Emily Hart Photography
Los Angeles has a great cuisine scene, but most don't consider it a "pizza city." However, there are still some incredible spots to find great pie in the Los Angeles area. Here are 10 of the best.
1. Joe’s Pizza
Long a neighborhood fixture in Greenwich Village, Joe's Pizza opened its first West Coast eatery in Santa Monica and recently added a second location also near the beach. Sensing the need for more variety in the Italian pie offerings in the Los Angeles area, owner Joe Vitale decided to expand to LA, hoping to give a glimpse of his iteration of New York-style pizza by the slice that has been feeding the masses in Manhattan for decades. Both small, red brick storefronts offers thin crusted, traditional New York-style pies whole or by the slice. There's also well as calzones, garlic bread rolls, pasta, and salads
Pizzeria Mozza is a joint venture from celebrity chefs/restaurateurs Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich. The restaurant shares a building and a kitchen with its upscale sister restaurant, Osteria Mozza. Mozza is known for its perfectly crafted 10-inch spheres of puffy and crisp crust cooked in wood-fired ovens. The menu offers 25 varieties of pizza ranging in toppings from traditional margherita with mozzarella, tomato, and basil to unique pairings such as the Pizza Alla Benno, with speck, pineapple, jalapeno, and mozzarella. The small, trendy restaurant has only 13 tables and 20 bar seats housed in a tiny space with orange and yellow walls, a blue ceiling and rustic wood surfaces. You can also order a wide variety of antipasti, salads, meats, bruschetta and, desserts. Reservations must be made weeks in advance.
Pizzeria Moza (credit: Facebook/Pizzeria Moza)
Four wood-fired ovens imported from Italy churn out both traditional Napoli pies ("Pizza Tradizionale Di Napoli") like the classic margherita with tomato, with buffalo mozzarella, basil and garlic; and specialty pies ("Pizza Specialita") like the San Gennaro with sausage, peppers, garlic, and caramelized onions at DeSano Pizza Bakery. Each pizza comes either personal-sized or in a larger format for families. In addition to the uniquely crafted pizza, DeSano also offers calzones, sandwiches, salads and desserts. The 7,000 square-foot restaurant comfortably seats 120. Diners order at a counter and servers present the freshly made pies tableside.
Grimaldi’s, located in El Segundo, uses only fresh ingredients, a "secret recipe" pizza sauce, handmade mozzarella cheese and dough, and coal-fired ovens for their traditional New York-style pizza. Weighing in at 25 tons each and heated by 100 pounds of coal per day (the cleanest burning fuel available and environmentally tested), the ovens can hit up to 1,200 degrees. The intense heat of the oven evenly bakes the pies to create Grimaldi's famous crispy and smoky thin crust. Grimaldi’s also has an on-site chemist to analyze and recreate the mineral content and exact composition of the water to ensure the dough tastes the same in California as it does in New York. The menu focuses on pizza and calzones, but also offers salads and desserts.
5. Vito’s Pizza
West Hollywood’s Vito’s Pizza is a no-fuss joint located in a strip mall. The small eatery houses a few tables and a simple glass case showing the day’s large pie choices. Menu favorites include a Mediterranean veggie pie, topped with marinated spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and dollops of ricotta. Also available are salads, calzones, and entrees like chicken parmesan with ravioli, penne pesto, baked ziti and tortellini alfredo.
Milo and Olive, from the same folks that opened the successful Westside Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry, and created out of a desire to bring good pizza to West LA. Inside, diners can choose to sit at several large tables, a long communal bench or at the bar. The menu offers appetizers, pastas, salads, garlic “knots” and pizzas from the wood fired oven. Nine varieties of pies are offered, ranging in toppings from traditional margherita or mixed mushroom to unique choices, like the Bianca with balsamic and farm eggs or broccoli and picked chili. Diners can also choose a pizza from the menu and opt to add arugula, egg, anchovy, or prosciutto.
Known for rustic seasonally driven-ingredient pizzas cooked in a wood fired pit, Pitfire Pizza opened its first restaurant in 1996 in North Hollywood. Since then, they have expanded to locations throughout Los Angeles. Each Pitfire was designed by a different architect to fit the surrounding neighborhood. The chain’s thin, supple dough is tossed and cooked to order in a 600-degree stone oven resulting in a tender and crunchy pie.
Los Angeles Pizza is located at the north end of downtown adjacent to Chinatown. This friendly local pizza restaurant is small with just a few tables inside and on the patio and serves up crispy, thin crust pies with fresh ingredients. In addition to traditional flavors, they serve up unique pizzas including the Bruce Lee with red onions, Langonisa and Hoisin sauce and the Buenos Aires with chimichurri sauce and Argentinean sausage. Diners can also build their own pizza with a long list of ingredients.
Located in Rosemead in the San Gabriel Valley, Rose City Pizza opened in 2009 and brought a slice of New York to the San Gabriel Valley. Using wholesome recipes that have been passed down through generations of Italians in New York, they offer large slices of gourmet pizzas ranging from pastrami to upscale sautéed spinach and ricotta cheese pizza. Additionally, they offer unique interpretations including, a deep-fried cheese pizza and a Bronx pastrami pie. Rose City Pizza also offers pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches.
Rose City Pizza (credit: Facebook/Rose City Pizza)
10. Cruzer Pizza
Angelinos who are health conscious can visit Cruzer Pizza in Los Feliz for great vegan varieties. The small restaurant houses a tiny bar with three stools and a few little tables, but their menu is large on vegetarian variety. The vegan meat lover includes Daiya cheese and mock pepperoni, sausage, and ham. In addition to pizzas, Cruzer offers a variety of vegan pasta dishes including spaghetti, lasagna, and eggplant parmigiana.