Don - I didn't realize I had a cyber stalker out there! LOL you crack me up. It's great to hear that it motivated you to stay up late on your computer! I hope you weren't too bummed out when the smoking gun wasn't revealed? As you have seen from the journey, they days of "that smell" are more than likely gone. I have been to many, many pizza places in the time since, but nothing compares to how special it was in the 80's and early 90's (Probably back in the 70's too.) I'd go so far as to call it the golden age of west coast pizza.
I was forced to find my own way and what I have is good, but it could always be better. I am still taking swings however. I have some pies tomorrow testing an engineered sourdough starter made with LH100 and ADY. LH100 is typically used in making hard cheeses like parmaesan and romano. I have been culturing it for weeks now. It has a slight "buttery" ester profile that this strain is known for, but it's not "THAT smell". Having cultured these lactobacilli and experiencing how differently they smell, taste, etc., I am still convinced that it's a special strain of yeast or sourdough culture. I'll throw up some shots of the engineered sourdough pizza tomorrow. Oh and if it went unnoticed, thanks for the kind comments.