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Friday, April 3, 2009

Antica Pizzeria



Classic Napoletana Pizza. That's what this is, not Middle-America pizza, not deep dish, not even N.Y. style. It is the original pizza, same recipe right from Italy. In fact this place even has some seal of approval from the Italian Pizza Gods. It is as genuine a pizza as you will find in the West, I'm sure.
NOTE: "some seal of approval" is actually called the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. There is a link to the American division if you care to read more about it. There are actually two other places in CA with the seal. Along with many others across the country. Antica was the first in the U.S. to get the seal. Here is the seal:
Nevertheless, this does not mean the pizza is good.

It is surprising that this place has such a respected pizza. The place has a fresh clean look of something like an Apple Bee's and it is in the middle of a big mall in Marina Del Rey. So quite an unlikely place to find such great pizza. However, it is no Apple Bee's. The people working and owners are straight from Italy as is the flour and the tomatoes they use. Although I think sometimes they get their tomatoes from California. Their mozzarella cheese is made fresh in the restaurant. Their pizza is cooked in a wood fired brick oven. It is as fresh and legit as you can get.
I sat down in the place and ordered a classic Margherita pizza that comes in one individual size - 10 inches, though it seemed a generous 10 inches. It was 11 dollars.
It was a great site to see when it came to the table. The cheese was amazing, so fresh and creamy, it melted in your mouth. They were very generous with the cheese too. The sauce very light and simple. In fact I don't believe it was seasoned at all, just a simple sweet tomato taste. The crust was a major part of the pie. Probably a third to a quarter of the pizza was bare crust with no sauce or cheese on it. It had great texture to it. Crispy and chewy with a doughy inside. It all worked well, and it left me wanting more for the rest of the day. I almost stopped by another place on the way back for one more slice. I didn't want to leave a bad taste in my mouth though, so I didn't stop.
It was really great pizza, definitely the only one of its kind in L.A. If I had to complain I can compare it to Lombardi's in NY, which is a similar style, it was not as good as that. It could have used more sauce on the pizza, and it wouldn't have hurt to put a little more into the tomatoes to spice it up. There was just too much bare crust for me. Although the crust was close to perfect, it was too much. A touch dry and mostly flavorless. The cheese was the best part for me. There was a few pieces of basil that helped bring the flavors together, but mostly is was a very simple pie.

This is not my preferred style of pizza, I am more of a NY style (Joe's or Vito's) kind of guy. So out of my own preference I still hold those above this one. Next on the list though, has got to be Antica.


UPDATE: I went back recently and got the prosciutto and arugula pizza. I also got the margherita again. The prosciutto doesn't come with sauce on the pizza. In fact a lot of their specialty pizzas do not have tomato sauce. I asked if we could get it on anyway, they said yes but then brought a bowl of sauce on the side, said it would be better that way. This was fine except the sauce they brought was a marinara sauce not the same sauce that was on the margherita. This was a bit disappointing. The service was also disappointing.
The pizza was pretty similar, but this time the dough was not as crispy and had thinner and soggier middle and a doughier inside. It still had a slightly charred bottom and tasted great. If you get anything but cheese and sauce on the pizza don't expect to be able to pick it up. The bottom is too thin to support any kind of toppings. You might need the knife and fork, true Italian style. I wasn't as happy with my experience this time, but it is still a pretty good tasting pizza. Still better than Bottega Louie. I won't change anything.

Antica Pizzeria - 13455 Maxella Ave. 2nd Fl - Marina Del Rey
Price: $$
Overall:

Antica Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
Antica Pizzeria in Los Angeles

5 comments:

  1. the lack of sauce and the wide outer curst keenly reminds me of Povich's in San Pedro.

    there's only 1 other certified Neapolitan joint in LA, and that's Bollini's in MPK, yes?

    Gotta make it to Antica 1 of these days...

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  2. According to the VPN which is the official association for Neapolitan pizza, there are 2 others in CA - one in San Francisco and Twain Harte (where ever that is ) There are only 2 such places in NY and 1 each in about 10 other states.

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  3. I am so glad you enjoyed this pizza. It is my favorite in LA.

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  4. I was logging on to tell you to go visit this place, as I had not yet seen it reviewed by you. I was delighted to discover you had now dedicated an entire video to it! Having lived in Italy for 15 years, I can attest to the authenticity of this pizza. It is the only pizza in LA that is a genuine Italian style. The crust is made from a special Neopolitan pizza flour from a company called Caputo, which is special strain of wheat, and which no one else in LA uses. And, they do not put oil in the crust, which makes it wonderfully flaky and light. They make their own mozzarella here from milk curd, so it is truly fresh and unique. Italian cooking is always about bringing out the flavors in the food, so their tomato sauce is just wonderful tomatoes, no sugar of oils mixed in. This is, without a doubt, the best, and most delicious Italian pizza in Los Angeles. I highly recommend it to pizza lovers everywhere. Their Margerita is the best, and simplest. Go now, don't wait!!!

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  5. I think that it is one of the best pizzas in the world, I would like to eat, in my city is a pizzeria called "mamamia" it is so so, but the pizzas are enormous!22dd

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