The LAist Pizzapedia, Vol. 1: An In-Depth Guide To LA’s Many Varieties of Pizza And Where To Find Them

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Los Angeles is not having a pizza renaissance. There has been no rotation in local anesthetic tap water system, no magic-fingered graft bringing new cognition. We have n’t crossed some fanciful rubicon beyond which we are now, last, worthy of a clap on the bet on from a flour-dusted, thick-calloused hand. The “ not bad, kiddo ” ai n’t coming. here ‘s the thing, it ‘s not worth a blasted, anyhow. Regardless of what you may have heard, Los Angeles has had good pizza for a identical long fourth dimension. What has happened, however, is a broaden of our collective pizza awareness. Round or hearty, thickly or thin, hot or cold, old school or futuristic, subtle or flamboyant, emerging from a restaurant, hand truck, car, sign of the zodiac, police van or bloody near anywhere else, the full moon spectrum of pizza permutations has opened our minds. Whether you ‘ve barely awakened to The Way Of The Pizza or you ‘re a long-sufferance seeker, it does n’t hurt to have a spirit guide. Or, in this case, a Pizzapedia. That is, a detail senso-historical enumeration of the most popular pizza styles, and where to find them in L.A .

PIZZAPEDIA V1
A pizza from Prime Pizza. ( Ben Mesirow for LAist )

New York — Prime Pizza

In the begin, every SoCal pizza joint wanted to claim New York roots. They flaunted Statue of Liberty logo, tiled their walls with subway-style motifs and made grandiose claims about 500-year-old starters. We have, thankfully, outgrown our Big Apple fetishism but there ‘s placid something charming about a big NY slice — crisp but not intemperate, doughy but not soft, greasy but not indulgent. right now, Prime Pizza, another exercise in chasteness from the folks behind Golden State ( RIP ) and Cofax, is the best place to find a supremely foldable slice, little pepperoni dirt cups and all.

  • 446 N Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District. 323-852-1188.
  • 603 N Hollywood Way, Burbank. 818-736-5120.
  • 141 S Central Ave., Little Tokyo. 213-256-0011.

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A pizza slice from Pizza Wagon. ( Ben Mesirow for LAist )

Sicilian — Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn

Although they have legitimate roots in Sicily, the slices known as sicilian have taken on a life of their own in New York and the Northeast United States. alternatively of a beat focaccia bum with toppings, mod sicilian slices are thickly rectangles, crisp on the edges with a tender concentrate. They ‘re not angstrom well known as other styles but sicilian slices have cachet. Ask the nerdiest pizza swot and it ‘ll likely be their darling pizza. Although applaud NYC import Prince Street recently opened a WeHo location, our affection belongs to San Fernando Valley basic Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn. Their sicilian slices are balanced and consistent, constantly the mighty weight, less greasy than Pizza Wagon ‘s thin-crust pies but no worse off for it. Toppings are generous and good quality, and their slice apparatus is on point for a quick pandemic pickup.

  • 14522 1/2 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 818-616-1492.

Chicago — Masa Of Echo Park, Dough Box

Chicago-style pizza is called thick serve for a reason. It ‘s baked in a tall, round pan and with a buttery crust that runs up the sides and looks about like a elephantine savory crisp. Unlike sicilian and Detroit styles, the crust leaves room for an avalanche of tall mallow and ingredients to fill its cavernous middle, then a wash of tomato sauce laid over the top to keep it damp. Between the sturdiness of the dough and that voltaic pile of stuff in the middle, trench dish is among the heartiest pizza. It ‘s besides one of the most time-consuming to bake, often requiring 40 minutes in the oven, rather of 90 Neapolitan seconds. Masa of Echo Park, owned and operated by a pizza-crazy Chicagoan, has been cranking out excellent deep dish for more than 15 years, and it remains a stalwart of the genre. When El Sereno ‘s Dough Box re-opens after a winter kitchen upgrade, it will retake its place among the city ‘s finest thick dish purveyors, with a bright and chunky tomato sauce and a butter-kissed, never inert, supremely hardy crust.

  • Masa of Echo Park: 1800 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. 213-989-1558.
  • Dough Box: 2734 N Eastern Ave., El Sereno. 323-346-6811.

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Pizza slices from Dough Daddy. ( Ben Mesirow for LAist )

Detroit — Dough Daddy

This class, Detroit-style pizza, baked in abstruse orthogonal pans so the crust grows tall and thickly with crisp edges, has crescendoed in popularity. possibly in times of hardship, we want something to stick to our rib. The Detroit pizza, one of the heaviest potential assemblages of dough, sauce and cheese, has an appropriately blue-collar backstory. It was purportedly inspired by focaccia but baked in excess steel drip trays from the car industry. The cheese runs down the boundary of the pan to burn and crisp, and the order of operations is inverted thus the toppings are pressed into the brawny crust, then hit with cheese and dashed with latitude racing stripes of tomato sauce. You nowadays have a wealth of Detroit options in L.A. but it ‘s unvoiced to beat Dough Daddy, a pop fly serving a limited number of pies each week. The pizza are absurdly adept and absurdly filling, made with Wisconsin brick tall mallow, sauce craftily sliding down the middle and goodly enough that carrying it to your car should count as the first leg of the strongman ‘s Atlas Stone event.

  • Undisclosed Location, Downtown. @doughdaddyla.

PIZZAPEDIA V1
Carneval Pizza from DeSano Pizza in East Hollywood. ( Chava Sanchez/LAist ) ( Chava Sanchez/LAist )

Naples — DeSano Pizza

For many pizza connoisseurs, the pies coming from century-old ovens in Naples are the pure expressions of the mannequin. genuine Neapolitan pizza is governed by rigid regulations set forth by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. You must use a wood-fired oven, 00 flour, fresh basil, tomatoes from the San Marzano or Vesuvius regions and mozzarella from the states of Campania or Lazio. Neapolitan pies are thin and delicate, with a bready, risen cornicione and a slightly drooping focus on. There are only two official styles — margherita and marinara — and tied pizzerias that branch out tend to keep toppings simpleton and clean. There are entirely a few AVPN-certified pizzeria in the area — Settebello in Pasadena, Ugo in Culver City and Angelina ‘s in Orange County. But documentation be damned. The pies from DeSano Pizza in East Hollywood hit all of the technical foul and religious notes. There ‘s besides offer the in truth special Carnevale pizza, a miracle of dough-shaping with eight ricotta-filled crust points ringing the authoritative Neapolitan center. It was taught to the DeSano folks by master pizzaiolo Attilio Bachetti of Naples ‘ Pizzeria district attorney Attilio on a 2016 sojourn to Los Angeles and it remains a assume accomplishment.

  • 4959 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood. 323-913-7000.

PIZZAPEDIA V1
A Montanara fried pizza ( basically a margherita pizza with a fry crust ) from L’antica Pizzeria district attorney Michele. ( Rossella Pisano )

Bonus Neapolitan — Pizza Fritta at L’antica Pizzeria da Michele

There is another Neapolitan peculiarity pizza that is sadly rare in Southern California — Pizza Fritta, or french-fry pizza, which is typically street food in in Naples. After the crust is french-fry, toppings are added before it goes in the oven. The leave is a chip crust that manages to eat light despite the frying thanks to internal pockets of atmosphere underlined by shots of astute tomato sauce and mozzarella. The Montanara, a style of Pizza Fritta originating in the cragged region outside Naples, is on the menu at Neapolitan pizza specialist L’Antica Pizzeria district attorney Michele. It ‘s a accredited outgrowth of a celebrate 150-year-old shop in Naples, and its Montanara lives up to the vesuvianite original.

  • 1534 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood. 323-366-2408.

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Pizza slices from Triple Beam Pizza. ( Ben Mesirow for LAist )

Rome — Triple Beam Pizza

For a minute, it seemed like Roman-style pizza alabama taglio was poised for a takeover. Caput Mundi import Bonci set their sights on the U.S., a Roman Pizza Academy opened in Miami and Triple Beam landed with a star-studded splash in Highland Park. But the Eternal City ‘s favorite pizza manner has even to achieve ubiquity hera in L.A. In its purest form, pizza alabama taglio is defined by medium-thick squarely slices with a light, bubbly crust, much topped with an categorization of meats and vegetables that are american samoa crucial as the sauce and the cheese. Triple Beam is one of few contenders left but it uses the Roman original as inspiration, not tracing newspaper. Their pizza is sparse, crisp, packed with spirit ( and anoint and salt ) and topped with a killer whale tomato sauce. They sell square slices and ring them up by weight, with an changing array of vegetable-focused toppings. It scratches the itch.

  • 5918 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. 323-545-3534.
  • 1818 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. 213-281-9753.

California Modern / Neo-Nea — Mozza, Hail Mary, Ronan, South End, Gra, Pizzana

It started at Chez Panisse or possibly at San Francisco ‘s Prego in the 1970s, migrated down hera to Spago in the ’80s then evolved into its current form with the help of Mozza, which opened in 2006. Yes, California pizza is a thing. No, it ‘s not like the farce at California Pizza Kitchen ( no tad on them ). The modern California pizza — or, as we call it, the Neo-Nea — has a gusty, well-risen cornicione much with a sourdough tang and a char, leopard-print crust that stays sparse and a sting drooping in the middle, like a Neapolitan proto-indo european. Toppings can be wild but tend to keep seasonality and produce in heed, bouncing between classical italian simplicity and the chaotic exuberance of a sugar-buzzing toddler strapped to a cram kit. These days, we have a preponderance of options. aside from Mozza, it ‘s hard to beat the pies coming out of Ronan, South End, Gra, Pizzana and Hail Mary. Pizzana ‘s Amatriciana pizza is an impeccable case of the form, a clever reinterpretation of the classic Roman pasta dish of the same diagnose with guanciale and pecorino-based tomato sauce go around on 48-hour fermented dough alternatively of tossed with bucatini. Hail Mary works on the other end of the spectrum, toying with seasonal grow ( as in a recent special with purple potatoes, crushed olives, house-smoked mozzarella, and lemon gusto ) to go with their bready, boutique wheat-driven crust. It ‘s a distinctly nontraditional, and delicious, smoky-creamy-salty-sour combination.

  • Pizzana: 11712 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. 310-481-7108.
  • Hail Mary: 3219 Glendale Blvd., Atwater. 323-284-8879.

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Two pizza from 786 Degrees. ( Ben Mesirow for LAist )

Fusion – 786 Degrees

few foods on earth have a higher Q Score than pizza, so of course it has been endlessly reimagined and reinterpreted, flipped into breakfast and dessert, bagels and cookies, taco and burgers. As with any fusion do, it ‘s easily for it to veer into gimmickry, a hat on a hat on a elk. But when fusion pizza are built with purpose and proficiency, they can be apocalyptic. At 786 Degrees, award-winning pizzaiolo Ali Haider cooks with italian flour and Neapolitan dash in his imported, wood-fired vesuvianite lava rock ovens. The substantial reason to visit is the coalition. He blends his indian and Iraqi inheritance with a globe-trotting by and an Italian-American sensibility, yielding pizzas like the Bombay Tikka Masala, topped with Tandoor-baked chicken, saffron Tikka Masala sauce, mango chutney, paneer, roasted peppers, coriander, and lime ; and the Istanbul Doner, which comes with chicken done bites, housemade turkish haydari yogurt sauce, newly cucumber, and mozzarella. The jazz band are violent, the sauces are squeezed dominate in ostentatious neon zigzags and the flavors tap dancing along a cliff of rationality looming over a pit of excess. Because Haider ‘s crust is thus full, his timing therefore exquisite and his skills at their vertex, the pizza at 786 Degrees employment.

  • 8879 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Sun Valley. 818-939-6566.
  • 1709 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena. 626-460-2786.

Frozen – La Morra Pizzeria

Some days, even ordering rescue is excessively much attempt. For those times, there ‘s one fantastic option : frozen pizza. Grocery stores will offer you dozens of choices, some made specifically for the deep-freeze section by name-brand restaurant chains, some that claim to be properly dinner replacements and some that aim to satisfy 3 ante meridiem binges. The timbre ceiling is low but the floor is high i.e. it ‘s intemperate to screw up boodle, sauce and cheese. In holocene months, the newly stationary pizzeria La Morra has transitioned into the frozen pizza game, vacuum-sealing their 11 ” Neo-Nea disk and freezing them for pickup, pitch or ship. Results are amazingly excellent, last elevating our frozen pizza possibilities. It ‘s the perfect food when you ‘ve had one or two or seven lockdown drinks, whether that ‘s at 1 ante meridiem or 1 post meridiem Who ‘s around to judge you, anyhow ?

  • 8022 W. Third St., Beverly Grove. @lamorrapizzeria.

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