When the idea of biting into a melting slice of cheese and bread, burrows into my mind, my stomach and I are doomed. I must satisfy my urge to devour at least one slice of incredible pizza! Can you relate? It's time I put together my list of favorite pizzerias in Los Angeles to help us all when the urge hits!
Earlier this year, I found myself at Delancey in Hollywood, ready to stuff my face with pizza. My friend and I ordered The Delancey; mozzarella and meatballs. It was simple, but sounded perfect.
When I took my first bite I knew I had found something special. The crust was that thin consistency unable to hold up the cheese and meat so it looked like a Salvador Dali clock when I picked it up. The edge crust was sturdy, that's where it counts and just how I like it. With my pizza in one hand and a craft beer in the other, I was feeling high on life. So high that I was inspired to write this post!
My Top Five LA Pizzerias
*Delancey: The menu is incredible with a variety of combinations such as The Greenwich with Mozzarella, Prosciutto de Parma, Arugula and Extra Virgin Olive Oil or The Rivington with Spinach, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Garlic and Black Pepper. As stated earlier the crust is perfection. You can also pair you pizza with one of their 20 craft beers!
*Pizzeria Mozza: If you haven't had a slice of Mozza, you must not have lived in LA for very long. Also a delicious crust with those edges that bubble up from a thin base. One of my favorites is the classic Margherita; Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil. The Coach Farm Goat Cheese, Leeks, Scallions Garlic and Bacon is also a delicious choice.
*Greco's New York Pizzeria: It's not very often that I'm willing to brave Hollywood Boulevard for a slice of Pizza, but when I do, it's for Greco's...and it's usually late at night. Greco's has got classic cheese and pepperoni slices ready to go. Warning, these slices are HUGE. Literally the size of your head. They have the thin crust and dripping cheese nailed.
*Gjelina: Venice Beach is lucky to be home to this noteworthy Italian restaurant. The entire menu is amazing, but let's talk about the pizza. The chef has come up with sensational flavor combos such as, Fennel Salami, Caramelized Fennel, Confit Tomato, Green Onion and Mozzarella. WOW. One bite of the soft, but crisp pizza will have you hooked.
*Lucifers: These guys made my list because, not only do they make great pizzas, but they offer the choice of a traditional or gluten-free crust. I know a lot of die-hard pizza lovers wouldn't think twice about ordering a gluten-free version, but I can attest, I have tried the Greek Lamb and Rosemary; Lamb, Caramelized Onion, Feta, Olives, Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon Pepper and Parsley with a gluten-free crust and every bite was incredibly satisfying and tasted great. Also, they are all about the heat and let you choose your level of spice for all orders!
Q & A with Restaurateur George Abou-Daoud
I found out that George Abou-Daoud was responsible for the unforgettable Delancey Pizza I ate. I then decided to ask him some questions.
FP (Food Pervert, ME): How long did it take you to develop your recipe?
GA: It took a month and a half. You can make many different pizzas, even with the same ingredients just using those ingredients in different ratios. We tried using different yeast, different flour, different water. Pizza depends on all of it, olive oil and salt ratios have to be just right and then we let it proof. Proofing is key to our pizza. We let it rise over night, it's on a 24-hour cycle. I grew up in New York and that's what I wanted my pizza to taste like.
FP: What was your first significant slice of pizza?
GA: I remember eating it on the stone wall in Central Park West. I remember there were ants crawling on the wall and I was eating my slice of pizza. It was great.
FP: What is your favorite pizza at Delancey?
GA: The one with truffle butter, clam and garlic. Also, the pepperoni and sausage. I love old-school New York pizza.
FP: What do you love the most about being a chef?
GA: Bringing food to people, it’s the greatest thing. I am Lebanese and it's inherent in a Lebanese person to want to make food for people. I grew up with a mom who slow cooked and Urban Garden (new restaurant) uses my mom’s recipes. It’s a great feeling to make great food and it’s the one thing we all need, it’s that love that we all need.
*Not only does George run this pizzeria and bar, but also many other LA eateries such as The Bowery, The Mercantile, Rosewood Tavern, and the newly opened Urban Garden. He is the man behind Bowery Street Enterprises!
Hmm, I wonder what you're going to be craving this weekend...