Yesterday, New York’s famed Grimaldi’s fired its first pizzas in Los Angeles. The newest Grimaldi’s location is now open on Rosecrans in the South Bay, and its pièce de résistance, a 25-ton coal-fired oven, has been slowly rising to its desired 1200 degrees. Recently, we chatted with Grimaldi’s home slice, chef Cory Lattuca, about what goes into a Grimaldi’s pie and how he ensures that the pies coming out of the West Coast location will taste just like the original.
What makes Grimaldi’s pizza so special, and how are you replicating this in L.A.?
Honestly, the water is key. We use the same proprietary flour, yeast and the exact same recipe for our dough. Our secret recipe sauce and hand-cut mozzarella are perfectly matched. Our teams are trained extensively to stretch the dough to just right and they also learn how to use our very unique brick ovens. Truly the tricky part is duplicating the water… From the beginning we understood that duplicating New York water would be a key to our success. Over the years we have been focused on the chemical balance of duplicating it, perfectly. We have spent a lot of time fine tuning, calibrating and tasting.
Will people who grew up on Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn in NY be satisfied with the new SoCal Grimaldi’s pizza?
I hope so. I think one of the biggest compliments we get from the east coast is that our pizza is a little slice of home. We look forward to providing them with the unique crispy crust they love in a fun, family oriented environment. And hopefully without the long line of Brooklyn.
Are there any differences between the menus in SoCal and Brooklyn? If so, what are they and why?
Yes, we have a much larger menu. We understand that in other areas our guests are looking for a fun, family environment where they can come and enjoy a great lunch or dinner. The core of our concept is the same. Brick by brick our oven duplicates the one in New York and the pizza is always crisped to exact specification. With our focus more on family dining we can offer an expanded dessert list and robust salad selection. We also have a much larger (and frankly fantastic) wine list. Ours is more full service dining experience than the one experienced under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 2121 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 1399, El Segundo, grimaldispizzeria.com.