HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What's your latest food project?

Pizza: West of the 405, when it is not Monday

Ciao Bob Sep 27, 2005 05:39 PM

Is there any good pizza WEST of the 405?

Please do not answer if what you want to say is, "Are you kidding me, Bob, there's no good pizza WEST OF THE HUDSON RIVER!" That's pretty much how I feel, with a few exceptions:

I like Vincente on Monday's - but today ain't.
I like La Buca - but it ain't west of the 405.
Casa Bianca is good - but see above.
I've heard La Bottega might be good.
Any other ideas?

  1. DrBruin Mar 22, 2009 08:58 AM

    1. Lamonica's in Westwood - Great memories of huge floppy, and slightly greasy foldable slices. Also, they run (or at least used to run) a lot of coupons in the Daily Bruin, UCLA's free newspaper.

    2. In the South Bay, WEST of the 405, is a location of a mini-chain called GARLIC JIMs. I like their crust and toppings a lot.

    Garlic Jim's
    Redondo Beach (310) 543-5500
    1876 S. Pacific Coast Highway Redondo Beach CA 90277 Map
    Tel: 310-543-5500
    Hours: Open Everyday 11am-10pm

    For those with gluten allergies, they also serve gluten-free pizza (although I haven't tried it).

    1 Reply
    1. re: DrBruin
      nosh Mar 22, 2009 09:37 AM

      For big, generously topped, inexpensive delivery pizza, I agree with Lamonica's if you are anywhere near Westwood Village. The coupon offer for a large pizza with two toppings (including tax) is back down to $13 last time I used one, though they no longer include a large soft drink and say they are really strict about not allowing you to use an old one past the expiration date. (Back a few months ago, at the height of the gas price climb, the price even with a coupon was several dollars more.) Lamonica's offers 2-for-1 even without a coupon on Monday nights.

      For a higher-class, woodburning oven gourmet pizza, I really liked the ones we were served at Gjelina last weekend. The lamb sausage pizza was topped with a lot of meat, had a real spice to it, and the edges were very crisp and the crust nicely charred and textured, quite thin. Pizzas were goodsized -- bigger than some of those "individual" little ones -- and about $14. I really liked the gesture of serving them with a small plate of grated parm, crushed red chili flakes, and dried oregano to sprinkle on top if desired.

    2. c
      casualcat Dec 8, 2008 01:22 PM

      abbots in venice or santa monica.

      1. b
        bdorsey20 Dec 6, 2008 10:07 AM

        Riva on 4th and wilshire in Santa Monica. Its not like a pizza joint but tey have great thin crusted pizza. The also have great charcuterie also.

        1. k
          kevin Dec 5, 2008 04:27 PM

          since this post is bumped again, why is Vincenti so great for their pizzas? are they some of the best pies in town? thanks.

          9 Replies
          1. re: kevin
            Ciao Bob Dec 5, 2008 04:32 PM

            I think they are very good. They are of the thin-crust-from-a-woodburning-oven variety. I especially like the porchetta pizza.

            It was nice to see this post from 2005 because I forgot I wrote it and we now have so much better pizza...though Vito's still wins for me.

            1. re: Ciao Bob
              kevin Dec 5, 2008 05:12 PM

              is it vito's better or vincenti? for pizza?

              or perhaps mozza compared to vincenti>

              1. re: kevin
                epop Dec 5, 2008 05:25 PM

                i say vicenti over vito. mozza tops these though. i'm surprised to be saying this, as i didn't like Mozza last year.

                1. re: epop
                  Ciao Bob Dec 8, 2008 01:18 PM

                  For my burnt mouth roof, if I want it burnt by NY/NJ-style 'za, there is only Vito's.

                  If I want something creative and great, its Mozza. I really agree with you epop. Mozza, IMHO, was unsteady at first. Sometimes divine, sometimes not (card-boardy crust) but now they rarely falter.

                  VIncenti is much closer to what you would get in Italy. I was at Riva last night and was quite impressed with their individual pies.

                  1. re: Ciao Bob
                    Juji Dec 8, 2008 02:09 PM

                    I was at Riva last night too, and very much enjoyed the pizza with the tiny meatballs.

                    1. re: Juji
                      kevin Dec 8, 2008 02:37 PM

                      are these beef meatballs?

                      1. re: kevin
                        Juji Dec 8, 2008 05:24 PM

                        I'm pretty sure they were beef, but I didn't ask and it didn't specify on the menu.

                    2. re: Ciao Bob
                      kevin Dec 8, 2008 02:37 PM

                      where's riva?

                      i haven't heard of it yet. did it just open?

                      i'm going to having getting to vincenti, if and only if, it's a monday nite,

                      1. re: kevin
                        grubtrotters Mar 21, 2009 08:48 PM

                        Riva just opened. it's from Jason Travi of Fraiche, and it's near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The potato pizza is awesome. Here's a pic:


            2. e
              epop Dec 5, 2008 08:00 AM

              I like Monday's too and would recommend Antica in MDR, especially in Bepe is cooking.

              1. l
                ldodb Dec 5, 2008 07:29 AM

                Im surprised no one has said either of these yet, but
                There is also Joes Pizza on Broadway at 2nd,
                And Richie Palmers on Ocean Ave.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ldodb
                  Adsvino Dec 5, 2008 07:42 AM

                  I wouldn't be surprised--they didn't exist in 2005.

                  1. re: Adsvino
                    AAQjr Dec 5, 2008 10:28 AM

                    LOL! I was suckered in again :p

                    1. re: Adsvino
                      ldodb Dec 5, 2008 01:43 PM

                      Hah, I didnt even look at the dates.
                      I don't get why somone bumped it back up.

                      1. re: ldodb
                        kevin Dec 5, 2008 04:26 PM

                        yep, neither was around back then, in the jurassic era.

                        1. re: kevin
                          a_and_w Mar 23, 2009 11:51 AM

                          Sadly, Richie Palmer's will reportedly be closing by the end of May, if not sooner.

                  2. j
                    jcwla Sep 28, 2005 02:06 PM

                    Lamonica's is mentioned below. Great thin crust.
                    For a thicker, doughy crust I think Jacopo's is vastly underrated on here. Great antipastos/chopped salads and the pizza is delicious and extremly generous with toppings. Pricey but as Sheila E said, "If you have to ask you can't afford it lingerie..."

                    1. s
                      StanS Sep 28, 2005 01:24 PM

                      North End Pizza has the best pizza in LA hands down. On Olympic near Bundy.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: StanS
                        daftpunkxl Mar 23, 2009 04:44 PM

                        I'm going to raise my hand and politely disagree--we'd get North End delivered at work a lot (not sure by whom) and their sauce tastes like store bought crappy marinara, way overblown with the toppings, and the crust is always soggy.

                      2. n
                        Noclue Sep 28, 2005 01:47 AM

                        Mulberry Street Pizza in Encino is west of the 405.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Noclue
                          Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2005 01:48 PM

                          I knew somebody was going to say that... and the OP can go to Nicolosi Bakery on Ventura in Encino afterwards for a delicious sfogliatella.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            toomanypots Mar 23, 2009 12:21 AM

                            Y'know... on two recommendations I went there. Have to say not impressed with doughy, almost cake-y and flour tasting crust. Smothered in cheese, sauce that tasted of tin cans.... I surely won't be back.
                            I'm not so egotistical as to say any spot is the best or the worst. Working my way to some more CH recommendations.
                            Til then I can get a wood-fired, Margherita with charred crust, fresh (sic) Mozz, and a hand crushed from plum tomato sauce... from CPK in Tarzana. Ask for it with no mozz, only fresh mozz and parm. Ask 'em to overcook it in the hottest part of the oven. Deal with the chiffonaded basil. I bet you don't hate it.

                        2. d
                          Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2005 12:24 AM

                          I'm partial to Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen on Wilshire near 14th, myself.

                          1. s
                            Senor Popusa Sep 27, 2005 11:48 PM

                            Vittorio in the Pacific Palisades makes excellent pizza and they also serve the best garlic knots I have ever eaten.

                            For slices I like Wildflour Pizza on Main St in Santa Monica.

                            1. r
                              Redshirt Sep 27, 2005 08:48 PM

                              De Vita's on Wilshire near Bundy is very good.

                              1. s
                                smssms Sep 27, 2005 08:08 PM

                                for a hole-in-the-wall takeout/delivery joint, the coop on national has surprisingly good NY style. it's not west of the 405, but close enough.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: smssms
                                  Brian C Sep 28, 2005 12:46 PM

                                  I also like The Coop as well for NY style pizza. They also offer a deep dish pizza which is also very good in a small or large size. If you order from here I would reccomend to call and place an order as the wait can be as little as 10 min or an hour if they are swamped.

                                2. s
                                  Sasha Sep 27, 2005 07:53 PM

                                  I third (or fourth) the rec for abbots (love the 5 onion pie, and if you're building your own the olive pesto sauce), and throw in a couple others - Lamonica's on Gayley in Westwood (slightly east of 405 but not much), and if you're in the mood for a mondo slice of cheese pizza with a ton of golden brown bubbly cheese, I recently discovered the pizza by the slice at costco - Washington Blvd just east of Lincoln. Be forewarned - each slice is roughly 800 calories!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Sasha
                                    DrBruin Mar 22, 2009 08:53 AM

                                    I'll second Lamonica's.

                                  2. s
                                    silence9 Sep 27, 2005 06:29 PM

                                    Hi... Villa Italian makes very good pizza, on Sepulveda blvd. (405 is a block away). Been around for over 40 years. Only eat their pizza (similar to Casa Bianca's); their pasta is blah...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: silence9
                                      wok sleuth Sep 27, 2005 06:54 PM

                                      Frankie and Johnnie's on San Vicente is just west of the 405, and in my opnion, the best pizza in LA. Very east coast-esque, floppy slices, easy on the sauce, not too liberal with the cheese, which is something I never understood in such a health conscious city.

                                      Very small hole in the wall place, so don't go looking to impress any dates, unless you're taking out.

                                      1. re: wok sleuth
                                        WaterIsGood Sep 27, 2005 07:05 PM

                                        I love their pizzas, not too heavy w/ the cheese and sauce, and the toppings are very fresh. Their salads are great, too!

                                      2. re: silence9
                                        Ann Sep 28, 2005 11:17 AM

                                        Except that I'm pretty sure they're closed on Mondays.

                                      3. l
                                        LAmonkeygirl Sep 27, 2005 06:21 PM

                                        My suggestion is actually slightly east of the 405. How about UGO on Pico between Veteran and Westwood? They have lovely, thin crust, Italian-style pizzas.

                                        1. m
                                          MaryC. Sep 27, 2005 05:56 PM

                                          A Happy Hour pie, (salad), and glass of wine always hit the spot (and not my wallet) for me at Le Vecchia on Main St. in S.M.

                                          1. w
                                            WaterIsGood Sep 27, 2005 05:48 PM

                                            Why is the first place only good on Mondays?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: WaterIsGood
                                              Ciao Bob Sep 27, 2005 06:37 PM

                                              I think they only make Pizza, in their wood-burning oven, on Monday's.

                                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                daftpunkxl Mar 23, 2009 04:42 PM


                                            2. b
                                              Burger Boy Sep 27, 2005 05:45 PM

                                              Antica is supposed to be good, I have never been. In the Marina area by Gelsons

                                              The pizza place on Abbott Kinney is good, dough is a little bagel like, but good toppings

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Burger Boy
                                                westsidegal Sep 27, 2005 06:54 PM

                                                those are good recommendations.
                                                Antica pizza is prepared in the traditional neopolitan style--that is, the crust is extremely thin. you will need to eat the pizza w/ a fork and knife because the crust is too thin to support the toppings.
                                                the chef, i believe, is actually a member of the pizza makers association in naples, italy.

                                                the other place you mention is Abbot's Pizza.
                                                it is a california style pizza, and, you're right, the dough is very much like bagel dough.
                                                if someone is only in the market for a NY or a Chicago style pizza, the odds are that they will never appreciate the beauty in the Abbot's Pizza offering. if you are open to something different, though, it is excellent.

                                                1. re: Burger Boy
                                                  Rootdaddy Sep 27, 2005 06:56 PM

                                                  Yes ... Abbot Pizza on Abbot Kinney in Venice or on Pico and 18th in Santa Monica ... they're known for their bagel-style crust.

                                                  Also, there is D'Amore's in Malibu off of PCH ... a bit more of a drive, but its surely worth it. Owned by a Bostonian who actually imports all of his ingredients AND his water from Boston to get his authetic taste.

                                                  1. re: Rootdaddy
                                                    Ann Sep 28, 2005 11:15 AM

                                                    There is another D'Amore's location on Broxton in Westwood.

                                                  2. re: Burger Boy
                                                    grubtrotters Dec 6, 2008 09:22 AM

                                                    Antica is good, although I had some of the worst service I have ever had at any restaurant there not too long ago. Yet, I still went back because it was the only place open with decent food after a movie at the theater there. Abbot's pizza is pretty good, and Gjelina has some decent ones, if you don't mind VERY thin crust.

                                                  Show Hidden Posts