L.A. Pizza Maven

  • Location: los angeles
  • Favorite foods: pizza, shrimp parmiagiano at Vincent's(at least, years ago), pastrami on rye, roast pork chow fun,
  • Last bite on earth: Mozza margherita w/ sausage

In Defense of St. Louis-Style Pizza

Sorry Kenji, but that is both a testament to your intrepid character and the total worthlessness of St Louis "pizza." you get points for trying to defend the indefensible but that is a losing game! you shouldve saved one slice as a test and seen how long it would remain edible(at least, edible to you). The square cut makes it even more just looks like something that only drunken college students or the hungry homeless would ingest! if im ever in St Louis, i'll eat ribs and leave the pizza to the locals...ugh!

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

maggiesara, love that comment!

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

by the way, @rosewood, you and Adam Kuban have made me change my opinion of Kansas...way to go! As for you, ZoetMB, you know your shit...i mean egg creams! God bless ya both!

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

yeah, i keep readings these comments from really narrow monded people.."i think an egg cream sounds disgusting!" Stuff it, you fool...God what id give for a good egg cream!

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

2ndtimearound, now thats what i like to hear! wonder where your Grandma's candy store was? really, NYers who never heard of egg creams, or heard of them and thought they were made with eggs and cream need to have their birth certificates changed! seltzer from the siphon! U-Bet and wow, what great info about no corn syrup during passover!

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

Oh yeah, the local candy store on 176st in Da Bronx(Sam's) made great egg creams...i probably had a half dozen a week, usually on the way home from elementary school! memories!!!!!!!!!!!

Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith on Italian Culture and the Power of Pizza

Great work, Lance...damn, i need to do some traveling!

Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach, CA and the Problem With Lists

JPET, theres nothing remotely similar about Mozza and CPK! Mozza is great pizza, an artisanal style, and CPK sucks big time! crust, toppings and by any other measure there isnt even a discussion....and what places are like DiFara? from what i hear, DiFara isnt even what it was a few years ago..but more to the point: what places like DiFara?

Family Coming to LA? Take Them to These Restaurants

Hey Kelly B, yeah, im down with Sotto...Settebello maybe a close 2nd...i dont remember the name but i heard a top NYC pizzaiolo is comin to LA! yippee...more good pizza!

Family Coming to LA? Take Them to These Restaurants

Im with mgnnn on this one...maybe nit-picking but no one who knows pizza styles would really call Mozza's pizza Neapolitan...i am a huge fan of Mozza pizza but Neapolitan, it aint...otherwise excellent review of LA food scene.

Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach, CA and the Problem With Lists

JPET, not sure how much pizza youve eaten, but making a negative comment about Mozza like that(comparing it to CPK) clarifies your total lack of credibility on the subject! i can only imagine what you consider the "solid, non fufu pizza" joints. sheesh!

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Ive gotten messages on "Talk" and had no way to get back to the person...i missed out on a possible biz venture and a social emails, no way to contact the person...that sucks and hopefully your "fix" will address this!

LA is becoming a Pizza Heaven

hey Quiz Princess, i dont do twitter but get me an email to contact you...would love to do Grimaldi's with a fellow pizza lover!

LA is becoming a Pizza Heaven

Yes indeed! IMHO Grimaldi's in El Segundo(of all places, and in a Business park)immediately vaults to the Best NY style pizza in the LA area and as far as i know, in all of California! Its a big space, a lot of dark wood and it was packed at lunch but a friend and I nabbed 2 seats at the bar...filled with people obviously on lunch break...and i guarantee that 80% had no clue that the pizza they were eating was so good! Some of the crusts i saw looked a bit too blonde and i was rather apprehensive of what they would set in front of me but it was no disappointment...nicely charred, chewy,thin crust...tasty sauce(not overdosed with oregano nor too sugary, tasty mozz and tasty chunks of sausage...interestingly, when i reviewed the Vegas branch for Slice way back when, i had a chance to chat with the mgr who told me their meats came from a small purveyor in Chicago...the menu reads Carmelina but Hormel too...probably fucking pigs at Hormel bought it out...anyway, cant wait to go back...on a more realistic note, my friend went back at lunch 2 days ago and said the joint wasnt nearly as crowded..could be the attraction is already wearing off for these garbage pizza eaters! too bad i cant post a foto here...

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

Hopin to get up there in April...great lookin pies!

LA is becoming a Pizza Heaven

very interesting developments here in LA...will add fotos after tomorrow's pizza excursion!

What's Up in Pizza: NYTimes Declares Pizza 'Meh,' Which Pizza Would Be Your Lover, and More!

Im with Northwest Ryan on this one...metaphorically "fuming!" well, such a provocative and ignorant claim may create a buzz, which may sell a half dozen copies of the NYT, which may save it from bankruptcy, so it's ok.

Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach, CA and the Problem With Lists

Good work, Lance! you really can take em for the team...pretty ballsy guy to take on the best...luv to see that action! ha,ha

Umami Burger in NYC Misses the Point

oops! in my "ranteous" i, unforgivably, misspelled FUCK YOU, to Fleischman and his ego driven ilk!

Umami Burger in NYC Misses the Point

Chuck Koton shared a link via Noah Arenstein.
2 minutes ago
Glad to feel the HATE! im so sick of these corporate restaurateurs...i had a couple of Umamis when it was one joint..burgers were ok, though the 1/2 oz of ketchup was beyond annoying, fries were pretty good...but, of course, somehow they got uber-successful, opened a few more locations and next whats his name announces theyre gonna open hundreds more...fuck him! and he might be involved in the pizzeria, 800 degrees which is the most bullshit "concept" ive ever heard of...make your own pies..for a minute i thought it meant knead your own dough, etc...but NOOOOOOOOOOO! you assembly line it..tell one guy you want sausage, tell the next guy which cheese, etc...are you fuckin kidding me! any time i order a pie, i order what toppings i WANT! do i feel compelled to order the "guido?" or the "Napoli," or the whatever? no, i order what i want...this schmuck also envisions hundreds of locations...FUVCK YOU...Paulie Gee, get on out here!

Umami Burger in NYC Misses the Point | A Hamburger Today
[Photographs: Robyn Lee] Umami Burger 432 6th Ave., New York, NY 10011 (map); 212-677-8626; Cooking method: CVAP oven and finished on a griddle Short Order: The Original is not worth the hype; try the Manly Burger instead Want...

Slice is Ten Years Old: Happy Birthday, Slice!

Yes indeed! Happy Slice Day! Adam, thanks for having brought me aboard way back when! I had a blast tasting, shooting and offering deep insights into the pizzas that came across my palate, like" that's a fuckin' great pie!" Willie the Shake aint got nuthin on me! keep that dough cookin'!

Emilia's Pizza: Keith Freilich Opens Up on Ovens, Bad Accountants, and Pizza Miracles in Berkeley, CA

@beerweezil, not sure which group owns the Vegas Grimaldi's but on 2 visits(havent been back in 2 years) I had great pies!

Emilia's Pizza: Keith Freilich Opens Up on Ovens, Bad Accountants, and Pizza Miracles in Berkeley, CA

Yeah Lance, great interview...agree w/ Tim Nguyen, the line about no bathroom is memorable and no doubt, painfully killing myself for not having been to Emilia's yet...the one time i went by it was a day he was closed. Oy vey!

Finding the Best Slice on Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

Kelly, please tell me you didnt, couldnt finish all these slices...what a trooper to subject yourself to Hollywood Blvd pizza so all Slicers would know to only order one of these if you'd been held captive in Ripley's Believe it or Not with no food for daze!

Remembering Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint, Another Departed UWS Institution

yeah, the slow destruction of a by place...Had many a burger at Big Nick's in the 80s and early 90s. now what, surrounded by the fuckin' Shake Shack and NYC has, apparently, just been invaded by another "trendy" burger joint, this time from LA...Umami and its $15 burgers and 2 oz of ketchup they give you...half dozen fries...disappear along with your damn 800 Degrees pizza joints...the most bullshit hype ive ever heard...make pizza the way want it..some kind of Chipotle-style(though id never be caught dead in a fuckin chipotle) experience..tell one guy what meat you want, another veggies or whatever they do....who doesnt fuckin order a pie the way you want in, I'll have a large cheese pizza with sausage and peppers...christ!

LA is becoming a Pizza Heaven

Wow, never thought id say that! LA...Los Angeles, a pizza heaven...2 recent openings promise to really make LA pizza-safe for me. last week i went to South End, a pizzeria and wine bar, recently opened by by friend,Mario Vollera, whom I met while he was maitre d' and occasional pizzaiolo at Peppe Miele's now shuttered VPN Antica Pizzeria, the HQ for VPN Americas. I was shocked to learn that he was using a gas oven, albeit one that's cranked up to 650 degrees. It was a great pie, forgot the name but it had onion, very spice house made sauseeege, house made mozz on a very thin yet bready crust similar to Mozza, no surprise since ex Mozza man, Frank Fermin is the principal owner(i think). A great addition to the Venice/MDR area....Just as interesting is the news that, after a long delay, the furthest western outpost of Grimaldi's just opened in El Segundo, of all places...though the Scottsdale branch I first ate in years ago was good, it was a disappointment because of my "great expecations." I had already eaten at the Vegas branch and it was fantastic...I ate a large marg w/sausage by myself for lunch then ordered a 2nd pie for the drive back to LA! Im hoping pizza in El Segundo will be a joyous experience. I'll report back thursday! oh yeah, this aint the LA i arrived in 20 years ago...Amen!

VPN American Finally Improving the Los Angeles Pizza Scene

Mention VPN on this site and, very likely, a response will come that attacks the pizza police-like mentality of VPN and their anally retentive "rules," which, of course, can never produce quality results...Well, IMHO, my experiences with VPN have never left me thinking that. Furthermore, while i gladly admit ive been served a couple of substandard pies, 98% have unequivocally been excellent and most have been better than that.

I ate my first VPN margherita pie at the original Antica Pizzeria in Marina del Rey in the late 90s...i ate there nearly every weekend for more than 10 years and i cant really remember ever thinking i should send one back...
Since then, Antica has closed...After 30 years in LA's restaurant biz, Peppe Miele was more than happy to just run the VPN in America and train people to make "true napoletana pizza," VPN. Miele and his small staff have taught pizzaioli from Tokyo to Rio to Dallas but oddly, once Antica closed, there was no VPN pizzeria in Los Angeles.
Ive had great pies at VPN trained Robert Martin's "The Prospector" restaurant near Yosemite in the foothills of California. And in Orange County(Pane e Vino)See Slice... and even Pasadena(Settebello). But not in LA
Now thats changed. Several months ago, I tried a new pizzeria in the Pacific Palisades, Il Piccolo Ritrovo. I devoured a delicious Burrata Pizza in short order. I went back with LA's present Slice reps, Kelly B and Lance R and had a bit of a disappointing experience(one pie even us lovers of "char" considered burned)But i also found Mario Vollera, a great pizzaiolo himself and a key part of the VPN team, working as the consultant...I shoudve known because that first pie was very reminiscent of the Antica pies.anyway, he told me they were expanding and yesterday i had great burrata at their new Brentwood location, perfect simplicity...a great light, thin lightly charred crust, the san marzano sauce and burrata from the top local producer, DiStefano. More about VPN later.

Neapolitan pizza and take-out?

So, Ive ben eating Neapolitan style pizza for nearly 15 years and, as much as I love it, theres no denying it should be eaten straight outta the oven...Nevertheless, the pizzeria that has made a fairly recent splash for its quality and price ratio, 800 Degrees, has announced theyre opening a take-out branch in their Westwood Village barrio...Im assuming it will be the same Neapolitan style pies so how will this shake out?

Grimaldi's Comin to El Segundo,CA!

Just got the news on Chowhound that Grimaldi's is planning on a late spring 2013 opening near LAX...though i havent been to the Patsy's/Grimaldi's in several years, and had never had anything but a delish pie there, i am thrilled at this news...I didnt have an inspiring visit to one of their earlier branches, Scottsdale, but 2 visits to Vegas were great pie experiences! If they bring their "A" game, theres nothing like that pizza here in SoCal!

Pizza in LA Gets Major Coverage

the LA Weekly food section is devoted this week to pizza in LA...heres a controversial(to some) list of pie joints and more! Lance, Kelly...thoughts? they pick Sotto #1!

There's gold...I mean Great Pizza near Yosemite!

Made a return trip to the California Gold Country and Yosemite and had dinner twice at Robert Martin's VPN certified, The Prospector, in Twain Harte. 2 years ago i sampled 3 different pies, all of which were excellent. This time the pies were as awe inspiring as the granite face of Half Dome, at least if you really love pizza.
Martin's restaurant moves indoors during the winter, which means seating for about 15. We got there at the 5pm opening and ordered a margherita and a sausage pie. Home made mozzarella, house cured pork, California grown plum tomatoes, a splash of extra virgin olio and Caputo flour all made for flavor explosions in the mouth.
The crust had the perfect outer crunch and inner chew. Nice sized and spicy, juicy sauseege chunks. Heaven!!!!!!
We tried the home made gnocchi. I loved the chewy pasta texture. Mmmm!
Martin offers a small number of changing daily specials and an excellent wine selection. And ya just can't help love watching the intensely passionate approach Martin takes in cooking and running his culinary dream, in which he is ably assisted by his lovely wife and daughter.
This foothill region of rolling hills and oaks, about 90 minutes from the grandeur of the Yosemite, is a perfect getaway from SF or LA, especially for the pizza freaks out there!

Pizza Orgasmica in Santa Monica

Having been disappointed by the "hype" so often in the past, I was a little late checking this pizza out. But lemme tell y'all: there's great pizza at the very kool Milo and Olive on Wilshire nr 26th st. Owned by the people who brought Westsiders Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry, Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, this place is cozily mall and friendly, with the heat from their wood-burning oven softening the winter chill. OK, not really much of a winter chill out here but it can get a little nippy in winter. Anyway, its an organic, whole wheat flour that gives the pizza crust that rustic bread crunch and chewability. The cheese, sourced locally from Gioia Cheese, same as Mozza. And a delicious crumbled pork belly sausage made for a transcendent pizza moment. Hey Kelly, get over there, you'll love it...only one meat topping and many veg choices...Whoopppeeee!

Half successful Pizza Fire

After reading this tidbit of Slice themed news, i could only think...they both shouldve burned down...

Tide In, Tide Out: New Pizza Arrives In LA As An Old Fave Closes

In what was once a barren pizza wasteland, news of a pizza oasis like Antica closing would be cause for me to get out the straight razor. Mercifully, Antica will reopen in months but until then Sotto will clearly be my default pizza option. Its considerably more convenient for westsiders(its located at 9575 Pico Blvd just west of Roxbury) than Mozza, though Mozza2Go is a godsend. And while it may fall a bit short of Nancy Silverton's transcendent doughy spheres, chefs Zach Pollack, the pizzaiolo, and Steve Samson, formerly of Pizza Ortica, sent me and regular Slice poster,Lance Roberts, home very satisfied today. We shared a Margherita(natchally) and a sausage, broccoli,mozz and chiles pie. Perfectly leopard spotted crusts, puffy corniciones and uber-flavorful toppings plastered a serious smile on my face while destroying another diet. A generous pour of extra virgin olive oil topped both pies. The fennel flecked sausage seemed a bit too pink but the taste burst forth with each bite, and the crusts actually held up quite well to the toppings' weight. Friendly and efficient lunch time service to boot guaranteed one very well spent afternoon. I will return...and soon! just wish i could upload a foto here...

Anthony Bourdain's Chicago pizza adventure

OK, Im not going to antagonize my Chicago pizza lovin brothers and sisters by revisiting the issue of deep dish's identity(Is it really pizza? blah, blah,blah!) However, the broadcast tonite of Tony Bourdain's visit to Chicago's Burt's Pizza pushed me over the line.Sorry, although I am admittedly a bit OCD regarding kitchen cleanliness, usually, I can control myself but there are times when, regardless of quality, one must speak out against outrages and Burt's beard, which reminds me of Marx and Whitman's facial hair, has no place in a kitchen. Good God, theres no way that disgusting pile of hair should be dangling over any food. Call the Health Dept!

The 8 Best Pizzas in San Francisco and the Bay Area

The Neapartisanal pies that have emerged in the Bay Area represent an American re-interpretation of classic Italian pies and evidence new ways to successfully build off of established, traditional techniques. And, oh, what options there are! So many, that limiting this list to just eight seems a crime, but you have to draw the line somewhere.While there are many, many worthy pies in and around San Francisco, here are some of the most memorable ones that we've tried to date. More

Now It Can Be Told: What 'Pizza Madness 2009' Was All About

Click me bigger! [Every Day with Rachael Ray] Some of you may have seen the stuff on the various Grub Street blogs, the Eater blogs, Village Voice/Fork in the Road, on the Chicago Tribune's Stew blog, in the New York Post, etc. The news that Rachael Ray has found the best pizza in the country. Yes and no. Every Day with Rachael Ray *magazine,* for the March issue, pegs a best-pizza-in-the-country story to college basketball's March Madness. The story will feature a 64-entrant mad-good-pizza bracket. I'm told that subscribers should be getting theirs as early as today; the issue... More Pizza Guide Republished

My hard copy of Steven A. Shaw's circa-1999 "Pizza Guide," printed out on November 7, 2001. After an almost eight-year absence, the guide is once again available on eGullet. If you're a longtime Slice reader, you've heard bits of this site's origin story (ad nauseam) over the years. In a nutshell, when I first moved to New York City in the summer of 2000, I ate pizza almost every day for six months or so. I was broke, it was cheap, and, well, like I needed an excuse to go nuts here in Pizza Mecca. At first, all the... More

Serious Eats Gift Guide: New York Food

This gift guide is for the New York food lover. Recipients can be New York expats or those who've never actually lived in the city but have come to appreciate quintessential Gotham foods. This year we've added a Brooklyn element, since there are so many skilled bakers, picklers, and cheesemakers opening shops and popping up at neighborhood farmers' markets, contributing to the budding artisan food scene in the borough. More

Joe's Pizza in Los Angeles

Editor's note: Today, Chuck K., a New York expatriate living on the West Coast, drops by with intel on the outpost of Joe's Pizza that opened in Los Angeles. Buon appetito, friends! —The Mgmt. Step right up! Get your honest-to-goodness, 100 percent original New York-style pizza. Whether it's Tony's, Johnnie's, Frankie's, or Vito's, Los Angeles pizza purveyors love to claim New York authenticity in their pies. Not long ago, an establishment in Marina Del Rey killed whatever optimism I had left for "New York-style" pizza around L.A. At this nameless place, the crust tasted like a ream of loose-leaf paper,... More

Apizza Scholls: One of the Top Five Pizzerias in America

In my pizza book, A Slice of Heaven, the last chapter was devoted to the "Keepers of the Flame," people whose dedication and single-minded devotion to making great pizza made them worthy of inclusion in what could have been called the Pizzaiolo Hall of Fame. Today, I induct Brian Spangler of Apizza Scholls into this hallowed society. More

L.A.'s Pizza Wars: Joe's vs. Vito's

Pizza wars, once confined to New York, now rage in Los Angeles. New York's dough-slinging gladiators, DeMarco, Grimaldi, and Mangieri, have their counterparts here in Joe and Vito, of their own respective eponymous pizzerias. L.A. food bloggers, like their New York brethren, get rather emotional over pizza, which strikes me as odd since I've yet to taste pizza in L.A. (except for Mozza) worth getting especially excited about. Nevertheless, on the web locally, and on Slice, pizza freaks have slammed Joe's for uncharred crust, insipid sauce, and unhelpful and discourteous service. One gourmand opined that Vito's "is genius ...... More

Bollini's Pizzeria Making Worthy Neapolitan Pies in Monterey Park, California

Trembling like a teenager in anticipation of his first kiss, I got in my car and headed in an easterly direction on the Santa Monica Freeway. Unlike a teenager, however, I was anticipating that Bollini's Pizzeria, out in Monterey Park of all places, would satisfy my now desperate craving for great pizza. Up till now, every pizzeria that has been touted as awesome here in California has left me seriously disappointed. Nevertheless, the hype about Bollini's fired my hopes. Signor Christiano Bollini, born and bred in Monterey Park, a predominantly Chinese suburb of Los Angeles, had trained in Naples,... More