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OC pizza freaks?

o
OCBites Oct 7, 2010 04:22 PM

I've got some pizza-fiend visitors coming to OC and I'm a bit insecure as to what places shouldn't be missed (I'm a taco/sushi fan myself).

Please 'Hounders, make me look smart.. where should I take these folks? (and I will give you all the credit). Can you supply your 3-5 faves? Doesn't matter where (in OC) or how much, thick/thin crust, old school or new wave.

I'm well aware of only a few: Pizzeria Ortica, Il Dolce, and Luigi's.

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Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

  1. l
    lapizzamaven Oct 8, 2010 09:11 AM

    Pizza e Vino in Rancho Santa Margherita is also very good..i had 2 wonderful pies there, one w/shrimp as well as the margherita...the crusts on 2 other pies let me down but still worth a try....

    15 Replies
    1. re: lapizzamaven
      Professor Salt Oct 8, 2010 11:26 AM

      I second Pizza e Vino. Of the Neapolitan wood fired type pizza places (il Dolce, Ortica) I like this one best. Dinner only at PeV.

      You might look into Ecco in Costa Mesa, but I have not been yet. Elmomonster's written the place up, and I trust his opinions.

      1. re: Professor Salt
        h
        Harry Niletti Oct 8, 2010 12:44 PM

        A couple of months ago, I would have given my pizza favorites in OC as: 1. Ortica. 2. Pizza e Vino. 3. Il Dolce. After my last visit to Il Dolce, however, I put them tied for second with PeV, which I'm headed to again in the next couple of days to fine-tune the rankings. This work is a real grind!

        I haven't been to Tony's or Slice of NY but look forward to trying them on the Ubergeek's recommendation sometime soon.

        -Harry

        1. re: Harry Niletti
          Professor Salt Oct 8, 2010 01:04 PM

          Yeah, it's been a few months for me too. I don't doubt Il Dolce has evolved since then, because they were just barely opened then.

          Tony's and Slice of NY are east coast, New York style pizza joints. Different animal entirely from the Neapolitan aspirations of Ortica / PeV / il Dolce.

          1. re: Professor Salt
            Das Ubergeek Oct 8, 2010 03:06 PM

            Mmmmmh... Slice of NY, yes. Tony's is Chicago-style, sort of, deep-dish pizza. It's usually the butt end of the "but why can't I get Lou Malnati's equivalent here without ordering the frozen pizzas" conversations around here.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              h
              Harry Niletti Oct 8, 2010 03:19 PM

              "but why can't I get Lou Malnati's equivalent here without ordering the frozen pizzas"

              In my family, that sentence would end: "... the frozen pizzas, which are actually pretty darn good."

              A couple of years ago my brother was in a car accident, and while he was recuperating, some (still unidentified) Chicago friend sent him a couple of frozen pizzas from Malnati's. I was amazed at how good they were -- probably the best of the frozen variety that I've ever had -- especially amazed, because during all the years I lived in Chicago, I never once stopped by the place, their reputation, at least at that time, compared to Uno, Due, Giordano's, Nancy's, etc., being less than sterling.

              By the way, I'm discouraged by your "Tony's is Chicago-style, sort of" comment, but I'll try them.

              -Harry

              1. re: Harry Niletti
                Das Ubergeek Oct 8, 2010 03:27 PM

                Don't be discouraged. I'm not from Chicago, I've never spent more than a week at a clip in Chicago, and I don't know Chicago pizza well enough to say it's real Chicago pizza with any credibility.

                I like it. It is what I would call Chicago pizza. But I know there are people out there who get all huffy and snippy about what is and is not Chicago pizza. (It's got to have tomatoes! It's got to have sauce! It's got to have this! It's got to have that! Phooey on ALL OF YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.)

                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                  r
                  reality check Oct 8, 2010 04:05 PM

                  Lot's of misinformation, all over the net, by people who wouldn't know Chicago pizza if it hit them in the face. Everybody in Chicago has their version of the deep dish pizza. Some put more sauce, other use more cheese, other use more of one spice than others. If you went to Chicago and had a deep dish pizza at Lou's or Pizzeria Uno or Connie's, they would all be a little different.

                  Tony's is very much Chicago style deep dish pizza. Is Tony's as good as Lou's or other Chicago locations? No. But it is Chicago style deep dish pizza and the best in OC.

                  1. re: reality check
                    h
                    Harry Niletti Oct 8, 2010 06:43 PM

                    "Everybody in Chicago has their version of the deep dish pizza."

                    Actually, there is surprisingly little deep-dish pizza in that great city. I lived in Chicago off-and-on for more than two decades, most of the time married to a Chicago native, and we were much more likely to have a flat (but not thin-crust) pie in the early years and then, eventually, stuffed pizzas, after Giordano's became famous by winning a big contest. I don't recall ever having deep-dish in Chicago outside of Uno or Due, and we went very rarely to those well-known but mainly tourist joints.

                    Nevertheless, I do like an excellent deep-dish pizza, as long as the crust is tasty and not excessively thick and the Bears, Cubs, or Bulls are crusty and not excessively thick and are winning on TV. I hope Tony's meets at least one of those criteria.

                    -Harry

              2. re: Das Ubergeek
                Professor Salt Oct 9, 2010 07:43 PM

                My bad on Tony's. I was thinking of the place in Costa Mesa, on Irvine Blvd, across from Promeli's. Al's. That's it.

                Al --- Tony -- Vinny --- Sally -- Paulie. Sorry, I get confused by all the names of guys I grew up wid.

                1. re: Professor Salt
                  Das Ubergeek Oct 10, 2010 08:24 PM

                  Well, don't forget about Sal's Bit Of Italy, then, in Anaheim. :)

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    OCEllen Oct 11, 2010 12:30 PM

                    Any decent (or better) pizza in the city of Orange?

                    1. re: OCEllen
                      r
                      reality check Oct 11, 2010 12:33 PM

                      Zito's is pretty good. I think they are still at the Orange Circle.

                      1. re: OCEllen
                        Das Ubergeek Oct 11, 2010 03:26 PM

                        Zito's on Tustin Avenue is OK. Truth be told, I don't eat much pizza in Orange.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          OCEllen Oct 11, 2010 04:34 PM

                          I was thinking mostly for take out every so often.

            2. re: Professor Salt
              Porthos Oct 11, 2010 01:00 PM

              Went to Ecco a few months ago. I think consensus so far is that its decent/good but nothing remarkable or outstanding.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7244...

          2. Das Ubergeek Oct 8, 2010 08:36 AM

            Slice of New York in Seal Beach is probably the best NY-style pizza in OC. Don't miss Tony's Little Italy in Placentia for Chicago-style deep-dish-sortof-it-engenders-a-lot-of-debate-on-this-board pizza, and I personally like Mammalucco's in Brea (of all places). Down south there's NY's Upper Crust Pizza which is not as good as Slice of New York but closer if you're in Laguna Whatever.

            -----
            Mammalucco's
            2500 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821

            14 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              o
              OCSteve Oct 8, 2010 09:30 AM

              Second Tony's and Mammalucco's. Mammalucco's is the only thing close to us that my New Jersey-born wife endorses, and Tony's has great deep dish.

              -----
              Tony's Little Italy Pizza
              1828 N Placentia Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

              Mammalucco's
              2500 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821

              1. re: OCSteve
                j
                js76wisco Oct 8, 2010 02:52 PM

                I just moved to Brea from West Hollywood where we frequented Vito's and Joe's so I wasn't expecting much from Mammalucco's. We took a pizza to go on Wednesday night and felt mixed about the results.

                The crust was good but kinda doughy. The sauce was the best component of the pizza and wish there was a little more generously spaced on the pizza. There were 2 to 3 slices where the sauce stopped about an inch or two from the crust. The biggest problem we had was the amount of cheese on the pizza. There was probably enough cheese on the pizza for 2 whole pies. It just overwhelmed the entire pizza by weighing it down and added a lot of greasiness to the pizza. We'll definitely be back because I can't imagine there is much else out near Brea better and with a few improvements it is much more than I could have hoped for out here in Brea.

                -----
                Mammalucco's
                2500 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821

                1. re: js76wisco
                  o
                  OCSteve Oct 8, 2010 03:04 PM

                  They can be a little inconsistent. Pies are best there when the owner is on site. Back when they first opened, he was involved in every aspect and would would even deliver himself. He had to stop because he got too busy and didn't wan to pay the insurance for employees to deliver. He's a great guy, and he's still pretty involved as far as I know, but we have had less-than-stellar results when he's not there.

                  1. re: OCSteve
                    j
                    js76wisco Oct 11, 2010 12:14 PM

                    Thanks for the tip. Do you know what the owner's name is or what he looks like? I'm going to try eating in next time as I know the 7 to 10 minute drive also effects the quality. Overall though a good spot.

                    1. re: js76wisco
                      o
                      OCSteve Oct 11, 2010 01:11 PM

                      His name is John. There is a photo of him in their website's "Photos" section. It's about the 9th picture in, and his standing in font of a pizza oven holding a pepperoni pizza. Website (photo section) is:

                      http://www.mammaluccos.com/Photos.htm

                      1. re: OCSteve
                        s
                        stuffed Dec 19, 2010 12:57 PM

                        I'm a little late chiming in here but I agree with OCSteve---there's a big difference when John is present. After several pizzas worth of observation I decided it's because the pizzas are rushed when he isn't there. So, I've started ordering them well-done and I am once again pleased with Mammalucco's pies.

                        -----
                        Mammalucco's
                        2500 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821

                2. re: OCSteve
                  Funwithfood Oct 9, 2010 10:58 PM

                  I went to Tony's and waited 40 minutes for my large deep dish pizza, which was underwhelming--the center was soggy.

                  When I went the second time I ordered non-pizza items, and waited for 25 minutes. They forgot to prepare one of the dishes so had to wait another 15 minutes! The non-pizza items were sub-par. I will NOT return.

                  1. re: Funwithfood
                    o
                    OCSteve Oct 10, 2010 09:05 AM

                    As DU pointed out, there are varying opinions of Tony's on CH. I have had nothing but good experiences there, so I'm in the "pro-Tony's" camp. The wait times are long, but I live a couple of blocks away, so we usually call in our order and do take out. Wait times are not a huge issue with me as long as the food is worth it, and for me it always has been at Tony's. I have not had any of their non-pizza items, so I can't speak to those.

                    1. re: OCSteve
                      j
                      js76wisco Oct 25, 2010 02:28 PM

                      I'm with you Steve. The 40 minute wait was worth it for the deep dish. I'll call ahead next time but the best deep dish I've had anywhere in SoCal.

                      By the way any relation to OC Ann?

                      1. re: js76wisco
                        o
                        OCSteve Oct 25, 2010 03:07 PM

                        Nope. No relation. However, I think we're practically neighbors based on the restaurants we both seem to frequent.

                        1. re: OCSteve
                          OCAnn Nov 1, 2010 07:28 PM

                          Neighbours we are! I lived a couple years in Placentia but now make my home in Fullerton. =)

                          1. re: OCAnn
                            o
                            OCSteve Nov 2, 2010 10:07 AM

                            It's nice to know that there are fellow hounds in the neighborhood.

                3. re: Das Ubergeek
                  Midlife Oct 9, 2010 07:51 PM

                  Uber, do you happen to know if there is any relationship between Slice of New York in Seal Beach and a small place in Dana Point Harbor by the same name???? I couldn't find a website for Seal Beach and the One in DP doesn't reference it. I don't think there's a connection but wanted to check.[The one in DP is attached to a schizophrenic place that is a NY Deli by day and Italian after 5PM.]

                  -----
                  Slice of New York
                  34665 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, CA 92629

                  1. re: Midlife
                    Das Ubergeek Oct 10, 2010 08:24 PM

                    I don't think there is (no signage at the Seal Beach location to indicate it) and the schizophrenia doesn't sound at all familiar: SoNY in Seal Beach is a pizzeria and really ONLY a pizzeria.

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