A year and a half ago I sat at the counter of Pizzeria il Fico, as eager owner/partner John Tierney waxed on about turning this little slice of Robertson Blvd. into a neighborhood hang out. I nodded my head politely even though I though the environment seems too upscale for this. I was wrong.
'Daily Slice' on Serious Eats
I got my first whiff of the The Urban Oven last year at Chris Bianco's booth at LA Loves Alex's Lemonade. There, Scott Tremonti worked side by side with Chris, for what I later learned was the first time ever. Chris began offering guidance to Scott, and his pizzas have been consistently improving ever since.
Looking for a classic example of pizza rustica (also known as Italian Easter bread or pizza gain)? You'll find a great specimen of the meaty, cheesy, eggy two-crust pie at Avellino's in East Hanover, NJ.
Stranded at a seminar in Anaheim, I bypassed the hotel buffet and walked down Harbor Blvd to The Pizza Press. Situated directly across the street from Disneyland, the former Quiznos was converted into a(nother) fast causal pizzeria. Opened in June 2012, the name references the newspaper theme of the shop—which looks nothing like, but reminds me of a 90's Subway—and the press used to par-bake the crust.
You'd be forgiven for being wary of a pizzeria that claims to be the best New York style pizza outside of New York and also has the word, "Fuhgeddaboudit!!!," emblazoned all over it, but I'm here to allay your skepticism.
Coffaro's in South River, NJ, has been a community fixture for more than 60 years, but its basic cheese pie doesn't come with bells and whistles.
Caleb Schiff started out with great pizza, but in the eighteen months since opening, the pies at Pizzicletta have only gotten better. Need proof? Have a look at the transformation of the Amore oi Mari.
When looking for NYC style pizza in LA, Delancey rarely comes up. Perhaps because Delaney is not a direct interpretation of a particular style. They capture the classic New York/Jersey pizzeria feel, but remain aware of their Hollywood address.
While I prefer the puffy, chewy dough of pide, Turkey's other pizzalike foodstuff, I'm also quite fond of lahmacun. Popular in Istanbul, as it is in much of the Middle East, it's a thin, thin crust topped with minced meat, ground peppers, and herbs, and often spritzed with lemon juice.
Take an oven-hot pepperoni pizza, but with the edges folded over into a boat-like shape, and the pepperoni swapped out for garlicky, cumin-y sucuk. What you have is a most excellent pide at Şimşek Pide Salonu, one of many fantastic recommendations from the good folks at Istanbul Eats.
If not the best in New Jersey, the Sicilian slice at Nino's in Harrison is most definitely in the top five. And I say that as someone who's not particularly a fan of the Sicilian style most days.
The 10-inch pie is ultra-thin and delicate with a blistered, bubbly, crisp-chewy edge, but the topping is anything but light: heavy cream, caramelized shallots and garlic, and the meat of a two-pound lobster, plus handfuls of ricotta salata and Parmesan. In other words, its like pizza topped with lobster bisque.
A new Portland, OR slice shop is cooking up the most accurate representation of NYC style so far
Per the topping-centric rule, the crust is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. And this is a topping choice we can certainly get on board with—the sprouts and onions are joined by a salty, satisfying feta fonduta, and a melty pile of mozzarella.
Pizza Brain, the World's First / Largest Pizza Museum and restaurant that opened last month here in Philadelphia, is kicking it up a notch with the "Frankford Avenue Taco" ($5) that consists of a slice of cheese pizza topped with a big scoop of pizza-flavored ice cream from the restaurant's conjoined Little Baby's Ice Cream counter.
Asparagus may get top billing on this pizza from Cucina Urbana, but the dominant flavor comes from the more savory toppings: crisp garlic chips and red chili flakes.