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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Coop

This place was off my pizza radar for the last year.  Unheard of by probably everyone who didn't live within their delivery zone.  Recently it was mentioned in the L.A. Times as one of the best pizzas in L.A.  So now people have heard of it.  So in hopes of a hidden gem I too traveled to the Culver City area.  

Coop Pizza has been in business for 40 years, most recently it changed ownership, but some of the same people run it.  It seems it is a very close knit family business, whether they are family by blood I don't know, but they are certainly 'family' now.  Only a family bickers at each other while making the pizza in front of the other customers.  They are very kind people there though, who truly care about their customers.  In talking to them I came to find out they don't like the idea of their new celebrity.  They preferred it when nobody had heard of them.  They liked their little hole in the wall under the highway.  They enjoy serving the same local regulars who come back time and time again.  I like the way they run things and I give them credit for this.  It can be tough when the whole city criticizes your recipes, it can make or break the business sometimes.  I can understand being content with your small business, if it makes you enough money to live and you are content why expand.  Why open 10 other places in LA and stress out over all of them, meanwhile the quality starts to decline, people get sick of it and the roller coaster that you never signed up for is on its way down.  That was a bit dramatic I suppose, kind of like the life of Britney Spears.  Coop pizza is probably not, nor will ever be at that level.  I'm just trying to write with some artistic flair I suppose.  Excuse me.  

Anyway to discuss the pizza.  The pizza; and perhaps they will be happy to hear this from one of the many food critics, is not anything worth the drive if you are on the other side of town.  If I lived close by I would be happy it was there.  To say it is one of the best pizzas in LA is going a little far.  This of course, is just my opinion.  
The crust was cooked well, it was lightly crispy on the outside, but didn't really have a strong crunch.  It went from lightly crispy to very doughy.  Although the dough was light and airy and tasted pretty good, it was a little dry.  It was just a little thick and not quite crispy enough for me.  The sauce was the highlight for me.  It had a great rich taste, that was sweet but loaded with different flavors.  The sauce and cheese worked well together, their was the perfect mix of oil and salt flavors.
This by definition is average pizza, it isn't exactly N.Y. style thin crust, it isn't Chicago style or New Haven style.  It is middle america style.  Which is the common pizza not only in middle america but also in L.A.  There is nothing wrong with this style, it is what people like.  I will say in this tier of pizzas, this is one of the top places I've had.  Just personally not my style.  Pizza,  like I have said before is a local food, and if the local people like it, thats all that matters.  This is definitely all that matters to the Coop family.  This is a good thing.

Side Note: The price was good: $10 for a 14''  

The Coop - 10006 National Blvd. LA 90034
Price: $
The Coop Pizza on Urbanspoon


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