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Jul 12, 2011 11:30 PM

Antica Pizzeria - a bit rambling

I went to Antica Pizzeria for lunch today with a friend. We both ordered pizza: margherita DOC for me and bianca al prosciutto for him. We also split a misto Napoli nel coppo appetizer plate (fried finger foods).

I have to say, I was very pleased with my pizza. From the very first bite, I felt joy -- the sauce was tangy and bright, the cheese tasted, well, cheesy, and had great texture (soft, wet, slightly chewy), the basil was fragrant even in bites that didn't have the leaf itself. The best part was the crust: faintly charred and bitter, crispy on the outside, thin in the center, chewy towards the thicker outer edges.

The following statement probably sounds kinda dumb, but I have to point this out because I've had dough that was utterly flavorless (cf. Pavich's): This dough had flavor. My friend is one of those people who'll eat everything but the last inch of crust on his last two slices of pizza. We're good enough friends that I finished them off for him, not wanting these final inches of spectacular bread work to be wasted. So just munching on these two strips of sauce-less, topping-less crusts, I still enjoyed a full, bready flavor, along with the crispy surface and chewy interior.

After poring over the myriad of reviews on Chowhound, I was really apprehensive about eating here today; was I going to be hugely disappointed or was I going to taste a bit of pizza heaven? I'd go with the latter for sure. Not only was I not disappointed, I was extremely happy with my pizza. The complaints of past reviewers didn't exist today, not even the "bad service" issues. Maybe it's a lunch versus dinner thing, but everybody was ready to take our order, refill our water, the servers were very friendly and kind, timing was great, nobody bothered us but we never, ever felt ignored.

So I'm happy (and rather relieved) to say I am genuinely mystified by the negative reviews of Antica Pizzeria. I'd like to mention that I am also a total classic Chinese American glutton and guiltily admit to enjoying large portions of food -- and having said that, though I'd arrived without having eaten breakfast, my pizza (plus the small amount of appetizer) filled me up and hit that spot. The quality *and* quantity exceeded expectations. (I say this because I had also been apprehensive about the possibility of "pizza was really small" from reading past reviews on that other website).

I look forward to coming back for more.

Incidentally, I found out their lease will be up *this* Sunday, and they will be looking for another location.

edited to add: p.s. In our bill, there was a customer feedback card, which we didn't end up filling out (for no real reason), but I wonder when they started doing this, and if it ended up helping make things as good as the way I experienced them today.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I enjoy Antica very much. I am sad to learn that their lease is up and will be moving. I guess the greedy landlords want more money. Very sad. I hope Antica finds a new and better location at a better price and I hope the landlord gets burned bad, or should I say "roasted."

    9 Replies
    1. re: Baron

      i have a feeling that the whole end of the building in which Antica resides is going to be redone somehow or other:
      the souplantation space is empty
      antica will be empty
      ruby's has been empty for some time
      the ballona space has been empty for some time.
      and i noticed that the sign for the fitness center there has come down.

      hopefully some new and good restaurant options will go in there.

      1. re: westsidegal

        From what I've read, that whole end is turning into a Spectrum Health Club. I agree that good restaurants are needed in the area. Nichols across the street is closing for at least four months but supposedly re-opening with a new name and modified menu. I eat breakfast there frequently so will now have to find a new option.

        1. re: Juji

          For local breakfast options have you tried Ronnie's Diner on Culver? We go for dinner during the week and I've had their breakfast burrito for my evening meal and thought it was quite good. Normally we go for their double cheeseburger combo with drink and either fries or house made potato chips...There is also Joni's on Washington Blvd.

          Ronnie's Diner
          12740 Culver Blvd Ste J, Los Angeles, CA 90066

          Joni's Coffee Roaster Cafe
          552 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA

          1. re: Servorg

            Our family loves Ronnie's.

            I've been glad to recommend it on CH several times. (I thought about adding it to the strip mall thread, but didn't.)

            Glad to know others dig it, too.

            I've gone through stages where different items are my favorite, but currently a cup of the turkey chili is my go to order, with a side of the house made potato chips.

            Be careful with the weekend hours -- they do great business for lunch and breakfast, but are not open for dinner on the weekend.

            1. re: PaulF

              Thanks for the Ronnie's rec, I've only tried it once a long time ago and thought it was just ok. But I should give it another shot.

            1. re: TonyC

              Equinox Fitness - For Those who think they have eaten too many pizzas* ...

              I hope Antica Pizzeria reopens soon, and hopefully a little more convenient to me (although the Grub Street posting says they intend to remain in the neighborhood). I've seen a lot of (well-deserved) love for Antica Pizzeria on Chowhound and elsewhere, the naysayers would seem to be in the minority.

              VERY IMPORTANT: There's a place called Pizza Antica at Santa Monica Place; this is by no means the same as Antica Pizzeria, formerly of Marina del Rey.

              * There is, of course, no such thing as too many pizzas, or at least Antica Pizzeria pizzas (which are small and quite healthy if eaten in moderation.)

              1. re: TonyC

                Thanks for the clairfication, I got Equinox confused with Spectrum. I really hope Antica opens nearby quickly, I love the vodka penne pasta.

              2. re: Juji

                From what I've read, that whole end is turning into a Spectrum Health Club.
                not Spectrum. Equinox.

          2. Thanks for the great review. Frankly, I think Antica gets a lot of well deserved love on this board. In fact I can't remember anyone giving a negative review. Besides, Westsidegal would be all over them if they even tried.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ogawak

              Antica will be back in the same area of the Marina...likely in the shopping center across the street near the Pavillion's but it will take a while....definitely the landlord jacked up the rent...when i got the news i immediately drove there for a great gorgonzola salad and a Calabrese(spicy salami) pie....heavenly! went back yesterday and likely will go back tomorrow...sunday is the last day! there are some strong newcomers(so i hear) in LA...finally....

              1. re: lapizzamaven

                It's a shame they have to close on Carmageddon Weekend, or I'd be there for sure.

              2. re: Ogawak

                The pizza is good. But they served me one of the worst octopus salads I've ever had. So chewy that it was borderline inedible.

                Anyway, I'd eat there more often if they had a better location. I'm glad they're moving.

                1. re: sushigirlie

                  Maybe they can move into Aunt Kizzie's old location!!

              3. The opportunities I've had to eat here have been few and far between, but I've never been disappointed. This is the place, if you have the time, money and inclination to learn how to be a pizzaolo. The proprietor is the agent for VPN (Verace Pizza Naoletana = true Neapolitan Pizza). Had I the wherewithal, I'd sign up to learn how to make that wonderful crust. That knowledge and a Weber kettle result in pizza heaven at home. I hope they are up and running soon.

                Antica Pizzeria
                13455 Maxella Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292