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Best pizza west of the 405?

have lost 22 pounds in two months and now thinking of rewarding myself tonite.

I was a huge fan of antica in mdr. Now that it's gone -- and joes in sm has continued to disappoint -- what is current thinking?

As a place marker, I'm a big fan of Vito, mozza, bollinis, and Casa Bianca

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  1. Gjelina -- very thin, charred crust, I like the spicy lamb sausage.

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    Gjelina
    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    10 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      I would also say that Gjelina has the best pizza west of the 405.

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      Gjelina
      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      1. re: sushigirlie

        for some reason i always thought antica made me happier than gjelina. i love gjelina atmosphere, if you're into that sort of thing.

        1. re: echoparkdirt

          I probably prefer Antica's pizza to Gjelina. But after those two, I think there's a big drop off.

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          Gjelina
          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

          1. re: sushigirlie

            Id go w/ Antica, hands down, but theyre closed for many months till they reopen in their new location...that said, Gjelina and Joe's Pizza for NY style slices.

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            Gjelina
            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

            1. re: lapizzamaven

              I don't think as highly as you do of Joe's, but an argument can be made that it's the best pizza on the west side--if great toppings is not, to your tastes, the sine qua non of great pizza. The crust is very good.

              1. re: sushigirlie

                yes, i agree sushigirlie, if youre lookin for a great slice, or pie, NY style its the best and its all about the crust....for those who want squash blossoms, it aint da joint!

                1. re: lapizzamaven

                  The toppings at Joe are really bad though. I ordered a Caprese pie a few days ago. The "fresh" mozzarella was so rubbery that I had a hard time chewing it. I was afraid of accidentally swallowing it and choking. It's hard to believe this cost $24 dollars--terrible quality for the price. At Gjelina, by contrast, the mozzarella is truly fresh and melts in your mouth.

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                  Gjelina
                  1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                  1. re: sushigirlie

                    Gjelina's liberal use of burrata makes me think that they must buy futures in the stuff.

                    1. re: sushigirlie

                      I'd stick to their basic ny slice. The mozzarella you ordered is exactly as you describe it.

        2. re: nosh

          Are they really pizza though? In my book they are more like the flatbread 's at Fords Filling Station which i like as well but are more 'Pizza-ish' than 'Pizza'

          They are very good though

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          Filling Station
          201 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

        3. I have made contact with a noted la foodblogger, he suggested Stella rossa pizza bar on 2000 main

          3 Replies
          1. re: echoparkdirt

            I went there. It was spectacular. Fantastic marguerite pizza, great crust, delicious. I think that is the winner. Better than antica.

            1. re: echoparkdirt

              I tried this. I liked the restaurant overall, but didn't like the pizza nearly as much as Antica's or Gjelina's. I thought the crust tasted bitter and whole grainy. It was at once too crunchy on the outside and raw on the inside. While the toppings were good, they weren't great IMO. I had a margarita pizza at Gjelina yesterday, for example, and I remember the tomatoes tasting more tomato-y.

              I thought the kale-spinach salad at Stella Rossa was more impressive than the pizza. I really enjoyed that salad. And while I'm criticizing the pizza, that isn't to say I thought it was bad. Quite the contrary, I thought the pizza was much better than that at places like Wildflour--just not in the same league as Antica's or Gjelina's.

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              Gjelina
              1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

              1. re: sushigirlie

                And that's why we have 400-post threads on pizza!

          2. Gjelina is my vote, but the pizzas at Villetta sound pretty great.

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            Gjelina
            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

            Villetta
            246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

            1. I know it's a chain but Pitfire Pizza on Washington is really darn good.

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

              16 Replies
              1. re: dharmathug

                Pitfire Pizza is fantastic for being a chainlet.

                But the top of the tier is Stella Rossa right now, bar none. Gjelina's pie is rather meek.

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

                Gjelina
                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                1. re: TonyC

                  absolutely! i can't tell you how much pleasure the first bite gave me. finally, authentically great pizza a few minutes away from my place :D

                  1. re: TonyC

                    It's purposefully "meek." You can eat Gjelina's light pizza along with many other dishes, and I think that's great.

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                    Gjelina
                    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                    1. re: sushigirlie

                      I agree. Pitfire Pizza is pretty good.

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

                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                        I agree that Pitfire Pizza is pretty good.

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

                        1. re: sushigirlie

                          Glad to see some supporters for Pitfire. I remember wienermobile and me mentioning positives for Pitfire last year at various times and were summarily shot down.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            i have a couple of fellow NY-expat friends who live in SM and i recall them telling me last year that they liked Pitfire...of course i've never had it myself (sniff), but i trust their opinions. i'll have to ask if they've been to Stella Rossa.

                            oh, and @echoparkdirt, congrats on the weight loss! 22 lbs in 8 weeks is mighty impressive.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Yes I am a big fan of Pitfire. Good stuff. I like their BURRATA PIE with Burrata Cheese / Tomato Sauce / Wild Arugula Caramelized Onion / Hazelnut and Pesto Drizzle. Their Culver City location is up for a James Beard award for outstanding restaurant design.

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                I guess I'm a lonely voice against Pitfire. Had the sausage pizza there yesterday, found it gloopy and uninteresting.

                                1. re: echoparkdirt

                                  No, youre not alone in lacking love for Pitfire...nothing worth returning for me either.

                                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                                    went to Pitfire once with my study group when studying for my licensure exams last year.
                                    while we all professed to like it, NONE of us was motivated enough to return in the past year.
                                    methinks that says it all. . . . .

                      2. re: sushigirlie

                        I meant "meek" as in "this is BS for a $15 pie", lifeless gimp crust, no chew, no bite, over dressed with Venice-worthy toppings yet strangely unfulfilling, waste of flour, waste of server, ie, "meek".

                        If Stella Rossa can do the pie they're serving from a gas powered double decked Baker's Pride, Gjelina ought to be ashamed.

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                        Gjelina
                        1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                        1. re: TonyC

                          id have to agree with TonyC on Gjelina. I was oddly unimpressed, although at some level i thought it was fine.

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                          Gjelina
                          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                          1. re: TonyC

                            I understand your characterization of Gjelina's pizza. I like it in large part because it is so light and insubstantial. I look at it something to eat right along with the vegetables and salads, not as the main attraction.

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                            Gjelina
                            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                            1. re: TonyC

                              I meant "meek" as in "this is BS for a $15 pie", lifeless gimp crust, no chew, no bite, over dressed with Venice-worthy toppings yet strangely unfulfilling, waste of flour, waste of server, ie, "meek".
                              _________________________________

                              That's sort of how I feel about Gjelina generally.

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                              Gjelina
                              1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                        2. re: dharmathug

                          Pitfire Pizza has tickled my pizza taste buds a few times. The Westwood location (JEO 405) is slightly preferred, but both the west side locations are good.
                          Sustainable and farmers' market veggies, well sourced meats, reasonable beverages, good crust, too, IMHO. I've cornered two bosses (executive chefs?) and their passion and business model work for me. The flavor and choices speak for themselves.

                          Just my $.02,
                          Phood

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

                        3. I'll add Hosteria del Piccolo to the list of places to try. The crust is pretty good; the toppings are great.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sushigirlie

                            And as I get down further in this thread, all my "secrets" are being taken and I won't need to craft an actual post...

                            Run, do not walk to Hosteria del Piccolo. Not only are the pizzas terrific, the whole menu continues to impress me. And the cocktails are great!

                          2. I don't care for Pitfire at all, and adore Mozza and Casa Bianca.
                            I'll take Gjelina over Pitfire
                            but haven't had a pizza I loved at Gjelina. They're pretty great, but...

                            Can't quite understand how you like Vito more than Joe's but perhaps you
                            don't like pizza too crispy.

                            Antica can be great, and can be average. Call first, as I heard they may be moving.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: epop

                              epop...yeah, Antica is closed now! hopefully they'll reopen in less than a year....Gjelina definitely over Pitfire...Joe's over Vito's but both can be inconsistent...Gonna check out Stella Rosa soon.

                              1. re: epop

                                Have to give Vito's there due, though...it is expensive but usually Ive had excellent slices there.

                                1. re: lapizzamaven

                                  Gjelina pizza is more like bar food--something to accompany your drinks. It's good but doesn't leave me craving it when I haven't been in a while. I'd order it again if I went but it's not a reason to go.
                                  What do you think of the Good Pizza? I think it's pretty good. It's not great but it's an enjoyable pie that needs to be ordered well done and even if you do, you'll want your toaster oven ready to go. Their sausage is a good step above other pizza joint sausages out there, not counting Mozza.

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                                  Good Pizza
                                  7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                  Gjelina
                                  1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                  1. re: Wolfgang

                                    Glad you mentioned Good Pizza. I too like it (and for those who knew it was closed, it is back.) A bit south of the others mentioned in this thread.

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                                    Good Pizza
                                    7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                    1. re: Capybara

                                      Went to the Good Pizza a few years back..it seemed more like a take out joint, it only had maybe 3 small tables...2 very nice Italian guys but the pie's crust was way too thick. I mentioned it afterwards and they mentioned they'll make it thin by request..just that their customers seemed to prefer the more food for the $$ approach...unfortunately, never made it back as its a bit off the beaten path but would love to hear if anyone ever ordered a thinner crust.

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                                      Good Pizza
                                      7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                    2. re: Wolfgang

                                      I like The Good Pizza as well, but considering these guys exclaim Naples pedigree, the experience doesn't seem to emote that for me. It's good pizza for take out, but definitely not in the top tier.

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                                      Good Pizza
                                      7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                        the Good Pizza is my go-to place for take out.
                                        it is the best in my neighborhood.
                                        would i travel for it?
                                        not really.

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                                        Good Pizza
                                        7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045