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Pizza in OC (ISO Hole in the Wall Joint)

  • g

Still looking for great pizza in OC and I've tried quite a few too. Everybody have their own tastes and I like the family owned "hole in the wall" pizza joints.

Here are a few of my favorites:
Mama Cozza's, Anaheim (med. thin crust): Cheese pizza.
Biagio's, Lake Forest (med. thin crust): Pepperoni, onions and tomatoes, or Pepperoni mushrooms and onions. Mushrooms are canned not fresh but have a nice flavor. Sausage is not too good here.

Here a few of my former favorites:
Now defunct-Donatelli's, Costa Mesa (thick crust): Donatelli's Special (everything on it).
Now Defunct-Ecco's Pizza, Orange (thick crust): Cheese or other.
Now different owners-Marri's Pizza, Anaheim (thick crust): Sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onions or pepperoni only.
Now different owners-Antonucci's, Newport Beach (med. thin crust): Cheese.

Sadly, I don't have many favorites left in OC. Any suggestions?

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    1. Antonucci's in Mission Viejo @ Alicia and Muirlands. I don't believe that there has ever been a relation to the one of the same name in Newport. The previous owner used to work for Petrillo's and the current owner smartly, hasn't messed with the pizza. Really good stuff.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JB

        JB, alright, I like the name of the place, wonder if the former owner's of the Newport location started this restaurant. Anyway, appreciate the tip.

        1. re: JB

          Antonnuci's' former owners did, at one time, own the same-name resto in Newport, but sold it a long time before selling the MV location. We frequented MV, on a regular basis, from around 1986 thru 2004. IMHO their pizza is about as good as it gets (and I'm from NYC). Haven't been there in maybe 2 years, and it's good to hear the currents owners aren't messing with it.

          1. re: Midlife

            Aha! That's why I'm hearing that Antonucci's is good, hope they haven't changed anything.

            1. re: GrindzHound

              I had a pizza from Antonucci's for the first time Friday night. It was good, not exceptional. It reminded me somewhat of Biagio's in Lake Forest. I made a mistake of ordering the Antonucci's Special (or something like that) that included pepperoni, sausage, black olives, mushrooms, onions and bell pepper. It suffered from too many toppings sogging out the crust a little bit. It was actually better the next day when I preheated a cookie sheet at 400 and then reheated a few slices for about 8 minutes. Next time I'll stick to one or two toppings.

        2. i

          Big O To Go in Mission Viejo

          6 Replies
          1. re: Itslikeimsayin

            Itslikeimsayin, Thanks for the tip. I haven't tried Big O, now I will. Any toppings recommendations?

            1. re: GrindzHound

              I can't recommend anything in particular. I usually stick to the basics -- pep, sausage, etc.

              They have a vegetarian pizza that has all the veggies and I used to sometimes add pepperoni, but it's almost too many toppings. I'd say you should stick to just one or two toppings, and they won't skimp on any of them.

              1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                Vegitarian sound great, I know hwat you mean about too many toppings, sometimes less is more.

            2. re: Itslikeimsayin

              Agreed on Big O to Go... Haven't ate there in a while but used to live in MV and is the best in South OC.

              1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                While Big O to Go uses quality ingredients, their cracker like crust is IMO undesirable.

                1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                  Oh my goodness, I had completely forgotten about this place! I grew up in MV and their veggie sandwich is the best thing on all of earth. I may need to leave work and head over there immediately. That place is grrrreat!

                2. Al's New York Cafe on 17th Street and Irvine Ave. in Costa Mesa has great New York style pizza with thin chewy crust. Total hole in the wall.

                  (949) 722-1212

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cdmedici

                    Good NY-style pizza BUT its mostly a takeout place because they only have a few crummy tables inside, otherwise I'de eat there more often.

                    1. re: Rich

                      Hmmm, Al's, I forgot about Al's. I think my girl friend didn't like the way the owner treated her, so we never went back. Decent pizza though.

                    2. re: cdmedici

                      I love the crust at Al's but I'm not a huge fan of the pool of grease/oil on top of each slice. Still good, though. (And completely different from Big O To Go ... from my other post below.)

                      1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                        I thougt that all New York style pizza had grease on top :-)

                    3. TONY MARONI'S FAMOUS GOURMET
                      4678 CAMPUS DR # E
                      Near John Wayne Airport on MacArthur
                      Phone: 949-252-8877

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: obscuro

                        obscuro, Been by there many times but haven't tried Tony's yet. Can wait to try it, thanks.

                      2. I'm not a big pizza eater these days as I ate too much of it during college and got sick of it, but my co-workers like to visit Haus of Pizza often. Sort of hole-in-the-wall-ish, fair number of dine-in-tables. Also has fair number of Italian dishes to order besides pizza.

                        Haus of Pizza
                        1500 Adams Ave #108
                        Costa Mesa
                        cross-street Harbor Blvd

                        Another place to consider is Nick's Pizza Ristorante. Nicer, slightly more upscale pizza place.

                        Nick's Pizza Ristorante
                        2300 Harbor Blvd #K1
                        Costa Mesa
                        cross-street Wilson

                        1. The best Pizza in the OC is Original Pizza near the Newport Pier. It's been there over 40 years and still family owned and operated. My personal favorite is an anchovy garlic pizza.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: babbb

                            Forgot about that place, they have an interesting crust there, not Lampost for sure.

                          2. La Rocco's at the corner of PCH and Main in Huntington Beach does, surprisingly, have decent pizza (I'd say 7/10 on a New York scale, and the best I've found in OC). The crust is a bit crisper and has more depth of flavor than Al's, and the sauce is somewhat tangier. It's a total hole in the wall - even more so than Al's, but you can always take the pizza to go and sit on the beach instead.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: viyer

                              Sounds good, the crust and Mama Cozza's and Biagio's has that depth of flavor also. I'll try it.

                            2. Al's New York Cafe - greatest pizza in that area and they have great pastas for take out also - if you are local they deliver. Also, Pizza Royale in Corona del Mar

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LA Noodle

                                Is Pizza Royale thick or thin crust?

                              2. I noticed the other day in Fullerton that Giovanni's Pizza (which used to be good, then went way downhill and went under) now has a sign saying "Original Owners are Back!".

                                Their pizza used to be good, but that was a long time ago.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Just Cid

                                  Giovanni's was good until the owner passed away. I used to get pizza from the original location on Williamson Street? and they later opened a location on Harbor. Good to hear they've reopened.

                                2. Beach Cities Pizza in Dana Point. They have two locations, one in the Dana Point Harbor and another on PCH and Blue Lantern. Amazing sourdough crust pizza. The pepperoni is on the greasy side, so I usually just stick to cheese, but both are fantastic. Their most popular is the Thai Chicken pizza.

                                  I usually also get their sourdough breadsticks with ranch which makes for a great lunch.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Cattivella

                                    Thanks for the tip. I'm kind of an old style pizza joint kind of person, but sourdough pizza sounds pretty awesome.

                                  2. Was in Anaheim today and against my better judgement skipped Mamma Cozzas and tried out San Giovanni Pizza on Euclid...blaaeeeaa! Sausage tasted like frozen soy meat.

                                    1. Sonny's in San Clemente has the best thin crust Pizza. Order it well done (the norm is well done but I would try it even more). You can sit out on the patio and have a full litre of Cabernet for $11.00....and the Cab is a nice table wine (better than the Chianti).

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: RCA

                                        Heard that Sonny's had good sandwiches. Will try the pizza now. Thanks for the tip on the cabernet, can be hard to find a good house wine.

                                      2. I was always a fan (when I lived close by) of "Pizza Bakery" on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. The actual address may be Corona Del Mar, it's in the "Westcliff Area" near the corner of 17th and Irvine Blvd. Grab a nice slice (I like sausage) lunch special or try a pie to go. Had one of them about a year ago and it as good as always. They had nice execution of "white pizza" and margherita -- but that's 5+ years ago since I last had those there.