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May 10, 2014 12:35 PM

SOUTH END --- phenomenal pizza crust

tried south end for the first time last night.
Roman-style crust
the very best Roman-style crust i've ever had
(probably figures because Mario is from Rome
they use a starter made in house, mother dough, not a commercial yeast.) but the most important part is the RESULT. can't praise it enough.

my friend and i split two pizzas: the Kinney, a garlicky tomato-based pizza made with burrata, and the Vanguard a spicy white pizza.
normally, i'm not interested in a non-tomato pizza, but i have to say that the flavors and presentation of the Vanguard were exceptional AND both pizzas were generously sized.

they have an extensive wine-by-th-glass program.

all in all, a fabulous place.

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  1. Sounds great. Were they square or round?

    13 Replies
    1. re: jessejames

      round, look at the pictures shown on their website, i included the link to their site in my original post.

      1. re: westsidegal

        I the big square pizzas u get rectangular slices of in Rome.

        1. re: jessejames

          well, mario comes from rome.
          maybe give him a call at the restaurant and have that discussion with him.
          to me, the style is called "roman"
          to mario, the style is called "roman"
          to you, maybe it has another name..

          when i think of big square pizzas, i think of that bread y, pillowy, stuff they served me in chicago that i left on the plate... . .
          (my bosses, on the other hand, both of whom had graduate degrees from U of Chicago, thought that revolting square stuff was great)

          1. re: westsidegal

            Why would I do that?
            I'm just saying that's the pizza i like in Rome. Especially the kind with potato slices. It would be nice to have in la. Anyways sounds like good pizza and you and Mario can call it whatever you like

            1. re: jessejames

              the cost of my restaurant addiction will end up precluding me from going to rome so i'll never really have any personal experience about the food in rome.

              i need to rely on folks like you and like mario.

              fwiw, they do serve a 'white' pie which has potatoes as one of the toppings.

              1. re: westsidegal

                The slice places there with the big pan pizzas are the bargain food. anyways I'm sure there's a big variety big city. A pizza in the hand here in la better than dreaming of Italy

              2. re: jessejames

                The potato pizza in Rome is incredible!!

                And the pizza I had in Rome were big square pies... My favorite place had little old lady cutting the pieces with a scissors and weighing them.

                1. re: gr8pimpin

                  ditto here. I love that potato pie too!

        2. re: jessejames

          Those pics don't look Roman style (crispy), they look more like Mozza-style.

          1. re: SMBeetle

            Odd, most of the pics I could find make the pizza look pillowy, but this one looks more like a traditional Roman:


            Definitely want to try this place out.

            1. re: SMBeetle

              the crusts on both the pizzas that we had were absolutely CRISPY and had a wonderful flavor and chew.

              i am not a fan of pillowy breadstuffs of any sort

              1. re: westsidegal

                I always thought South End was more Mozza-like in its dough than anything else given the lineage behind the kitchen at South End.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  i can only speak for the two pizzas we had last night.
                  dunno anything about the others.

          2. Hey westsidegal,glad you made it to South End and sounds like you loved the pizza! you remember Mario from Antica in MDR? i love him...I would say its closest to Mozza IMHO...understandably since Mario's partner is Frank Fermin formerly of Mozza..either way, the seem to be extremely consistent and its my favorite style...artisanally made but crispier than the Antica/Settebello neapolitan VPN style...cant wait to get back...and yeah, great wines and beers, too!!!!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lapizzamaven

              re: the wines by the glass
              they have a (relatively short) happy hour that ends at 6pm of half price for most (maybe all??) of their w-b-t-g.

              had a lovely zinfandel for $7/glass during happy hour.
              their wine list is really extensive, but i'm most likely to stick with that zin.

            2. Definitely gonna try it; the crispier crust, but with a nice chew, sounds great to me. But, funny, while it also sounds more Roman than the wetter Neopolitan variety we find at Settebello and Sotto (despite its round rather than square shape - and I don't know whether that's a true distinction), the South End website calls it Neopolitan:
              "Chef de cuisine Frank Fermin and souce Chef Mark Williams (both ex vet at Mozza pizzeria), turn out rustic pies, crisp-tender Neapolitan-style pizzas with a lot of Italian cheeses, local ingredients and seasonal products."

              8 Replies
              1. re: Wayno

                the two pizzas i had were NOT neapolitan.
                for that, go to settebello which is down the street.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  I do understand that they were not actually Neopolitan, based on your description. And I do like Settebello for Neopolitan style. My comment was just that, in contrast to the actual style of the pizza, the menu called it Neopolitan.

                  1. re: Wayno

                    i was trying to warn you so that you would not be misled by the website. didn't want you to go there with the expectation of finding an unsliced pie with a floppy middle.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Thanks for that. No, I was really glad to hear your description; think it sound just about perfect. I do like some crisp with my chewiness - which is to me what a perfect NY pie is like.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Westsidegal, considering youve stated how much you like Settebello and Neapolitan pizza, thats an unflattering description: unsliced with a floppy middle...LOL!

                        1. re: lapizzamaven

                          ok then,
                          how about unsliced with a PLIANT middle?
                          i'll keep trying until i get it right.
                          i eat that unsliced pizza with the pliant crust at least 3 times a week!

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Westsidegal, Ah, much better..."pliant" doesnt conjure up distasteful images in my mind! wow, 3xweek, thats devotion! thats more than i ate at Antica back in the day!

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              plan to get some more of that PLIANT crust tonight

                  2. I don't claim to know Roman from Neapolitan from Florentine (is there such a thing as Florentine pizza?), but I do love the pizza and the whole vibe at South End. So far I've tried the Vanguard (mushrooms, fontina, chiles); the Kinney (burrata, Roma tomatoes, pesto); and the 1905 (big chunks of house made sausage, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, olives); and I'd recommend all of them. Pizzas are indeed generously sized, given the quality of the ingredients and the prices - half of one pie is enough for me to be satisfied but not stuffed. Owners and staff are great, and very generous with tastes of wine. . .

                    1. I enjoyed it as well. The crust is similar to Mozza and Milo and Olive which is a HUGE compliment!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: bruinike

                        imho, the crust is superior to Milo and Olive

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Agreed about the crust, westsidegal...and remarkably, they use a gas oven which proves a point ive made for years in my pizza musings...if you do it right, a gas oven cranked up a bit, will make great pizza!!!!!!

                          1. re: lapizzamaven

                            i suspect that the mother dough they use is what gives the crust that terrific flavor.
                            it wouldn[t surprise me if a coal or wood oven were to actually detract from that flavor. .. .

                            1. re: lapizzamaven

                              After a one hour convection preheat with two pizza stones, I can get my oven temp to 588 degrees, sometimes higher, with my GE Cafe gas oven which is pretty good, especially considering it runs on propane.
                              (using a Kintrex non-contact infared thermometer w/laser targeting)
                              Did you have that same experience, or do you not do domestic pizzas?