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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Asparagus Pizza

It is a good thing I love pizza, because at this point I have eaten more average slices than I can count.  As soon as I get a place that is even slightly above average I will probably praise the Pizza Gods.  I am even starting to think that the average pizza I am eating now taste pretty good, but I know better.  The pizza place I ate at today is called Asparagus Pizza, simply because they have a pizza with asparagus on it.  I don’t know about you, but Im not a big fan of those green stalky veggies, so I skipped that and stuck to the cheese.  With a name and a specialty like that I expected it to be a more trendy or fancier place.  To my surprise it was just a simple run down delivery place in the middle of a strip mall on Yucca and Cahuenga Blvd.

 There was pizza pre-made sitting in a little heated display case that kind of looked awful, and I thought about running out with no pizza at all.  Just then the man looked at me for an order so I picked up the large cheese I had ordered.  It was 15 dollars and change for a 15 in, considering the type of place and the size, it was not the right price.  Thankfully, the pizza looked a lot better in the box, it looked like it had been cooked longer, the top had little brown spots and the crust wasn’t white as a ghost, like the one sitting at the counter. 

That being said it was still under cooked, the crust was lightly browned and really doughy on the inside. The sauce and cheese were good though not so much flavor, but tasty.  It was another typical amateur slice.  The heartbreaking thing here was it seemed like the crust had a lot of potential.  It was light and airy, and had even started to bubble up at the edge, and it tasted good on top of that.  If they had a good oven, like a brick one, they could have cranked that heat, cooked it in less time so as not to burn the cheese and it might have been the best pizza I ever had, maybe.  Probably not with Asparagus Pizza.  On to the next joint.

Asparagus Pizza - 1809 N Cahuenga Blvd.
Price: $$
Overall:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Angeli Caffe'

Today I tried a place called Angeli- Caffe. It is kind of hidden on Melrose Ave between a shoe store and tattoo shop or something else entirely. This is another fancy Italian restaurant. Not fancy in the sense of having to dress up and spend a lot of money, it is somewhat casual, but fancy in kind of a high profile L.A. way. That being said, I actually enjoyed eating there.

Today I didn’t sit down for a fancy dinner however, I got pizza. I didn’t feel like the classic margherita pizza this time so I tried to expand my horizons. They had a spring special pizza, which was called the Pizza Con Salsicce, which is a sausage and carmelized onions with fontina and Rapini. I did with out the Rapini, they told me it was pretty bitter and that started to scare me a little. I was going to have it delivered but they charge 3 dollars on top of a tip plus the pizza was already a little expensive, $18 for a large which is only 14’’, so a medium by most standards. I picked it up from a really nice girl that works there, named Opal I think, you should say hi. Of course I had to eat a slice before I took a picture, I can never wait.

It looked good, and it didn’t let me down. Now I have to say to my disapointemnt there wasn’t any sauce on the pizza, and I know it didn’t say it came with any but for some reason I was expecting a tomato sauce. So it is hard to compare it completely to other pizzas, but I assume it had the same crust and the crust was really good. It had a great taste that was light. It was crispy on the bottom doughy in the center and flaky on the edges. The overall taste was very light, despite the sausage and onions, there was very little oil and the pizza was not dry at all.


UPDATE: CHEESE PIE
I finally went back to Angeli to get their version of the Margherita. Oh boy, was it good. The crust was even better this time, it bubbled up and browned very nicely. The sauce was a very light basil tomato sauce. On top of the basil sauce were strips of basil as well, so the taste of basil was strong but not overwhelming. The cheese was fresh and stringy and had a good amount of it to go with the good amount of sauce. They definitely didn't hold back on those items. Overall it was a near perfect pizza, the only thing holding it back was the price. It was just under $15 for a 14 inch, which is their large, this isn't outrageous just a little pricey. It's an upscale restaurant not a pizza joint so you have to expect a higher price. Of course that is still no excuse for a pricey pizza, but was it worth it, yeah probably.

Angeli-Caffe Pizzeria - 7274 Melrose Ave LA, CA 90046
Price: $$
Overall:
Specialty Pie- Cheese Pie-

Angeli Caffe on Urbanspoon

Angeli Caffe in Los Angeles

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Pizza Box

On my pizza journey I have discovered many interesting things about pizza.  One of which I never gave much thought to mainly because its not really that interesting.

Pizza Boxes.  They are all made the same.  All the same cardboard cutouts, as anyone who's ever worked in a pizza shop can tell you, as they put together their 50th box of the day.  
The one thing  I found interesting was the picture on the front.  Out of more than 70 different pizza places I've ordered from, there were only a few different pictures on the front.  I'm pretty sure that all over the country the same pictures exist.  I hope who ever designed the front of a pizza box is getting paid.  Talk about exploitation. 
Here are a few common pictures you will recognize, 
this is the classy one, that is more common.  
The 3 at the top you will notice all have a fat italian guy on them, similar to Mario  (except that first one looks kind of funny, like a french muppet )
All theses guys are very similar, mustache, red handkerchief, chefs hat, and of course pizza. 
(I just saw an old episode of Saved By The Bell and they all ordered pizza, and it came in the box in the upper left corner - that was probably 15 years ago)

Of course there are those places who like a custom box, usually the chains or some fancy place.  Probably a good 50 to 60 percent have their own box.  
These boxes usually put less focus on the fat Mario and pizza pictures and more on the name and number of the place.  I like the ruler on Big Mama's.

This one was the only original one I saw that didn't have it's name on it.  It's very nice.
Anyway, just a slight observation.  Next time you order pizza take a look at the box, it will probably look like one of these.
Also if you want to reap the benefits of recylcing, take a look at this Pizza Box Airplane

Ok, actually just did some searching online for pizza boxes, this is more than you'll ever need to know about them, haha Pizza Packaging

Thursday, August 7, 2008

West Los Angeles Pizza

LaRocco's Pizzeria: Main St. Culver City
Overall: ∆∆∆∆1/2
DiVita's Pizzeria: 11916 Wilshire Blvd. West LA
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Shalom Pizza: 8715 Pico Blvd
Overall: ∆∆∆
Lamonicas NY Pizza: WestWood, UCLA area
Overall: ∆∆∆
The Coop Pizza: 10006 National Blvd. Right under the 10 freeway
Overall: ∆∆∆
D'Amores Famous Pizza: Westwood Village (UCLA)
Overall: ∆∆∆
Pazzo Pizzeria: Olympic and Sepulveda West LA
Overall: ∆∆∆
Julies Pizzeria: 11140 Palms Blvd. LA
Overall: ∆∆∆
Lucia's Pizza: 9030 Venice Blvd. Culver City
Overall: ∆∆1/2
NY Pizza & Pasta: Sepulveda/Santa Monica Blvd West LA
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Brooklyn Pizza and Pasta: 9228 Pico Blvd. LA
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Marchello's Pizza: 5937 Pico Blvd.
Overall: ∆∆ 1/2
Italian Express: Westwood Village (UCLA)
Overall: ∆∆
Piece O' Pizza: 11700 Venice Blvd. Mar Vista
Overall: ∆1/2
Louigi's Italian Kitchen: Sawtelle/Santa Montica Blvd -West LA
Overall: ∆∆
Angelino's: Westwood Village (UCLA)
Overall: ∆1/2


East L.A. Pizza

Here is the pizza I've found in the East area of L.A. or Regular L.A. area
(this includes everything east of Western Blvd essentially.)
(This is not actually East LA, it is just areas in a very general east direction)
From Best to Worst

Folliero's: Highland Park
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Los Angeles Pizza Company: Downtown 712 Figueroa St
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Il Capriccio: where Hollywood Blvd meets Sunset blvd
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Bottega Louie: Downtown - 700 S. Grand
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Two boots: Sunset Blvd. - Echo Park
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Pitfire Pizza: Downtown (also the valley)
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Garage Pizza: Sunset and Foutain - Silverlake
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Hill St Pizza: Downtown - 456 S. Hill
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Nicky D's Pizza: Silverlake 90039
Overall: ∆∆∆
Lucifer's Pizza: Hillhurst Ave. Los Feliz
Overall: ∆∆∆
Prizzi's Piazza: Franklin / Beachwood
Overall: ∆∆∆
Rocket Pizza: 122 West 4th St Downtown
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Cheech's Pizza: Hillhurs Ave Los Feliz
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Pizza Buona: 2100 Sunset Blvd. Silverlake
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Hard Times Pizza: Griffith Park Blvd. 90039
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Pronto Pizza: 4165 Beverly Blvd LA 90004
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Cruzer Pizza: 4449 Prospect Ave. Los Feliz 90027
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Pizza Next Door: 806 West 8th St Downtown
Overall: ∆∆
Palermo Ristorante Italiano: Vermont Ave. Los Feliz
Overall: ∆∆
Pizza Go: 3rd Street between Western and Normandie
Overall: ∆∆
Hi Pizza: 119 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles
Overall: ∆∆
Andiamo's: Sunset Blvd. Silverlake
Overall: ∆1/2
Mr. Pizza: Wilshire and Western Korea Town
Overall: ∆∆∆∆1/2
2 for 1 Pizza: 1905 S. Western Blvd
Overall: ∆1/2
Pizza Man: Normandie / Sunset (multiple Locations)
Overall: ∆
Angelino's Pizza: 2201 Washington Blvd
Overall: 0 (nada)

Santa Monica Pizza

Here are the Pizza Joints on the farthest West coast.
(Includes west of Centinela Ave and north and south along the coast from Malibu to Long Beach)

Antica Pizzeria: 13455 Maxella Ave. Marina Del Rey Overall: ∆∆∆∆1/2
Joe's Pizza: 111 Broadway Ave./ Ocean Ave. Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Abbot's Pizza Co: 1407 Abbot Kinney blvd (also Pico ) Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Richie Palmer's Pizzeria: 1355 Ocean Ave / Arizona ave Overall: ∆∆∆
Dagwood's NY Pizza: Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica Overall: ∆∆∆
Beech Street Pizzeria/Cafe: Pacific Palisades Overall: ∆∆1/2
Palisades Pizza: Pacific Palisades Overall: ∆ 1/2

---- NOT ME RATED ----

Zeppy's Pizza: Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach Overall: ∆∆1/2
Manhattan Pizzeria: Manhattan Beach Blvd Overall: ∆∆∆∆1/2

The Valley and Burbank Pizza

Here are are the Pizza Joints in The Valley Area
In order from good to bad

Pitfire Pizza Co: 5211 Lankershim Blvd NOHO (also downtown)
Overall: ∆∆∆∆
Pagliacci's: 3990 Vantage Ave Studio City
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
La Pizza (Kosher): 12515 Burbank Blvd North Hollywood
Overall: ∆∆∆
Leaning Tower Pizza: 14120 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Ravanelli's Pizza: 8456 Reseda Blvd. Northridge
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Slices: 15810 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
NYPD Pizza: 150 S. San Fernando Blvd Burbank (also, all over the country )
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Barone's Pizza: Oxnard St. 13726 Oxnard St. Valley Glen
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
North End Pizzeria: Downtown, Burbank
Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
D'Amore's Famous Pizza: Thousand Oaks / Tarzana
Overall: ∆∆∆
Angelino Express Pizza:4384 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood
Overall: ∆∆∆
Monte Carlo & Pinocchio: 3103 Magnolia Blvd Burbank
Overall: ∆∆∆
Spark Wood Fire Grill - 11801 Ventura Blvd. Studio City
Overall: ∆∆∆
Dino's Pizza: Burbank Blvd. Burbank 91505
Overall: ∆∆∆
Ciao Cristina: Olive across from Warner Bros.
Overall: ∆∆∆
Guido's Pizza: 1513 San Fernando Rd Burbank
Overall: ∆∆∆
Caioti Pizza Cafe: Tujunga Village, Studio City
Overall: ∆∆∆
Ameci Pizza: Valley Village (Burbank Blvd.)
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Bambino's Pizza: 5650 Cahuenga Blvd NOHO
Overall: ∆∆∆
Danielle's Pizza: Riverside and Laurel Canyon Blvd. Valley Village, CA
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Arb Pizza Cafe: Ventura Blvd. /Laurel Canyon Blvd. Studio City
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Joe Peeps: 1445o Whittier Blvd
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Robano's Italian Pizza Kitchen: 10057 Riverside Dr. Toluca Lake
Overall: ∆∆1/2
Robbie Mac's: Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks
Overall: ∆∆1/2
161 St Pizzeria: Cahuenga Blvd. Universal City? 90068
Overall: ∆∆1/2
LA Lasagna Co: Reseda Blvd. Northridge
Overall: ∆∆
Tony's Bella Vista Ristorante: 3116 magnolia Blvd Burbank
Overall: ∆∆ 1/2
Zach's Italian Cafe: 10820 Ventura Blvd. Studio City
Overall: ∆∆
Central Park Pizza: in the Bat Cade on Victory and Magnolia
Overall: ∆∆
Pinball Pizza: Magnolia Blvd. Burbank
Overall: ∆1/2
Dales Jr new york Pizza: 12500 Oxnard St
Overall: ∆∆
W Love Pizza & Cafe: 11300 Magnolia Blvd NOHO
Overall: ∆∆
Pizza Per Tutti: 4143 Lankershim Blvd
Overall: ∆∆


Beverly Hills Pizza

Here are all the Beverly Hills Pizza Joints I've found.
Ranked from Good to not as good.

Al Gelat
o: Robertson / Wilshire Overall: ∆∆∆ 1/2
Mulberry Street Pizzeria: 240 S. Beverly Dr (also 347 N, Canon Dr.) Overall: ∆∆∆ 1/2
Trattoria Amici: Doheny/Santa Monica Overall: ∆∆∆1/2
Il Buco Pizzeria: 107 N Robertson Overall: ∆∆ 1/2
Jacopo’s: 326 S. Beverly Dr (also Pacific Palisades) Overall: ∆∆


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monte Carlo Deli and Pinocchio Restaurant

This is a big place with two different things going on, one corner they have a nice little Italian restaurant, with a buffet style display showing lasagna and other pastas.  On the other side is a full Italian gourmet market, and deli.  On top of that, in the middle of the whole place, or rather when you walk in the door, is a cooler of different flavors of ice cream.  I didn't of course have any of this, no sandwiches or ice cream or even pasta, but I did have the pizza.


I got a medium cheese pizza, that felt like a large.  It was about 14 dollars fairly reasonable.  The pizza tasted pretty good.  The sauce was very light and had a basic tomato taste, not too much extra flavor.  The taste of the cheese was the main flavor here, mainly because there was a lot on it.  I wouldn't say it was excessive, it was over powering maybe.  It just could have been a little lighter.  Other than that, the cheese tasted good and if there was maybe some more sauce to battle back, it might have been perfect.  The crust was flat, had no rise to it, it was kind of just crispy and toasted throughout not too much bready-ness.  Plus the outside could have actually been more crispy but then the top would have burnt.  It had a corn meal bottom as well.  Overall I would say it was pretty good and definitely better than average.  

Monte Carlo Deli & Pinocchio Restaurant - 3103 W. Magnolia Blvd 91505
Price: $$
Overall:
Pinocchio Italian on Urbanspoon

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