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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. The original comment has been removed
              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