Los Angeles has long embraced its love affair with Italian food, but lately a new crop of options has been crowding the city with pizza. From wood-fired pop-ups and street stops to a familiar Westside name, here’s what is happening in pizza around Los Angeles right now, including three noteworthy restaurants now open from Venice to Echo Park.
First up is the Venice Way Pizza, a newcomer that lands at the ground floor of the longstanding Hotel Erwin early next month. Ownership there partnered up with none other than Noel Brohner, who has spent years working around LA and beyond as a pizza consultant for some of the biggest restaurant names including Bestia. Brohner specializes in high-hydration doughs, and for Venice Way Pizza he’s turning those into five-inch square “slabs” of pan pizza, similar in crispy exterior to a Detroit style, but with even more air and lift inside.
With Venice Way Pizza operating primarily as a takeaway window, the plan is to serve slices from lunch through late night hours, with both meat and vegetarian options available. There is a patio for the hotel in use as well, with room for two dozen seats and the option to get a cocktail, or some beer and wine. The Venice Way Pizza opens on March 2, keeping hours from 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily.
For a more traditional pizza experience, there’s the new-ish Farina Pizza in Koreatown. This shop, run by Sicilian-born chef Michele Galifi, focuses on big, round, crispy-bottomed pies, similar to a New York City slice. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily at 119 S. Western Avenue, and also trades in meatball subs, mozzarella sticks, and other staple Italian-American dishes. Galifi also operates La Puente Italian restaurant Casa Mia Sicilian Trattoria.
Elsewhere, from Highland Park to Venice to Echo Park, new vendors continue to pop up using mobile ovens to sell whole pies to the masses. Some have found great success in the model, while others like Elio’s have been shut down by the health department for not operating with valid permits. One of the latest blistery newcomers is Crumb Pizza, popping up tonight at Bar Bandini in Echo Park. Angelenos’ Wood-Fired Pizza, meanwhile, now sits daily from afternoon to early evening on York just east of Figueroa in Highland Park.
So what’s still on the horizon for pizza in Los Angeles? Chef Ryan Ososky, formerly of the Church Key, has been teasing a Detroit-style delivery and pickup pizza spot called Dtown Pizzeria, and Nancy Silverton is still on track to open her own new Italian spin, Pizzette, in Culver City this spring. Rumors abound about a possible bar pizza pop-up happening soon as well, though that remains to be seen in LA. With all these new options in Los Angeles, it’s clear that the city continues to be obsessed with pizza.