I love pizza. Really good pizza. What I consider “really good” is more like how they make it in Naples. I think. Been to Italy – Rome, Tuscany, Florence, etc. But never been to Naples to eat the pizza but I think I would really, really like it. So my favorites are, in no particular order.
1) Una Pizza Napoletana, formerly NYC, now San Francisco, CA
To me this is the holy grail of pizza and the one that started the trend of gourmet Neopolitan style pizza. I may be wrong on the timing but hey, it’s my blog so I get to say what I want! :o) Una Pizza only has 5 kinds of pizza and none of them have meat. I love that. The proprietor is a primitive genius and probably eccentric. Pies are not cut. His pies are superb. The ingredients are superb. The flavors are strong and balanced. I am so happy he moved to the West coast although I haven’t made it to SFO yet to try. Maybe next month…
2) Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
From Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton – two ultimate players in the food world. Some people don’t consider this pizza but I do. The crust is bready but really good bread. The ingredients are top notch and the flavors are strong. My faves are the marinara (no cheese) – Tomato, Sicilian oregano & extra virgin olive oil and the lemon artichoke – Stracchino with artichokes, lemon & olives. The best seat is at the pizza bar where you can watch the pizza chefs at work. Pies are not cut. They also have great Italian wine and “regular” food too. On a side note the caramel copetta for dessert is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had anywhere.
3) Abbott’s Pizza Co. Venice, CA
This place is home of the bagel crust! Different than any other crust you get. The pizza are great here and they have interesting combinations. The best pizza here though is the Salad Pizza. It’s a pizza cooked with no toppings then topped with a huge, lovely, moist salad. It’s great in the summer and really refreshing.
4) Cheeseboard Pizza, Berkley, CA
The Cheeseboard Collective is a wonderful bakery/cheese co-operative run by hippies in the Bay Area. The place is a throwback to what I envision life should be like in Berkley..in the 60’s. Next door to the shop is the Pizza place. They make one kind of pizza a day. Every day is different and always vegetarian. The line always seem to be long but it goes really fast. Once you get your pizza and the little additional tiny slice they always seem to add on, you find a seat in and around the tiny store and listen to the live jazz band. Oh and the pizza is awesome.
5) Upper Crust, Boston, MA
I’ve only been here once but it made such an impression it made my list. A small pizza place in the Beacon Hill area of Boston. The pizza was excellent and worth a trip to Boston just to try.
6) Jo Peep’s, Valley Village, CA
Valley staple. Old school. Thin crust, greasy New York style. It’s good though.
7) Lamonica’s NY Pizza, Westwood Village, CA
Westside staple. Old school. Thin crust, greasy New York style. This used to be the only pizza place worth anything in Los Angeles. The dough is imported from NY and the pizza comes out like NY pizza. Hence the name…duh!
6) Mother Dough, Hollywood, CA
A newby on the scene. It’s only been open for a few weeks but it’s good. They’re trying. The tomato sauce is good and sweet and fresh. The dough is natural sourdough like Mozza and Una Pizza and cooked in a wood fire oven.
7) Stella Rossa Pizza Bar, Santa Monica, CA
Another newby. Newer than Mother Dough. A newborn really. Similar to Mother Dough but the oven is a regular pizza oven. Been there once and the first pizza that came to the table was totally burnt. I mean solid black on the bottom. The second one was slightly undercooked (they werent going to take any chances). But I liked them both. They also have a style called “Sin Thin” which seemed like it was going to be good but it was a little limp in the middle. I guess because it was SO thin. The burrata appetizer was probably one of the best burrata dishes I’ve ever had. It was perfect. Oh and they have sangria. mmm.
8) Little Dom’s, Los Feliz, CA
Well I just love this place overall. The decor, the vibe and the food. The pizza is thin and dry and good. It’s oval shaped and served on parchment on top of a piece of wood. Great presentation. Really nice flavors and ingredients.
9) Franco Manca, Brixon UK
I’ve been to this place a few times and it’s always an experience. It’s located in Brixton which is the last stop on the tube. Then you walk through the Brixton market, to find this shining beam of goodness. The pizza is made in a wood oven and they do not cut it. The place is run by Italians so you know it’s authentic. They care about the ingredients and it shows. I love the tomato pie (no cheese) and the homemade lemonade combo.
I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting. But this are the one’s at the front of my mind and the one’s that stand out.