From the arrival of a Brooklyn stalwart to a local Neapolitan pro’s interpretation of the slice joint, something of a pizza ‘plosion has hit L.A. in the last few months. We got technical to see how these new spots stack up when it comes to the classically topped ‘za.
The Lowdown: A candy-colored offshoot of one of Brooklyn’s most popular pizzerias tucked in the Platform shopping complex. The Pie: The Famous Original. Style: Neapolitan. Cooking Method: A blazing-hot Forni wood-burning oven. Available: By the pie only. The Crust: Evenly charred with a spongy—but not soggy—texture. The Sauce: Tomato with a touch of chile flake. The Cheese: A uniform melted layer of Parm, mozzarella, and caciocavallo. Extra Flair: A hint of dried oregano. Tasting Notes: Warm heat from the sauce (add more with a drizzle of house chili oil) is balanced by the funk from the caciocavallo.
The Lowdown: After shuttering Atwater Village’s Journeymen, bread maestro David Wilcox turned his attention to seasonal veggie dishes and slinging pizzas. The Pie: Margherita. Style: Made with two types of California flour (about 30 percent is whole wheat) and a baguette-inspired proofing method, the pies defy traditional classification. Cooking Method: An electric deck oven for about eight minutes. Available: By the pie only. The Crust: That whole-wheat flour adds firm structure and a nuttiness; high hydration gives it some softness, too. The Sauce: Organic tomatoes cooked with olive oil, chile flakes, and roasted garlic. The Cheese: Fresh mozzarella. Extra Flair: Basil leaves, more olive oil, and sea salt. Tasting Notes: The most original of the bunch, with a mix of flavors and textures. Extra points for the sea salt crunch.
The Lowdown: Opened by No Name Bar’s Brian Ling and chef Adam Tomei, this stylized, East Coast-inspired pizzeria is open late (with outdoor dining and a bar next door). The Pie: The Regular. Style: We’d call it straight-up New York. Cooking Method: A Baker’s Pride gas oven for 10 minutes. Available: By the pie and slice. The Crust: Super thin and browned on the bottom for crunch, with a breadlike crumb. The Sauce: A cooked combo of Strianese organic tomatoes, olive oil, salt, basil, and garlic. The Cheese: Just the right amount of mozz with a few pieces of shredded Parm, pecorino, and Grana Padano to create a nice cheesy pull. Extra Flair: Nada. Tasting Notes: Looking for a solid slice that’ll remind you of the stuff that kept you alive in college? This no-frills version is for you.
The Lowdown: Sotto and Rossoblu’s Steve Samson is now pushing pies from a window in the Fashion District. The Pie: Pepperoni. Style: A New York-Neapolitan hybrid that Samson calls “L.A. style.” Cooking Method: An electric oven set at around 620 degrees. Available: By the pie and slice. The Crust: Easily foldable, with a slightly crisp, flaky texture. The Sauce: Bianco di Napoli tomatoes, olive oil, salt—and that’s it. The Cheese: A thick, chewy layer of dried mozzarella. Extra Flair: A sprinkling of Grana Padano and dried oregano for good measure. Tasting Notes: Served burn-your-mouth hot, with a slick of grease (a good thing!) and a punch of fresh tomato flavor.
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