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Unforgettable PIZZA CRUST you ever eaten in Southern California

On my visit to Vancouver last year, I had the most unforgettable pizza from Romano Pizza, downtown Vancouver. The crust was so good, it stayed yummy next morning after reheat on the hotel's coffee burner. They also put sesame on the crust. I am still searching for a comparable crust in OC or LA area. Have you ever eaten a pizza that you never forget the taste, especially the crust ? I am looking for a good pizza, not only because the fresh ingredients but because the crust is unforgettable.

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  1. Pizzeria Mozza

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    Pizzeria Mozza
    641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    9 Replies
      1. re: BSW6490

        Love Baronies. The best ever was La Barbaras. Unfortunately, long gone!

        1. re: Thor123

          Agree with La Barbara's. Best ever.

          1. re: Thor123

            Do you mean Barone's Pizza in North Hollywood?

            1. re: jgilbert1000

              Yes. If you have not tried it, give it a shot and provide your feedback. Nothing like hit from an old school standpoint and one of the first thin crust pizza. Beyond good.

        2. re: maudies5

          I'd second the crust at Mozza. Absolutely memorable, but then it's also not your traditional pizza crust, it's been designed by an exquisite baker. It's got crunch, some chew, yet I somehow feel like flaky pastry is a term that feels right at home describing that crust as well. Enjoy!

          1. re: debra

            Great description of Mozza's pizza crust.

            1. re: debra

              Mozza's pizza crust is very good indeed.

            2. Mother Dough and Mozza both have amazing crusts.

                1. re: rasputina

                  A new Sammy's Woodfire Pizza is opening next month at Plaza El Segundo in El Segundo on Sepulveda Blvd across from Whole Food. I really do like Sammy's whole wheat crust.
                  http://www.sammyspizza.com/

                  780 B-South Sepulveda Blvd.
                  El Segundo, CA 90245
                  310-335-9999

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    I also like how light and crispy the Pitfire Pizza crust is.

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                    Pitfire Pizza
                    108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      just as information for the board:
                      Sammy's Woodfire Pizza charges $10 corkage.

                  2. Mother Dough. But the glory does not last... you must eat fast... I can manage to eat about 2/3 before it starts turning a bit rubbery. It would not stand up to being reheated on a coffee burner (which, btw, is one of the more fascinating tidbits I've learned on CH).

                    1. I wouldn't call it "unforgettable" but Zach's in Studio City is the best I've had for a while.

                      1. Mozza and Antica in MDR...get it well done!

                        1. Using your standard, Zelo or Bollini's would qualify in my book.

                          Pizzeria Mozza makes outstanding crust, as does Anitca, but reheat them and I would sooner eat grilled cardboard ....

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Love Bollini's. Love.

                            Loved Antica too, but it's been years since I've had it.

                            And Mozza is great too. But it's not technically pizza crust, it's something different. Fabulous, but different. (I'll happily eat it though!)

                            1. re: happybaker

                              Can you elaborate on what you feel is different about it?

                              1. re: will47

                                It is SO bubbly.

                                Much lighter - and yet not - than the average pizza crust. By not I mean, it IS chewy. Yummy. There's oil there, but still... light.

                                And I live in an area with fabulous pizzas that are made by Armenians. Great folks, great stuff, but after a few local pizzas I realized - they do not put oil in their dough. Or at least not enough to tell!

                                Nancy does great stuff, Amazing stuff. The crust just may be too evolved to be simply pizza : )

                                1. re: happybaker

                                  The crust just may be too evolved to be simply pizza : )
                                  =================
                                  It's not simply pizza, it's one of the finest examples of. It's funny that just because the crust is so heads and shoulders above everyone else in LA, that some people are actually confused as to whether or not P.Mozza serves pizza. "Well, if this is pizza, what the heck have I been eating!?" they ask themselves. And in an attempt to reconcile the two incongruities, they come to the incorrect conclusion that, "Mozza is not pizza."

                                  If thin crust pizza is pizza, and chicago style pizza is pizza. Then the pizza crust at Pizzeria Mozza is pizza.

                                  Ed Levine thought it also funny when someone else on Chowhound mentioned that the pizza at Mozza was not pizza and even addressed it in a video when that discussion first came around. That video was at this link but is no longer available:

                                  http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                  You'll have to settle for his gushing review here and how it challenges Pizzeria Bianco as top pizza in the US.

                                  http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/01/th...

                                  -----
                                  Pizzeria Mozza
                                  641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        Just a friendly reminder, Folks. The scope of this board is the greater L.A. area and as the OP states, this thread is about pizza in southern California. Posts discussing pizza available in other venues are out of scope for this board.

                                        1. re: Porthos

                                          I have been to PB, and frequent PM, and crust wise IMO there is no comparison. The crust of the Margherita I had at PB was the best ever. The other side of the coin is that I think the fennel sausage pie at PM is the best ever. They make different crusts, and there are many more topping choices at PM. How I wish PB would open a store here in LA.

                                    1. Mozza which everyone mentions and Olio which no one mentions. Olio crust is made in a wood fired oven and is almost as good as Mozza's and second best in Southern Calif. Cresent Heights and 3rd. No alcohol :(

                                      19 Replies
                                      1. re: Bruin2

                                        I thought Olio was pretty good too. Better by far than my one experience at Mother Dough. Haven't tried the other new Neopolitan style place yet.

                                        I think Mozza is the most memorable to me overall. I think Luggage Room in Pasadena (part of La Grande Orange) is pretty good, though a bit inconsistent (my pie there was a bit too charred yesterday).

                                        Zelo is interesting and unique - memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. I think they par-bake the crust and then put toppings on, at least when you order a slice or a half-pie (anyone know if they make it fresh for a whole pie?). I think this makes it a little dry and dense, and frequently a little burned (not in a good way) on the bottom, plus you don't really have that whole topping / pizza harmony going on. Also, I think it could use a little more oil! I am liking Zelo more recently than after my first experience there, though.

                                        -----
                                        La Grande Orange Cafe
                                        260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                        1. re: will47

                                          Anyone want to weigh in on the virtues (or vices) of the crust at Eatalian Pizza or Eatalian Cafe in Gardena?

                                          -----
                                          Eatalian Cafe
                                          15500 S. Broadway St., Gardena, CA 90248

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            I loved the crust at Eatalian Pizza until recently when the pizzaiolo/ owner Davide Sighinolfi and his wife Victoria gave it up, presumably because of a lack of customers....He had worked at the original Eatalian Cafe but then branched out...I believe the original owner has taken the space over but it has been reported to me that theres been a drop-off in pizza quality...hopefully, Davide will give pizza in the area another shot!

                                            -----
                                            Eatalian Cafe
                                            15500 S. Broadway St., Gardena, CA 90248

                                            1. re: lapizzamaven

                                              Sorry to hear about that. That's a crazy, tough location - no doubt about it...

                                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                So Davide isn't at either location now, right?

                                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                                  Right, he went back to Italy but will be back and hopefully opening a pizzeria!

                                                2. re: lapizzamaven

                                                  I'm at the Broadway location now and asked about pizzaiolo Davide. Our waitress said that a customer told her that he's working at a well known restaurant in Long Beach. But she couldn't recall the name. Hope that helps.

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                      I'm curious why the obsession with this pizzaiolo? Neither location produced pizza that was worth the calories. I mean, if you were hungry, sure, but oyster cracker crust is not my idea of a good time.

                                                      1. re: TonyC

                                                        Others will have to answer that. I haven't had his pizza.
                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7065...

                                                        I had arranged to meet a friend there (nearly two years ago, per the date stamp above) and was crestfallen to learn that the original pizzaiolo was gone. Was definitely not at all impressed by the pizza we were served, machine-rolled crust and no flavor. If you're telling me I didn't miss anything, maybe I'd feel better.

                                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                          Even worse than the pizza was the 'spro pulled from a vintage E61-based Faema. What a waste of an espresso machine: http://www.kcet.org/living/food/freel...

                                                          It was never A16, nor F+W, nor even Delfina. There are much more interesting pies even in the South Bay. Your studiousness from 400 miles away never cease to impress, though.

                                              2. re: will47

                                                > (anyone know if they make it fresh for a whole pie?)

                                                Whenever we've ordered whole pies at Zelo it's always been made fresh. The slices are good, but whole pies are so much better. I suspect that many people who are lukewarm about Zelo have only had slices.

                                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                                  I checked when I was there today, and they do not make any of the pizzas "fresh" - they're all pre-made, according to the server I spoke to (whether you order a whole pie or just a slice or half-pie).

                                                  1. re: will47

                                                    Really? So they pre-cook the pies and then reheat the whole pie as if it were a slice?

                                                    If so, then I don't know why whole pies are better than slices, but the whole pies always seem be less dried out than the slices I've had.

                                                    1. re: Peripatetic

                                                      I don't know if they par-cook the crusts separately and add the toppings, or if the pizzas are completely pre-made. From what the waiter said today, I got the impression that they pre-cook the crust before anything else, but I'm not sure whether or not the pizza is cooked with the topping on until it's heated to be served.

                                                      1. re: will47

                                                        I believe the crust is pre-baked (or blind-baked to use a pastry term), and then when a whole slice is ordered, they add the toppings and then bake the whole to order.

                                                        Otherwise, you'd be stuck in a situation like Chicago-style places in LA (e.g. Masa) where you have to pre-order or wait around for like an hour.

                                                        -----
                                                        Masa Restaurant
                                                        2063 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          That's what I had thought too, and it would make sense since the top of the crust isn't soggy at all. But if I understood the waiter right, they're actually assembled (if not fully cooked) ahead of time as well.

                                              3. re: Bruin2

                                                I like Olio too But the toppings aren't quite as inspired. Th owner is really nice and you just wan him to be successful.

                                                1. re: JudiAU

                                                  Agreed, it's been awhile since I've eaten there, but I remember that the margherita (or equivalent) pizza at Olio's is better than the ones with more fancy toppings; i.e. the fancy topping pizzas are not as good as you would expect them to be. But one thing I'd like to point out that although most would agree that a Mozza pizza is much more delicious than an Olio one, if you're in the mood for a not so heavy, greasy crust (and pizza), then you might choose an Olio pizza over a Mozza one.

                                              4. I tend to go for thinner crusts, where the sauce and cheese are the main flavors, I'm more of a Neapolitan guy where the crust is adding texture rather than major flavor.

                                                But I agree on Mozza, that's one where the crust takes more of a center stage.

                                                And the cornmeal crust at Zelo's in Arcadia is really memorable. Like the crust you get on a Chicago deep dish, but not deep dish. That is memorable.

                                                But again, for me great crusts are about texture rather than flavor.

                                                1. I'm a great fan of Mozza's crust and find Pizzeria Olio to be also terrific.

                                                  -----
                                                  Pizzeria Olio
                                                  8075 W 3rd St, West Hollywood, CA

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bob Brooks

                                                    How are the toppings at Olio? I went a couple of times a while back and just wasn't digging the toppings. Others tended to have the same impression. Great pizza crust alone doesn't do a lot for me. I'd rather have average crust and fantastic toppings.

                                                  2. i'd have to go w/mozza as well. i've tried a bunch, but so far nobody can get close to it!

                                                    1. I, too, say Zelo. I don't just think it's different, like other posters; I think it's great. The thick cornmeal crust is necessary to support the ample, rich toppings; Mozza's crust, while excellent in its own right, would not suffice. Zelo's spinach pesto pizza is one of my favorite things to eat anywhere.

                                                      1. Sotto. But don't get the guanciale—go traditional with the margherita.

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          Hey Das, what was he problem with the guanciale? just dined at Sotto for the 1st time....loved the margherita and also the sausage, broccoli, mozz and chiles....extremely satisfying...beautiful spotted crust, chewy....not the transcendent Mozza crust which adds a slight crispness to the outer crust but still head and shoulders over LA's other pizzas...now that Antica's gone for a while, Sotto looks like the default pizza for me...closer and easier than Mozza although Mozza2Go is a godsend!

                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                            Just an overwhelming amount of cheese and the guanciale wasn't distributed enough toblend the porky flavour to the whole pie. I've since had other pizze there and it's just the guanciale that had that issue.

                                                            Though the crust pales next to that insanely good bread with lardo...

                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                              gotcha....lookin forward to the bread/lardo combo!

                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                So far all the posts are about Los Angeles, how about Orange County ? Are there any pizza places in OC worth mention ?

                                                                1. re: collegedad35

                                                                  What kind of crust do you want? If you want New York style crust, it's all about Slice of New York in Seal Beach. If you want Neapolitan, go to Pizzeria Ortica or (for a slightly less traditional take) Pizza e Vino. I've heard good things about Il Dolce but haven't been.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Pizzeria Ortica
                                                                  650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                                                                  Slice of New York
                                                                  , San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

                                                                  1. re: collegedad35

                                                                    We prefer woodfired pizza at Ecco (at the Lab Anti-Mall on Bristol) to those at Il Dolce or Ortica, but obviously it's a matter of personal taste. Friendlier and better value too. The 4*s are only for the pizza, everything else is just so-so at Ecco.

                                                                    Having said that, IOHO no pizza in OC holds a candle to Mozza, but we read they're planning to open in OC so stay tuned.

                                                                    1. re: bernardo

                                                                      Uh, I can't second Ecco. The crust is pale, unremarkable, and flavorless. Ortica's crust and toppings are superior in every way IMO. But as you say, it's a matter of personal taste.

                                                                      I agree with you that none of this matters as soon as MozzaOC opens. Last I heard, it was around Dec/Jan.

                                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                                        Actually, opening may be imminent if OC Weekly has it right...

                                                                        http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...

                                                                        1. re: bernardo

                                                                          Very nice update! Just stopped by the LA location on Sunday. Guess that can hold me over until this one opens...

                                                                        2. re: Porthos

                                                                          I agree with you that none of this matters as soon as MozzaOC opens
                                                                          =================================

                                                                          I retract my own previous statement. Having been to Mozza Newport last week and Ortica again last night, I realize I had forgotten how great the crust is at Ortica.

                                                                          Mozza is crisp and airy. Ortica is soft and chewy...a perfectly proper Neapolitan style pizza with such great flavor and chew to the crust that as big a Mozza fan as I am, I was unable to declare Mozza superior. The crust at Ortica is even better than what I remember and as soft and thin as the center was, it was not the least bit soggy and held up perfectly as I folded it in half and ate it NY style. Wonderful stuff.

                                                                          At Ortica I would recommend the salame piccante pizza with funghi and the pizza alla Norma which has roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and smoked mozzarella.

                                                                          The OC is blessed to have both. Two totally different styles, two wonderfully delicious crusts.

                                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                                            Maybe a little, but I'd hate to think I was totally clueless, so here's OC Weekly's best pizza of 2011:

                                                                            http://www.ocweekly.com/bestof/2011/a...

                                                                            1. re: bernardo

                                                                              now that Mozza has opened in OC this list is quite outdated!

                                                                              1. re: bernardo

                                                                                The writer of the article seems clueless. Citing the crispy not floppy crust as the key reason why Ecco stands out when compared to other Neapolitan pies. The authentic Neapolitan pie has a wet floppy center. This debate was done 6 months ago. I'm sure you can find the discussion and my video link to Tony Bourdain eating pizza in Naples showing said pie with wet floppy center. Crispy crust by definition is not traditional Neapolitan. Better suited for OC palates maybe, Neapolitan, no.

                                                                      2. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                        ummm saw that it closed. is it moving? reopening - that is Antica Vera in the marina area.

                                                                        1. re: Jerome

                                                                          Yeah, Antica in MDR closed in mid July but looks like they'll be reopening in the not too distant future in the shopping center across the street....meanwhile, check out Stella Rosa pizza at 3000 Main st in Santa Monica...a bit expensive but great pizza, great crust!

                                                                    2. Place Link

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Pizzeria il Fico
                                                                      310 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                                      1. went back yesterday to Stella Rossa on Main St in Santa Monica..i had spicy, fennek sausage added to a Margherita...it was an awesome pie....juicy meat and a killer crust, amazingly cooked in a Baker's Pride oven....wow!!!!!!!!

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                          Gotta agree - their crust is truly remarkable. Doesn't blister a bit yet has a golden crunch with a lot of spring and toothsomeness. It is pliable but can still carry the ingredients with ease. Really well thought out and I imagine it woul only be better from a legit oven.

                                                                          http://endoedibles.com

                                                                          1. re: uhockey

                                                                            agreed, love the thin crust at Stella Rossa even better. You can eat twice as much pizza that way!

                                                                            1. re: uhockey

                                                                              My last pie at Stella Rossa disappointed a bit...kinda gummy....well, everyone can have an off nite..the sausage was/is damn good, though!

                                                                            1. The whole wheat crust at Casa Bianca...because I really didn't like it at all!

                                                                              1. Pizza Ortica or Mozza, For my taste I prefer Pizza Ortica

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: anotherfatcow

                                                                                  wow, we each have our own opinions....dat's for sure! personally, id never chooce Ortica over Mozza.

                                                                                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                    I used to think Mozza over Ortica anytime. After about 30-40 visits to Mozza, I returned to Ortica a few months ago. It was as good as Mozza, even better in some aspects. The chewy crust is actually more flavorful. The tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella more vibrant. I augment the margherita with a little salumi picante. Delicious. As long as you fold the slice in half, the droppy wet center isn't nearly the problem people make it out to be.

                                                                                    I recommend giving Ortica a try these days. Don't know if they're better or if my tastes are shifting towards softer chewier crust these days.

                                                                                    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                      I always liked Ortica, just dont think theyre as good as Mozza...if im in the area, id certainly return.

                                                                                      1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                        I love the pizza crust at Milo and Olive. This is the new restaurant from the Huckleberry/Rustic Canyon folks.
                                                                                        www.miloandolive.com

                                                                                      2. re: Porthos

                                                                                        Always remember, a slice of pizza should be like an erection. Stands out straight by itself, as with an erection a droopy wet center is not desired. Mozza's could support a salt shaker, gets my vote. Crust is king!

                                                                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                          Way, way, WAY too stiff (the pizza) per that description. If anyone tried to fold my (insert word of choice here) in half lengthwise I'd be running away as fast as a man can in that condition! ;-D>

                                                                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                            I find that wet centers are often very desirable with pizza and other things...

                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                              ....this thread has derailed. :-)

                                                                                              I tend to agree with Porthos though.....but "too wet" is also not ideal.

                                                                                              Lucali is the prototype for me and Stella Rossa was right up there in the crust category.

                                                                                              Stefan - try Stella Rosa when you're out there - I think it fits your description but also is just a BIT moist.

                                                                                              http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                    2. Wow, I can't believe what a Mozza love fest this is. It's good, there's no doubt. But the crust portion is too big and the flavors aren't so mind-blowing.

                                                                                      The thing that places in LA miss... and that I miss about Chicago... is the herbal element. I'll never forget when I took my wife to Gigio's in Evanston, IL and she had a slice of plain cheese. She couldn't believe that a plain slice could be so interesting and delicious. And this was simply from a pizza parlor, not an upscale restaurant. They use specific cheeses, herbs, and seasonings to great effect.

                                                                                      We went to some random Greek joint west of the loop. Plain cheese once again. Very dynamic flavor.

                                                                                      I didn't get any mind-blowing flavor element the time I went to Mozza. It's good, but nothing to die for or anything. And once again, I hate when the crust makes up 40% of the radius.

                                                                                      Having said that, I wish more people would make it to Caffe Carrera. I need to make it back for a red pizza because I haven't tried one there. But man, their white Daniele pizza should be considered an LA treasure.

                                                                                      (Sorry to Chowhound if I'm mentioning places outside of LA. My comment was mainly to illustrate what I feel is lacking in LA... and to show support for Caffe Carrera.)

                                                                                      1. ... Mario & family @322 in Sierra Madre
                                                                                        has wonderful pizza and rockin' entertainment
                                                                                        http://cafe322.com/ ...

                                                                                        1. Luggage Room in Pasadena. Dough is a Awesome Sourdough thats been Olive Wood fired! The Gladiator is my go to!

                                                                                          1. The first time at Gjelina: the lamb sausage pizza. Crust very thin and blistered from the wood-burning oven. Crisp at the edges and floppy towards the middle. Great crust, great pizza.

                                                                                              1. VITO's. Consistently good. They have a new pie with...wait for it...salsa verde. Yup! And it was goooooddddddddd.