what you are looking for.
Co. photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...