Author Topic: Antica Pizzeria  (Read 4181 times)

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Offline Glutenboy

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Antica Pizzeria
« on: March 11, 2005, 03:05:47 PM »
There is a place in Marina Del Rey, CA, run by the guy in charge of the American Chapter of the VPN, called Antica Pizzeria.  He has a wood-fired brick oven, uses 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and makes his own Mozzarella.  The LA Times did a full story on him.  This place rocks.  I eat there all the time, and I feel confident that I now understand the Neapolitan Pizza experience.  You visit his website at:

WWW.ANTICAPIZZERIA.NET

If you are ever in Southern California, it is definitely worth a visit.
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.


Offline Sedagive

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 03:02:55 AM »
I couldn't agree more.  This is excellent pizza, although I think they use a little too much sauce.  On my second visit, I asked them to go easy on the sauce and the pizza was perfect.  It reminded me a little of Totonno's in Coney Island.  I'm glad I finally found a place closer than New York for real pizza.   :)

Offline scott r

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 02:56:40 AM »
I am starting to feel really bad about speaking my mind on the review section here.  I am going to try to be as nice as I can and get this over with fast.   Trust me on this.  The pizza here is nothing like the pizza in Naples. The fact that this place is training aspiring pizzaiolo's in the ways of Neapolitan pizza is a joke.  I have never had such a bland cheese or crust in my life. No option for Buffalo mozzarella.  On top of that the crust reminded me of tough white bread toast.  Actually I think I would have preferred the toast.  Thank god for a good sauce and basil because that is all that the pizza had going for it.  It was an unusual time (3pm), but there was only one person eating here.  Now I know why.   
 

So far Sezz Medi in New York is the closest to Naples that I have found.  I know Luzzo's and UPN in New York are not totally authentic, but they are my favorites here in the US.  A16 in San Fran at least had decent cheese and sauce to help cover up their lackluster crust.

The good news here is that any of us with the means to make a 2.5 minute (or less) pie can totally blow away what I ate today using the information given on this forum.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 08:21:21 AM »
Think also that the owner is the President of VPN....
What is he suppose to guarantee when himself doesn't even have a Neapolitan Oven.....


It is a pity that VPN could not find a better representative

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 11:34:02 AM »
As the starter of this thread, I have to take the hit on this one.
I went back recently, and either my memory is faulty or the quality of this product has declined substantially.  My first review was based on his other location (Southwest edge of the Hollywood District), which he closed a while ago.  The pizza I got in Marina Del Rey (while good by goin' out for pizza standards) wasn't what I remembered from my years' earlier visits.  It could be a matter of timing (who's cooking, time of day, etc...), but those are cheap excuses for a self-proclaimed standard bearer.  Oh, the humiliation...  :'(

Okay -- I'm over it.

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Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline JPY

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 08:47:43 PM »
Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I have never been to Antica.  The city of Marina Del Rey is just such a pain to get to with the traffic on the (405) highway. I hear that they make their own Mozzarella???.  I also know a couple of people that have had the pizza class at the restaurant.  Some of them came from a long way, as far as Edmonton, Alberta. One said that he was trained by one of the chefs and not the main guy.  :-D
-JP-

Offline Grog

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 07:35:42 PM »
I visited Antica Pizzeria today.  I cut out of a conference early to find pizza.  This is becoming a habit!  Yesterday I did the same thing to visit Mozza.

From my hotel in Santa Monica, Antica's location in Monica Del Ray was about halfway to the airport.  The restaurant itself is quite nice, with free parking and lots of natural light from the "teepee" roof and colorful walls.  If I had to complain, I might mention that faux Italian decor in an Italian restaurant is one of my pet peeves. 

I arrived at noon to find a completely empty restaurant.  Bad sign.  I ordered a Margherita, and it came out of the oven in record time.  The pizza was fairly large and cost $10.50, ($0.50 more than the Margherita I had last night at Mozza).  The cornice was modest (especially compared to Mozza) and had a nice amount of charring, suggesting a hot oven.  However, there was ample bench dough on the underside of the pizza, and it was quite bitter and unpleasant.  There was also a strange flavor on the pizza, perhaps anchovy residue.  Interestingly, the crust improved as it cooled.  That has never happened to me before.  The sauce was bland, with lots of seeds.  Now that I think of it, the cheese was bland too.  The basil was limp, soggy, and easily removed.  Everything needed more salt. 

After eating at Antica, I need to revise my review of Mozza, which really shines in comparison.  I'm a bit bummed, because I heard that Antica runs a VPN training course, and I'd love to improve my pizza making skills in a restaurant setting.  I guess I'll have to go to Naples after all.

Offline frankiedahamma

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 09:47:28 PM »
Quote
I know Luzzo's and UPN in New York are not totally authentic, but they are my favorites here in the US.

Just out of curiosity why would UPN considered to be not totally authentic?

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 11:24:02 PM »
I think when people say authentic they mean that the actual product is consistent in appearance and flavor with what one might find in Naples.  I don't think the certification alone can guarantee that.
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.

Offline David

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 11:43:54 AM »
The basil was limp, soggy, and easily removed.  

I'm presuming that the basil was correctly added prior to cooking and IMO it should be as you described ?
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Offline scott r

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2007, 12:43:16 PM »
This quote was taken from me,  so here is my take on the current status of UPN.   The pizza is not the same as what you find in Naples, but it is excellent and seems to be getting closer to the true Naples style.  The ovens in Naples, especially at the destination places are really really fast.  Anthony did not have an oven capable of producing those temps, so he tended to overcook the pizzas. The flour anthony is using, Caputo, really needs to be baked for a short period of time, even if the temps are not high. This results in a pale (but very tasty) pizza, and I did see pizzas like this in Naples.  Leopard spots and char only happen with super hot ovens, so you need to accept that fact and pull caputo based pizzas out before these char spots happen if your oven is slow.  Everybody sees the beautiful pictures here of the high temp pizzas coming out of Naples, and the tendency is to really overcook the pies to try to get that look. Unfortunately when caputo based doughs are left in the oven for too long they get very tough, and that was the main issue with many of the UPN pizzas I have had over the years.  Every now and then the oven was extra hot or the pizza was pulled out early enough and UPN would produce an excellent product that was very similar to pizza in Naples but a bit more sour, salty, and with more oil.  Personally I liked these slight deviations from the "authentic" product, and I am sure that with the number of pizzerias in and around Naples there are some places over there that tend to make a saltier pizza or one with lots of oil.  I know that I definitely had a pizza at Antica Costa in Naples that was just as sour as what anthony tends to do, but I know that is not their target product from talking to Marco who grew up in the Naples pizza scene.   The good news is that Antnony just got a new oven.  Obviously his old oven still had some years left in it because this pizzeria has only been around for a few years.  I think that tells us that Anthony himself knew what was (sometimes) wrong with his pizza and he has tried to correct that problem.   I can't wait to get back there and try his pizza out of the new oven.

Offline Grog

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2007, 05:22:08 PM »
David -- you're right, basil that is put on a pizza and then doused in EVOO before going into an oven will be limp and soggy afterwards.  I should have been more descriptive.  The degree of limpness and sogginess in this case was unusual.  If you have ever bought a package of baby salad greens and left it around for too long, some of the leaves will turn dark and sticky and develop an off taste.  This is what I experienced on my pizza at Antica.  I have to wonder if the basil was fresh before it was put onto the pizza.  Since it didn't add anything to the pizza, I removed it.

I'm planning on stopping by UPN during another conference in NYC in February.  Luzzo's too.  Can't wait!
 

Offline Glutenboy

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Re: Antica Pizzeria
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2007, 06:02:04 PM »
Quote
I think when people say authentic they mean that the actual product is consistent in appearance and flavor with what one might find in Naples.  I don't think the certification alone can guarantee that.

Ohhhh... UPN!!!!  I thought you said VPN!!!!!!!!!!!  ???   Well, that makes my last post kinds stupid, huh?  :-[
Quote under my pic excludes Little Caesar's.


 

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