Author Topic: The best Los Angeles area pizza?  (Read 7298 times)

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Offline Lauren

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The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« on: August 16, 2006, 08:14:00 AM »
I'm visiting LA next week.  Any recommendations for outstanding pizza in this area?


Offline pietradoro

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 10:27:44 AM »
Angelini Osteria.  Excellent, if a bit crowded, restaurant.  Make a reservation at the pizza counter and watch the pizza man shoot pizzas into their wood-burning oven.  Super thin, Romano/Rimini style pizzas.  Excellent.

Ago Ristorante.  Another upscale restaurant with a wood-burning oven.  Excellent Romano.  Go early.

Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock has a great reputation, but I've never eaten there.  Opens at 4PM, always a line to get in.

Antica Pizzeria in Marina del Rey.  Criticized on these boards, but the closest thing to a real pizza Napoletana in Los Angeles.  I think it is very, very good, and they make ther own mozzarella, but don't go on Tuesdays, the main pizzaiolo is off that day.

Offline Lauren

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 10:51:51 AM »
thanks!  I'll let you know if I get a chance to visit any of them.

Offline fangurl1

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006, 08:07:32 PM »
I've been to Casa Bianca and it is as good of a pizzeria style pie as you will get in Los Angeles.  It is somewhat reminiscent of some of the thin crust pies I have had in Chicago, such as Rosati's.  Plus you can load up on cheap Chianti while your waiting the long wait for your table.  Enjoy.

Offline RSMBob

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 06:00:38 PM »
Good suggestions so far...although I have not been to Ago. I'll add to Casa Bianca and say to avoid the wait get tehre right when they open (4PM I think) and note they are closed on Sun and Mon. Also, for a VERY good stuffed-crust pizza, check out Tony's Little Italy in Placentia (Orange County).


Offline Lauren

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 10:33:01 AM »
thanks!  I'll let you know if I get a chance to visit any of them.

So, I actually had a chance to eat at Casa Bianca.

I think it was the best thin crust pizza I ever ate--much better than Lombardi's in NYC.  I had pepperoni and sausage.  I also had cannelloni for dessert, and it was the best canneloni I ever had (I normally don't like canneloni desserts for some reason).  The people working there were very nice and friendly.  I arrived as they were opening at 4PM on a Thursday.  I had earlier gone there for lunch, but they were closed despite their website advertising they would be open.  So if you plan to travel a long distance to eat there, I would first double check they will in fact be open when you plan to go there.

I still prefer a slightly thicker pizza crust that is slightly chewy and has steam bubbles in it.  Didn't ask at Casa Bianca if they had such a crust.

Casa Bianca maybe rises to about #6 on my all-time favorite list.  I already posted elsewhere in this forum my top 4 or 5 pizza places (most of them in Northern California)


Offline Lido

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006, 11:48:28 PM »
I personally think that Casa Bianca is on par with Pizza Hut (hopefully it's obvious that is NOT a compliment).  Why people stand in line for it is baffling. It's not clear to me what style they're going for.  The crust is hard and sort of oily and not thin, not thick, it's just like a hard slab of flour based biscuit material with some toppings.

As for the good places in LA, I've heard of a lot of them and tried quite a few. If you want NY style pizza, there are at least two very very good places (one of them is better than most place in NY); Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills and Encino and Village Pizza on Larchmont south of Melrose. For Naples style there is Antica in Marina Del Rey, but apparently it's not all that authentic. I enjoyed it though.  I've heard Joe Peeps is good (not sure if that's spelled correctly).
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Offline JPY

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2006, 11:51:16 PM »
Pitfire In North Hollywood and in Downtown LA has a pretty good pie, not pizza from Naples or NY, maybe a mix of both plus a little California.  Ago is a great restaurant but it's not for pizza, good celeb hangout.  There's a new place that will open in a couple of months close to Ago called Stone Fire Pizza, it's on La Cienega Blvd.  Their slogan is a "different kind of pizza joint" Not sure what that means.  Of course my work has nice ovens but not too much cooking going on these days.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 12:05:08 AM by JPY »
-JP-

Offline David

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2006, 08:49:21 AM »
  Ago is a great restaurant but it's not for pizza

Did you build the oven in South Beach JPY? Looks nice!
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Offline JPY

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 03:05:35 PM »
The Ago I'm referring to is in the West Hollywood area Los Angeles, If there's another one in Florida I have not heard of it.  It does not mean that one of our ovens is not in there however ;D..

The hot thing in the Fort Lauderdale is Coal Fire Pizza.
-JP-


Offline JPY

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 03:10:35 PM »
I just looked at the Ago Web Site, the oven at Ago in South Beach is a Forni Ceky oven that Bravo International imports.
-JP-

Offline Lauren

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2006, 09:51:18 AM »
I personally think that Casa Bianca is on par with Pizza Hut (hopefully it's obvious that is NOT a compliment).  Why people stand in line for it is baffling. It's not clear to me what style they're going for.  The crust is hard and sort of oily and not thin, not thick, it's just like a hard slab of flour based biscuit material with some toppings.

As for the good places in LA, I've heard of a lot of them and tried quite a few. If you want NY style pizza, there are at least two very very good places (one of them is better than most place in NY); Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills and Encino and Village Pizza on Larchmont south of Melrose. For Naples style there is Antica in Marina Del Rey, but apparently it's not all that authentic. I enjoyed it though.  I've heard Joe Peeps is good (not sure if that's spelled correctly).

I didn't like Mulberry in Beverly Hills.  It was a cool place, and the pizza was OK, but not great.  Maybe you and I like different styles.  I prefer mine with a litttle chewiness and crispy yeast bubbles.

Offline scott r

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2007, 01:13:16 AM »
I have been trying a bunch of places in LA recently.  Here is the skinny on some of them.

Damianos pizza.  This place gets high marks for the true NY style crust, but the cheese is a little bland and chewy.  Still really good for LA

Village pizza Larchmont.  This place has the best cheese and sauce.  Totally real deal NY.  Unfortunately the crust is not as good as albano's.  I wish we could combine them and LA would have real NY pizza.  I don't understand why all these places with deck ovens trying to do NY style are using screens???  Save the screens for the air impingement ovens please!!!

Mulbury st. pizza.  Over rated.  This place was not as good as the above two, but obviously trying to do the same thing.  Just didn't have the right flavor or texture for NY style.

Joe Peeps.  WAY over rated.  Not NY style.  I am sorry, but this is false advertising.  This is american style pizza, and not even necessairily better than Papa John's.

Ago Ristaraunte.  FALSE ADVERTISING!!! if you check out their blurbs they say neapolitan pizza wood burning oven yadda yadda yadda.  This pizza had great cheese and sauce, but could not have been baked in much more than a 500 degree oven.  Certainly not anywhere near a 2 minute bake which I would say would be the maximum for a neapolitan pizza.  I still liked this place better than Antica pizzeria (the worst).   The crust was crackerlike and thin, though.  Certainly not fluffy and light neapolitan.  Also, have you ever seen a neapolitan pizza (touted as being like they make in naples) that uses cheap processed mozzarella.  I think not!  Also, very expensive.  15 bucks for a 9 inch plain pizza.  For this price I would have expected fresh mozzarella or buffala and at least some basil on there instead of just dry oregano.

La Buca.  Another place like the above trying to sound like a neapolitan pizzeria.  It has the menu with all the fancy neapolitan pizza names,  but it really is just plain old american pizza with cheap processed mozzarella and high gluten flour cooked on a screen at 500.  Why all the screens with the deck ovens????  I think every place out here does this.  Crazy.  I don't understand.  The crust was light and had some puff, but had a bit too much sugar.  If we could put the ago sauce and cheese on this dough you would have something decent for sure.  Problem is this pizza was totally bland. I have a feeling this place makes a mean pasta dish, though.  I am going back for that.

Next up mozza, and for normal pizza I am sticking to village pizza for now.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 04:56:47 PM by scott r »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2007, 10:17:39 AM »
Why all the screens with the deck ovens????

scott,

It is possible that it can be any number of things: 1) It's easier to dress pizzas on a screen and put them in the oven than peel the pizzas directly into the oven onto the deck and risk mishapen pies (especially when inexperienced, low-cost labor is used), 2) they are using a lot of sugar in the dough and risk premature bottom crust browning (the screens lift the pizzas above the deck), and 3) they can control the bake better, including shifting the pizzas off of the screens at the appropriate time in order to get better bottom crust browning. A faulty oven that leads to overbaking can also be the cause but it is unlikely that all of the pizza operators have faulty ovens and compensate by using screens.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 05:13:20 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline scott r

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2007, 04:58:06 PM »
I just realized that I had confused two pizzerias.  It was actually damianos not albano's that was the first place I talked about.  I just went back and fixed the post to be correct.

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 07:19:13 PM »
Scott --

Where are you?  I live right in the middle of all these places and I have to agree with most of your assessments.  I've gotta say though that while Joe Peep's has nothing to do with New York Pizza, I'd eat it over Papa John's any day of the week.  Mozza is next on my to-do list.  For a greasy NY slice have you ever tried Stefano's Two Guys From Italy at Hollywood and Las Palmas across from the Egyptian Theater?  It's by no means the best, but it has something authentic about it.  What about Patsy D'Amore's in the Farmer's Market?  They give good slice as well. They've been there since like the 1940's and have an old brick oven.  (Tell them to reheat it or they'll just dump it on a paper plate.  Let me know if you try any of them.

-- GB

P.S.  Don't know what you thought of Albano's on Melrose, but I was way less than impressed.
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline scott r

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 08:41:07 PM »
Yes, albanos was not good.  Sorry I accidentally confused it with damianos for a second.

Glutenboy, I working in a few studios around the city, one in Burbank, one on Sunset in Hollywood, and one in Koreatown.  I am willing to drive anywhere, so I am excited to try your other suggestions.  Thanks!

Actually I think I am going to drive to Arizona and hit Bianco's when I have two days off in a row.  Want to ride with me?  None of my friends will. :(
It's only 5 hours each way. 

Just came back from Mozza, and it was ok, but not amazing.  I will write a short review somewhere on the forum.

Offline David

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 08:45:26 PM »
Want to ride with me?  None of my friends will. :(
It's only 5 hours each way. 

10 hrs in a car with you talking Pizza? Mmmmmmmmmmmm..........what's the catch? :o
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Offline RSMBob

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2007, 05:21:25 PM »
Having lived in SoCal now for 20 years (originally from Chicago) I can and will say that LA/SoCal is NOT the pizza wasteland that many people to claim it to be. However, there are a LOT of lousy to mediocre pizza places and it takes time and effort to find the good/great places. Resources like this place certainly help.

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: The best Los Angeles area pizza?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2007, 04:37:12 PM »
Scott --

Let me know when you're thinking about going.  Also, if you try any of the places I mentioned, I'd be very interested to know what you think.

-- Glutenboy
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.