Superfine - Steve Samson finally threads the needle between the often-tried, never successful New York/Neapolitan hybrid. Cheese and Pepperoni feel at home next "cheffy" slices that equally amazing. This is my current obsession in Los Angeles.
Cosa Buona - Italian-American classics filtered through the the hands of immensely talented chef, Zach Pollack, with a variation on his Neapolitan-ish dough from Sotto (R.I.P). Plus the only pie with pineapple pie I'll eat.
Pizzeria Mozza - Nancy Silverton re-invented pizza crust for America with a French bread twist. It's not cheap, but neither are the impeccable ingredients. If you go red sauce, make sure you get the Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, but you should probably go Sausage, Bianco, or Nettles anyway.
Pizzana - Daniele Uditi is Italian who worked at some of best pizzerias in the Naples, but his pizza isn't classic Neapolitan. It's more crisp and definitely more delicious. This is the most exciting pizza in Los Angeles at the moment.
Apollonia's - Probably the best "regular" place in the city. No fuss, just guys who care and are always trying to improve. And if they're serving the Detroit-ish square pie you saw on Instagram, don't leave the shop without it.
Ronan - Daniel Cutler took inspiration from the beloved, late Neapolitan-esque pizza at Sotto and made it his own. Really fun menu, really great drinks. And I know this is all about pizza, but don't skip the clams.
Triple Beam Pizza - The toppings are almost Mozza-level quality, but the dough has fallen off over time. What used to be a good al taglio Roman slice has become soft and floppy. It's what they call a bit of a bummer. With that said, I'm still here once a month because it's so fun and easy.
Prime Pizza - It's a pretty good slice joint from the Bludso’s/Cofax/Golden State collective. Always go square. If square is not available, go white. I think the sauce makes the cheese and pepperoni slices a little muddy. Also, parking is death at both locations, which kind of ruins the walk in and get a slice thing.
Vito's Pizza - Technically a New Jersey slice, it's anti-gourmet but completely satisfying. You’re fine with most slices *if they're fresh* but the white pesto is my favorite.
Hollywood Pies - This is better than flying in frozen Lou Malnati’s and it’s better than fresh Gino’s East. I think it's better than Masa and Little Tony's and any other deep dish in LA. I prefer native-style sauce, which loses the garlic the regular version traffics in.
Stella Barra - I think it's the best thing you can eat before you head into the Arclight to see a movie. But I might be clouded by their chocolate chip cookies, which are truly insane.
Jon & Vinny’s - You can’t get in. The dough is merely “good." It’s expensive. Not all bakes are perfect. But the ingredients and the flavors are undeniable. Everything else there is great by the way.
DeSano - "Neapolitan" for people who secretly just want New York pizza with some char. I'm not sure they're using the most quality of ingredients (that "bufala" cheese, man), but it's salty, tasty, and there's free parking.
Gjelina Take Away - I actually prefer the NY-style slices to the regular fance pizza at the Gjelina Mothership. It's pricey but they figure out how to do an elevated slice in a way very others have.
Milo & Olive - A churlish description would be “Westside Mozza clone,” but over the years I think it’s come into its own. Wish it was easier to get in and wish the menu was more inventive. Don't skip the garlic knot.
Gjelina - My New York friends LOVE this place. I really like it, but there’s always something off about the pizza for me. I think the sauce is a little earthy and throws everything off, but I'm happy to be there usually.
Bestia - It is good pizza, but every other item on the menu is better. It's one of the better pizzas in Los Angeles, but...and I will never order it again.
Roberta's - Good news: the pizza is pretty much like the stuff in Brooklyn (nice Neopolitan-ish). Bad news: This location trades the lo-fi hipster charm of the original for yuppy, sceney gross vibes.
Hail Mary Pizza - Great guys, great vibe, great ingredients...but only okay pizza. Every bake has been uneven. I will keep trying though.
TASTES GREAT WHEN YOU ARE DESPERATE
Village Pizzeria - This is the textbook definition of what I’d call “Mom and Pop” pizza. Lots of canned ingredients, sugar in the dough, etc. It tastes like a so-so neighborhood place but that's not without its charm.
Garage Pizza - From what I can tell they kind of stole the fake Joe’s recipe (and vendors), then sweetened the sauce and cheapened it up a little. Regardless, it is the definition of “not bad at 2AM."
THE JURY IS OUT
La Morra - "Hipster pop-up" is a slur, but they're kind of that. I had a couple slices at an event and enjoyed them, but those oversized leopard spots hint at fermentation issues.
Lodge Bread Company - Only been there once, but it seemed like Instagram Pizza. Very pretty to look but only pretty good to eat. It's very popular though so maybe I'm underestimating it.
Felix - Same thing as Bestia, I've only gotten in there once. It’s a victim of its own success, meaning it's pretty hard to go there and not just eat pasta.
Grimaldi’s, Pizzeria Il Fico, Casa Bianca, Prova, Terroni, The Coop, The Luggage Room, Pitfire, 800 Degrees, Mulberry Street, Two Boots, All Angelo, Barone’s, South End, Mohawk Bend, Abbot’s/Grey Block, D’Amore, Joe’s (LA version), Lamonica’s, Tomato Pie, Town, LaRocco’s, Olio, Settebello, Masa, Joe Peeps, Enzo’s, Blaze, Delicious Pizza. And you can add SRO and Gracie's to the list.
You may love them and you do you. But not for me.
Dough Box, Pie Life, Santino’s, Flame Pizzeria, Slice Truck (at least brick & motor).