THE TOP TEN Pizzas in Los Angeles Area
Thin crust or thick? Sicilian or Chicago? For many of us, pizza is a passion. If you want to call some nationwide chain for fast delivery of something that doesn't taste much better than the cardboard box it comes in, go right ahead. That means the wait will be shorter for the rest of us at these Top 10 Pizza Places in Los Angeles, presented in alphabetical order.
Thin crust or thick? Sicilian or Chicago? For many of us, pizza is a passion. If you want to call some nationwide chain for fast delivery of something that d... more
Abbot's Pizza Company
1407 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291 / 310-396-7334
We’re crazy about the pizza, which is made with bagel-dough crusts. Thin in the center and crispy on the edges, the crusts are best when you order the onion, garlic, sesame and poppy or hot-spicy. Choose from one of 25 inventive toppings, including five types of onions, seven types of cheese, and four types of mushrooms. You can order the pizza by the slice, so you can explore the options. Pizza lovers and expat New Yorkers don’t mind eating at counters set against the walls or taking slices to-go, because Abbot’s pizza is a must.
Caioti Pizza Café
4346 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604 / 818-761-3588
You’ve tasted the California pizza of Wolfgang Puck and the California Pizza Kitchen. Well, Ed LaDou was the guy who taught them how to make it. After years of owning a terrific little pizza place in Laurel Canyon, LaDou opened this location in Studio City. The founder died in early 2008, but Caioti Café continues to serve classic Italian and New York pizzas. LaDou’s true legacy, however, lives on with designer pizzas such as the barbecued chicken (he claims to have invented the concept), the sun-dried tomato and goat cheese, and Pizza Rockefeller (with oysters, shrimp, spinach, roasted peppers and a smattering of cheese and bread crumbs). If your baby is overdue, try LaDou’s so-called “maternity” salad of romaine, watercress, Gorgonzola and walnuts tossed in a balsamic-basil vinaigrette; it’s rumored to induce labor.
Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
1650 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 / 323-256-9617
After decades of relative anonymity, this non-descript Eagle Rock pizzeria has suddenly emerged as one of Southern California's legendary eateries. Its pizza receives near universal acclaim and folks drive considerable distances to take home the prized pies. A crispy, slightly chewy crust, subtly tangy tomato sauce, better-than-average mozzarella, and quality toppings like roasted garlic and homemade Italian sausage make it worth the trip. Although most pizzas are ordered to-go, the always-full dining room, with its red-checkered tablecloths, is a comfortable enough place to enjoy respectable salads and pastas, in addition to the main attraction.
D'Amore's Famous Pizza Connection
15928 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 91436 / 818-907-9100
One of the Valley's most acclaimed pizza purveyors, this place serves genuine East Coast-style pizza from a hole-in-the-wall tucked deep into a Ventura Boulevard strip center. The crust is thin but chewy and the toppings are of high quality. According to owner Joe D'Amore, the secret is his grandmother's recipes and dough made with water imported from Boston (that's right, no local water allowed). The pizza bianca is the signature pie, and a selection of pastas, entrées and sandwiches are also offered. Other locations.
Mulberry Street Pizzeria
240 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212 / 310-247-8100
Around the corner from the William Morris Agency, Mulberry is the least expensive place to do lunch. Forget about the salads. Go straight for the New York-style pizza, topped with everything from pepperoni and cheese to chicken Parmesan. The secret to these pies is the sauce, and we dare you to stop at just one slice. Also located at 347 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-247-8998; and 17040 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-906-8881.
21020 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364 / 818-883-4136
Paoli’s makes some of the best pizza in the Valley; even folks from Hollywood and downtown have made the trek over the hill for the tasty pies. The signature Alfredo pizza uses butter-rich white sauce instead of the usual tomato sauce, and it’s popular without any topping or with onions and the spicy, homemade sausage. Try the climax pizza, a sausage-pesto pizza with either the tomato or white sauce. The menu also features good pasta, chicken and veal dishes.
Pit Fire Pizza Company
5211 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 / 818-980-2949
Barbecued pizza? That’s the specialty here: Pizzas and rollzones cooked over a hardwood-fired barbecue pit. Toppings for the pizzas are also grilled, adding a unique layer of smoky flavor. Try the Tuscan, with pit-fire chicken, rosemary potatoes, caramelized onions, cheese and pesto. You’ll find a variety of good pastas, too---and everything is priced well under $10.
7605 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 / 323-954-0300
Toronto to Los Angeles is not the usual progression of restaurant groups, but that's the case with Terroni, a terrific pizza joint imported from Canada by LA nightlife queen Shereen Arazm. The décor is quirky, with both crystal chandeliers and industrial light fixtures. And you'll have a chance to study the place as there are no reservations and there's almost always a line. Choose among 30 variations of pizza, from classic margherita to several done "white" (no tomato sauce). Thin-crusted and fresh from the oven, they are among the city's finest, whether topped with speck (salty smoked ham), calabrese sausage or a mix of cheeses. The policy of no substitutions or alterations isn't really in the spirit of Los Angeles, but some servers seem willing to bend the rules. One other quirk: pizzas are presented whole, and it's left to the customer to slice the pie. The menu also features an array of salads and antipasti as well as a satisfying tiramisu for dessert. The wine list offers some nice choices, including carafes in various sizes. But the $25 corkage fee feels excessive for a place of this type.
846 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069 / 310-652-6859
An LA vibe and Brooklyn sensibility makes this one of the city’s best stops for a slice. The pizza is Brooklyn-style with a thin, leathery crust and smooth tomato sauce, though the sauce and cheese are a bit too tangy to call Vito’s “authentic.” But the pizzas are delicious and big (the sizes: 18” pie or giant slice). This family-friendly mom and pop shop also offers a variety of salads, calzones and pasta dishes like chicken Parm with ravioli or penne pesto. The wine list is surprisingly interesting for a pizza joint, showcasing California and Australia’s most pizza-friendly wines. Several micro brews are also on offer. Be warned: where the restaurant falls down is on service. Although staff is friendly and tries to be accommodating, we’ve yet to receive an order that didn’t have at least one mistake.
328 E. Foothill Blvd., Arcadia, CA 91006 / 626-358-8298
Arcadia is home to this undiscovered little gem of a pizzeria with deep dish pies distinguished by their crispy cornmeal crusts. You can begin with a Caesar or beet and blue cheese salad before moving on to a tasty pasta dish or calzone. But most regulars are drawn back to this eatery by the rotating repertoire of pizzas. A Greek version features feta cheese, marinated green peppers and kalamata olives, while the “Blue Moon” is topped with marinated mushrooms, Gorgonzola and fresh tomatoes. There are about two dozen versions in all, in addition to more traditional staples that are always available. Walls at the quirky little storefront are lined with antique album covers with pizza references and other pop art items that give the place a bit of an urban edge despite its suburban location.
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