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Stella Rosa pizza on Main St in santa monica

westsidegal Sep 11, 2011 10:52 PM

ate dinner there tonight.
the best pizza i've tasted on the westside.
thank you LApizzamaven for the heads up on this.

  1. l
    lapizzamaven Sep 12, 2011 02:37 PM

    @ westsidegal...Glad my opinion was endorsed...People all have different tastes but i have to say, i still think theres good and bad! their crust was really the key for me....It is a bit pricey, but a great pie is something i'll spring for! Anywhere besides Mozza that you like better?

    6 Replies
    1. re: lapizzamaven
      westsidegal Sep 12, 2011 03:13 PM

      nope. imho this is the best westside pizza, PERIOD.
      great, great, find.
      thanks again

      1. re: westsidegal
        lapizzamaven Sep 12, 2011 03:28 PM

        u bet!

        1. re: lapizzamaven
          Porthos Sep 12, 2011 07:21 PM

          Better than Mozza!!?

          That's enough for me. Will have to give it a try now. Any recommendations?

          1. re: Porthos
            westsidegal Sep 13, 2011 07:25 AM

            i don't consider Mozza/ Highland to be on the westside, so i wasn't including it in my statement.

            1. re: westsidegal
              Porthos Sep 13, 2011 09:12 AM

              Ooops. Missed the westside part. I saw your "Nope" "best" "pizza" and "PERIOD" in response to Maven's "Any place you like better than Mozza" and got a bit excited.

              I'll settle down a bit and wait for this pizza renaissance to develop a bit more.

        2. re: westsidegal
          echoparkdirt Oct 7, 2011 07:18 PM

          Definitely the best westside pizza, PERIOD! Wonderful. Don't miss Bollini's anymore!

      2. s
        sushigirlie Sep 12, 2011 07:31 PM

        Funny. I LOVE the salads here. But I don't love the pizza. I like it, but to me the crust always tastes too whole-grainy. It's like a honey-wheat crust. And it's always a little bit raw and gummy. The toppings are great though. I really like each slice until I get to the perimeter crust, and that is not so good in my opinion.

        All in all, I much prefer Gjelina's pizza. To be completely antithetical to Chowhound opinion, I like Stella Rossa's salads better than Gjelina's (the kale and the mizuna-mache are both killer).

        5 Replies
        1. re: sushigirlie
          lapizzamaven Sep 12, 2011 08:19 PM

          @ porthos...i definitely wouldnt say better than Mozza but better than any other pizza ive had in LA...Yeah sushigirlie, youre a real contrarian! the pies ive ordered all have had excellent crusts...different people do make the pies but other than some variance in amount of toppings, the crusts were cooked quite consistently....i think, way better than Gjelinas which i like buttypically are quite flaccid! go figure...

          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

          1. re: lapizzamaven
            sushigirlie Sep 13, 2011 07:18 AM

            I like flaccid. (in some contexts)

            1. re: sushigirlie
              ns1 Sep 13, 2011 09:14 AM

              best post ever

              1. re: sushigirlie
                lapizzamaven Sep 16, 2011 12:23 PM


            2. re: sushigirlie
              TonyC Sep 13, 2011 12:10 AM

              The crust tastes whole grainy because it is locally sourced, milled (to their spec) whole grain wheat. Excellent buds sushigirlie, even if you don't like the outer crust.

              I like everything about Stella Rossa's food over Gjelina, despite the fact it is a corporate "concept" joint, despite the insufferable weekend crowd. Just had the privilege of going through a pulverizing 7 course meal at L2O (where Chef Mahin previously worked) last weekend. If they're utilizing even 50% of the meticulousness at Stella Rossa as they do at L2O, every & any product coming out of that open kitchen will supercede Mozza, Sotto, ad nausea. Gjelina looks a chump.

              Now, we await the DineLA menu.

            3. g
              gordo26 Sep 13, 2011 01:38 PM

              Anyone tried taking it out yet? Does it travel? Just had a baby this week and we won't be going out anytime soon but I really want to try these pies!

              6 Replies
              1. re: gordo26
                Ciao Bob Sep 13, 2011 02:02 PM

                Congrats on the snapper, gordo26!
                Is there any pizza that doesn't travel? I never had a pizza that got any better by traveling...they all deteriorate (and proportionally to the time from oven-to mouth).

                1. re: Ciao Bob
                  Peripatetic Sep 13, 2011 02:15 PM

                  In my experience, pizza from Vito's and Mozza is sometimes even better reheated than it is fresh. It depends on the toppings and the oven, though. I haven't tried it with Stella Rosa pizza yet.

                  1. re: Peripatetic
                    Ciao Bob Sep 13, 2011 03:42 PM

                    I do love reheated -- or even cold pizza -- the next day. In that situation I totally agree that some pies "travel" better, often much better, than others. The sturdier, thicker crusts (Mozza, Sotto, Vito) work better than the ultra-thin set (Gjelina, Teronni) which tend to dissolve. But for primary eating I don't think any pizza "travels well" comapred to eating it fresh.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob
                      wienermobile Sep 13, 2011 04:09 PM

                      I am also a leftover cold pizza lover.

                  2. re: Ciao Bob
                    gordo26 Sep 16, 2011 10:23 AM

                    Thank Ciao Bob #3! i heard the restaurant is actually very kid friendly depending on what time you go. I was thinking of Pit Fire's Burrata Pie Pizza with Arugula. Doesn't travel at all and even if you add the Arugula at home it still isn't the same.

                    Love left over pizza. Always order with that in mind!

                  3. re: gordo26
                    lapizzamaven Sep 16, 2011 12:26 PM

                    Personally, id say if you really want the best pizza, you shouldnt travel with it in a box any further than your car, which you parked right out front...this is something i often do at Mozza2Go...get lucky and find a space nearby on Melrose and eat it while sitting on the hood, NYstyle...or LA style in a convertible...no hassle, no crowds!

                  4. Servorg Sep 16, 2011 03:57 PM

                    Place link for Stella Rosa added.

                    Stella Rossa Pizza Bar
                    2000 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                    1. g
                      gordo26 Oct 6, 2011 11:03 AM

                      finally tried this place yesterday. Must agree with westsidegal - best pizza on the westside. Crust was amazing and toppings were perfect. Can't wait to go back.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gordo26
                        westsidegal Oct 6, 2011 06:51 PM

                        kudos to LAPizzaMaven!
                        great, great recommendation.
                        i never would have noticed the place if it were not for the LAPizzaMaven recommendation.

                      2. f
                        floppy fish Oct 6, 2011 01:45 PM

                        I finally ate here with my family for the first time despite the fact that I work only a block away (they are closed at lunch). We had the spinach and kale salad (which had a nice, light dressing), salumi plate, and a margarita pizza. Everything was very good. I wife thought the pizza was better than Mozza. While I wouldn't go that far, it was pretty good and by the way, I liked the "whole grainy" taste of the crust. I wish they were open for lunch.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: floppy fish
                          TonyC Oct 6, 2011 03:27 PM

                          It's surely better than Mozza in the sense pizza is better than flat bread.

                          1. re: TonyC
                            Porthos Oct 6, 2011 03:44 PM

                            Mozza doesn't serve flat bread. You're thinking Gjelina.

                            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                            1. re: Porthos
                              Servorg Oct 6, 2011 04:08 PM

                              Porthos, do you know anything about the upcoming Italian offering that will be in Hollywood (I hear at Hollywood and Vine) from David Myers? It will be traditional Neapolitan pizza (and other Italian fare) like Ortica, but will not be an Ortica.

                              1. re: Servorg
                                Porthos Oct 6, 2011 06:07 PM

                                Not at all Servorg. Keep us updated!

                                I hope they stick true to the chewy crust and wet center and don't crisp things up for the LA palate. Always nice to have options. Sounds like we're getting that long overdue pizza renaissance!

                                1. re: Porthos
                                  uhockey Nov 16, 2011 01:13 PM

                                  imo Mozza is slightly better, but the shaved mushroom pizza is sublime.


                              2. re: Porthos
                                lapizzamaven Oct 6, 2011 04:08 PM

                                Agree with Porthos...Mozza is transcendent pizza...emphatically not flatbread.

                                1. re: lapizzamaven
                                  gordo26 Oct 7, 2011 01:30 AM

                                  Agree as well. Spot on with all your pizza recs Lapizzamaven.

                                  Anxiously awaiting the opening of the pizzeria by the Rustic Canyon/Huckleberry/Sweet Rose folks in the old Marina's Pastry on Wilshire. I've heard its opening in mid-November.

                                  1. re: gordo26
                                    lapizzamaven Oct 7, 2011 12:32 PM

                                    thanks gordo26...didnt hear about the Rustic Cyn thing..sounds hopeful...the Umami guys are soon to open 800 degrees in Westwood "soon." got my fingers crossed that they do the right thing!

                                    1. re: lapizzamaven
                                      wienermobile Oct 7, 2011 01:13 PM

                                      Here's the info about Rustic Canyon's Pizza place from their web site:
                                      Finally, we are proud to formally announce that later this year we'll be opening our newest venture, Milo & Olive Milling Co, a bakery and pizzeria located at 2723 Wilshire Blvd, at Harvard. The idea for M&O came from a lack of kitchen space at Huckleberry coupled with Zoe's desire to create a wider variety and quantity of great breads. Milo & Olive will serve bread and pastries from 7AM to11AM each morning along with Verve Coffee. From 11 AM 11PM we will be making our own style of artisan wood fired pizza and serving it along side seasonal small plates. Milo & Olive is a very small room so reservations unfortunately cannot be accepted, but all of our food will be available for take-out. As always, we will use the freshest farmers market ingredients, sustainably farmed meats, dairy and poultry, and make everything on site. We're scheduled to open November/December of this year but will keep you posted as we get closer.

                                      1. re: wienermobile
                                        lapizzamaven Oct 7, 2011 04:34 PM

                                        im ready and waitin'.

                                        1. re: wienermobile
                                          wienermobile Nov 15, 2011 12:29 PM

                                          Milo & Olive just revealed that the bakery portion opens November 18. Lunch and dinner and pizza service kick off on December 1.

                                          2723 Wilshire Blvd.
                                          Santa Monica

                                        2. re: lapizzamaven
                                          TonyC Oct 7, 2011 04:43 PM

                                          like they're going to "do the right thing" with Umami? *facepalm*

                                          1. re: TonyC
                                            lapizzamaven Oct 7, 2011 07:02 PM

                                            so what does" facepalm" mean? im not a fan of the overpriced Umami scene...but i live near Westwood and there aint any decent pizza here so im bein an optimist instead of my usual cynicism.

                                            1. re: lapizzamaven
                                              ns1 Oct 10, 2011 05:23 PM

                                              google facepalm. all will be explained.

                                              1. re: ns1
                                                lapizzamaven Oct 11, 2011 02:58 PM

                                                thank you, ive googled it.

                                      2. re: lapizzamaven
                                        fame da lupo Oct 15, 2012 12:52 PM

                                        Define transcendent: is it going to take me back to La Bella Napoli in Bologna? Or does it simply "transcend" what's found in the LA area.

                                2. m
                                  MahiMahiFish Oct 8, 2011 10:17 AM

                                  Tried two pizzas here last week, nothing special or remarkable at all.
                                  Tasted a lot like the tasteless pizza at Sammy's.
                                  Sotto's is far better.
                                  Outstanding dessert, butterscotch & sea salt something? Fantastic!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: MahiMahiFish
                                    lapizzamaven Oct 8, 2011 03:27 PM

                                    Interesting that you found Stella Rossa pizzas " like the tasteless pizza at Sammy's." I love Sotto's pies too....very different, but Ive yet to have a pie at SR's that wasn't delicious!

                                    1. re: lapizzamaven
                                      MahiMahiFish Oct 8, 2011 07:42 PM

                                      I know, I really couldn't wait to try this place.
                                      We just tried The Luggage Room in Pasadena, surprised I liked their pizza far better than SR, much better salads as well.
                                      Have you been? If so, would love to hear your thoughts!

                                      1. re: MahiMahiFish
                                        Ogawak Dec 5, 2011 01:43 PM

                                        late response, but Luggage Room and Stella Rosa are part of the same LGO/LEYE group.

                                    2. re: MahiMahiFish
                                      gordo26 Oct 8, 2011 08:00 PM

                                      While places like Sotto or even Villetta trumpet their neopolitan wood ovens (Sotto) or piza makers (Villetta), it really doesn't matter if the fundamentals aren't there. In this case the crust. Either place in my opinion doesn't compare. Its like someone with top of the line pots and pans - doesn't really matter if the fundamentals aren't there ( like the kid with $200 basketball shoes, still doesn't make him a better ball player). Further, Sottos topping in my opinion just are meh. That being said was delusional to think SR sausage pizza would even compare to Mozzas.

                                      Chef Brian apparently had worked on his crust recipe for for years(according to him), and I believe he's doing something right.

                                      246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                                    3. l
                                      lapizzamaven Nov 5, 2011 10:05 PM

                                      Went back to Stella Rossa tonite...ordered the usual sausage pie...the sausage was delicious, the reek of fennel coating my face and wafting up my nose....very sensually pleasing...and the first few bites had me reelin...sausage crumbled into just the right mix of chunk size and very, very juicy...but i soon noticed a bit of gumminess in the usually perfect crust. damn, i'll say most people wouldnt notice it...the place was hoppin at around 7pm sat nite but i was a bit saddened. hey, hopefully, just an off night...maybe the dough was kept at too low a temp...anyway, the sausage and still above average crust will bring me back often.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: lapizzamaven
                                        westsidegal Nov 5, 2011 10:28 PM

                                        TRIED to go there at 4:30 this afternoon.
                                        didn't realize that they don't open until 5pm monday through saturday.
                                        (hours are more like bar hours than like pizzaria-by-the-beach hours)

                                        ended up going to wurstkuche (sp?) instead.

                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                          lapizzamaven Nov 5, 2011 11:56 PM

                                          And how was the "wurst," westside gal?

                                          1. re: lapizzamaven
                                            westsidegal Nov 6, 2011 09:52 AM

                                            fine, as always.
                                            the sausage, is fine and, because of that and because of it's location, and because they serve Old Rasputin on draft, i'll continue to go there on occasion .
                                            gotta admit though that i'm not much of a fan of having my food served on a piece of wax paper. how much more would it cost them to use those little folded cardboard thing-a-ma-jobs instead? also, when the communal tables are covered in brown paper, and a party of diners leaves with the paper having grease stains and crayon drawings all over it, why doesn't the restaurant change the paper?

                                            would much have preferred one of those remarkably good pizzas served on real plates on a clean table at stella rossa .

                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                              echoparkdirt Nov 6, 2011 11:29 AM

                                              i've been ordering these superb pies on thin crust lately -- 1/2 the calories! cracker crust!

                                              1. re: echoparkdirt
                                                westsidegal Nov 6, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                i'm gonna try that!

                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                  westsidegal Dec 3, 2011 09:59 PM

                                                  tried the thin crust version tonight in a side-by-side caparison with the normal crust version.
                                                  here are my conclusions:
                                                  1) the advantage of the thinner crust version is that the tomato:crust ratio is improved and the great taste of their tomato sauce comes through better.

                                                  2) the disadvantage of the thin-crust version is that:
                                                  it is made of a different flour that just tastes like white flour and has none of the delicious nuttiness/texture of the flour used in their regular crust.
                                                  i'm not conpletely convinced that their really is a material difference in the calories involved in the two versions.. . . (will let you know after i get on the scaler tomorrow morning).

                                                  1. re: westsidegal
                                                    echoparkdirt Dec 3, 2011 11:58 PM

                                                    i didnt know it was made of a different flour! did patrick tell you that? i was there too! maybe we saw each other.

                                                    ps. how can there not be a material differnce in calories -- they use half the dough!

                                                    1. re: echoparkdirt
                                                      westsidegal Dec 4, 2011 02:45 PM

                                                      i tasted the difference in the flour, and then confirmed it with a staff member.
                                                      (dunno the names of the various staff members).

                                                    2. re: westsidegal
                                                      uhockey Dec 4, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                      There is no conceivable way that a scale could detect the number of calories in a food - not by weighing the food and not by weighing yourself (unless of course every single ingredient in the food was gram measured and cooking identical) I'll assume the above was a joke, but just FYI.


                                                      1. re: uhockey
                                                        westsidegal Dec 4, 2011 02:40 PM

                                                        i was joking about being able to ascertain a difference in calories by weighing myself the next morning. ;-)

                                                2. re: westsidegal
                                                  lapizzamaven Nov 6, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                  @westsidegal...thats strange...the sausage will get me to go there but i guess i should bring my own plate.

                                                  1. re: lapizzamaven
                                                    westsidegal Nov 6, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                    they serve the sausages on a piece of wax paper that is supported by a little painted metal trough. i'm betting the little metal troughs are never washed. the wax paper is thin and the piece of wax paper is small enough so that it gets moved around as you pick up your sausage and put down your sausage.
                                                    also, when any moist food, ( such as the mustard, sauteed onions, sauteed peppers, etc) touches the wax paper, the paper becomes translucent and sticks to the trough, suggesting that it is quite permeable.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                                      lapizzamaven Nov 6, 2011 10:18 PM

                                                      that is kinda disgusting...i'll either bring my own plates or extra wax paper...I do want to try the sausage!

                                          2. wienermobile Dec 21, 2011 08:56 AM

                                            Finally made it to Stella Rosa and boy was that worth the wait. Great crust. Nice sized pies, Loved their homemade organic sausage pizza. Nice people. Free parking. Very highly recommended. Me happy.

                                            1. wienermobile Oct 13, 2012 10:06 AM

                                              Good News! Stella Rosa will start serving brunch on Sat & Sun beginning on October 20th at 10 am. They will also have a special breakfast pizza on the brunch menu,

                                              16 Replies
                                              1. re: wienermobile
                                                westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                i'm dying to see the menu.

                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                  wienermobile Oct 13, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                  The breakfast pizza will be prosciutto & farm egg with mozzarella, gruyere and pecorino.

                                                2. re: wienermobile
                                                  Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                  A pizza place serving brunch? That's different. Wish instead of getting on the brunch bandwagon, they would just serve the same menu at lunchtime, but I know codb I guess....

                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                    westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                    i'm hoping that they will end up offering continuous service between the brunch time and the dinner time.
                                                    it would be so wonderful to be able to go there on a saturday afternoon.. . . . .

                                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                                      Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                      Yes, I love places like that.... But know it is expensive to keep your doors open & lights on all day.....

                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                        westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                        since they're already paying rent on the square footage 24/7, they just need to make enough profit during the additional hours to exceed the increase in variable costs they will incur for those hours. . . . .

                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                          Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                          Exactly, but a chef & server for four more hours times two four times a month does add up. How much does a large cheese pie go for?

                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                            wienermobile Oct 13, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                            Their delicious Margarita pizza is $12.95

                                                            1. re: wienermobile
                                                              Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                              How big is it?

                                                            2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                              westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                              also, i would expect, given their location near the beach, if they were to be open saturday afternoons there would likely be some high-margin alcohol sales to help the equation.. . . .

                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                You would hope....full bar or b&w only?

                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                  westsidegal Oct 13, 2012 02:13 PM

                                                                  sorry, i don't know.
                                                                  normally i order wine when i'm there.
                                                                  if they stayed open on saturday afternoons, i would definitely be there ordering wine and pizza.

                                                                  1. re: westsidegal
                                                                    Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 02:34 PM

                                                                    Just looked on the website, they have a full bar. Don't know how I always missed this place, but again if its closed up tight at lunch, I probably drive right by.... Those pies look phenomenal, though.... Going to have to bing the fam soon.... Thanks!

                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                      wienermobile Oct 13, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                      This and Milo & Olive are by far the best pizzas on the westside in my opinion.

                                                                      1. re: wienermobile
                                                                        Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                        Ya know, I thought the M&O pizza was okay.... Not earth shattering.... Good, super crispy crust, even tho I had wet toppings (sausage, sauce, cheese & rabe) but they never made the crust soften.... Just a bit too hard on the bottom for me I guess... But I am extremely nit-picky I guess.

                                                                        1. re: wienermobile
                                                                          westsidegal Oct 14, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                                          i'm in LOVE with the anchovy pizza at milo and olive.
                                                                          when at stella rosa i am true to the margherita.

                                                    2. wienermobile May 17, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                      From LA Eater "Stella Rossa in Santa Monica is going to be changing its name to Stella Barra, its new Hollywood sister outlet (located at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood), in order streamline the concept and branding. Everything else about Stella Barra Santa Monica will remain the same, the menu and all. "

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: wienermobile
                                                        westsidegal May 17, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                        thanks for the heads up.

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