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Jul 27, 2014 05:52 PM

DeSano Pizza Bakery – this place needs some love

After reading a few write-ups on this board, we decided to give Desano a try for a very late lunch. Ordered the Margherita D.O.P. with salsiccia and the Verdura – broccoli rabe, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, buffalo mozzarella - both in the smaller size.

First impression is that the place is absolutely huge! There’s seating for well over a hundred in three different rooms. A giant walk-in takes up some of the space and four wood fired ovens line the back wall.

Second impression is that it was empty at 3 PM. Aside from an Italian family chatting with a guy we presumed to be the owner, my dad and I were the only people in the joint.

The pizzas came out after a few minutes and looked solid. Crust edged with a little char but the middle could have been a bit more well done.

The Margherita was tasty in a minimalist way. The sauce was the highlight, tangy and tasting heavily of tomato not overpowered by herbs. Velvety smooth cheese and perhaps a bit too much sausage.

The Verdura was easily my favorite. The combo of bitter sautéed rapini, garlic and buffalo mozzarella was fantastic.

The crust on both was chewy with just a hint of crunch around the edges. No sogginess in the middle.

Although one could look at the smaller size pizzas as “personal,” they’re on the large side for one. We ate our fill and had plenty left over.

As we were leaving, the owner/manager approached and asked if we enjoyed our meal. We replied in the affirmative and asked how business was going. He frowned and said things were slow but perked up and added that they will start serving beer and wine next week.

I hope this place succeeds, as the food was very good – I’d say on par if not a bit better than Mother Dough but at a lower price point. My worry is that they’re in a culinary wasteland stuck in the ass-end of East Hollywood. If they were a bit further east, they could play more successfully to the Silver Lake crowd.

Of the newer pizzas in the area, DeSano is leaps and bounds better than Wood, the place that took over the Tom’s Burgers space on Sunset/Parkman.

DeSano Pizza Bakery
4959 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

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  1. Totally agree.
    Mentioned it previously here:

    Great canolli too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      We were gonna try a cannoli or some gelato but were too full after the meal. Gives us (another) reason to return.

      I do hope they can make it work. The location and sheer size of the place make me concerned about their viability as a business.

      1. re: JeMange

        Pass on the gelato.

        It's not made in-house (believe it's from Gelato Bar or someplace).

    2. Nice report. I like a spacious pizza parlor too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jessejames

        This place is cavernous. Plenty of on site parking as well. I hope that with beer and wine that they'll prosper.

        1. re: JAB

          Big place, seats to fill -- let's hope they make the smart longterm decision and offer beer and wine prices on the low end with happy hour specials and the like and go for smaller profit margins with larger volume that also helps their food sales.

      2. A few friends hit it up for lunch today. Said the pizza was amazing but the place was almost empty.

        Eat (good) pizza. Keep these folks in business!

            1. re: jessejames

              Yea, I know I've already been to Grimaldi's and they seem to have enough business from all the office workers on Rosecrans.... Bt this place needs some CH love, JeMange says so.... I just wanna help everyone and eat everything....! Haha, no seriously, I love pizza and will try them all eventually. It saddens me when the good ones can't make it.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                It's a huge spot so maybe looks less crowded too but let's go

                1. re: jessejames

                  Organize something and I'd certainly be up for it! While I can see Grimaldi's being superior, the whole reason to do it at Desano would be to give them a boost, which they clearly need. That and the pizza is really good, too.

                  1. re: JeMange

                    I'm down. desanos is quite strong.
                    But I'll say Grimaldi's is one of the few foods that I really crave these days and can't get enough outing to olio tonight I think. we are pizza people!

                    1. re: jessejames

                      Awesome! We are too! I think I'll make pizza tonight instead of pork chops.... ;)

          1. Back again this afternoon. Happily there were about 12 people in there at 3:00.

            Margherita pizza was superb. Simple but full of flavor. As mentioned, the sauce is tomato. Not garlic, not oregano. Tomato. And it's delicious. But if you like, there's a condiment table to the side and you can get a small cup of chopped garlic or crushed red pepper or oregano and sprinkle it over the top.

            Crust had a very slight char, and good chew.

            Meatball sandwich special was also top drawer, using the same sauce. Meatballs sliced so they don't fly all over the place. It comes with a side salad of spinach, artichoke hearts, dried cranberries, thinly sliced red onion and cheese, with a balsamic dressing. It's too much food for me and I brought half home.

            I was thinking this would be a great place to rent out (or since it's so big maybe we wouldn't have to rent the whole thing) and do a pizza making class with their pizza maker. They have four ovens, and PLENTY of space for 10 or more people to make their own pizzas. I don't know if they do this, but I'll remember it for next time I'm looking for an activity for a group...especially since they now serve beer and wine.