Los Angeles. A city that’s known for many things – celebrities, movies, Mexican food, and fad diets. But not pizza. Never pizza. From what I’ve heard from my East Coast friends and family who moved to LA, finding acceptable pizza in LA has always been a struggle. Luckily, my sister never stopped searching, and so on a recent visit she took me to one of her favorite pizza spots in the city – Pizzanista.
Pizzanista is a tiny pizzeria located in the up and coming Downtown LA Arts District. (They also have a Long Beach location.) It’s the kind of dive-esque place that’s so painfully hip that I didn’t feel like I even belonged there. But I always belong where there’s pizza, so I persevered. Pizzanista blends traditional New York style pizza with California fresh produce, and unique flavors. Their menu spans from classic pepperoni to creative slices topped with macaroni and cheese to vegan pies. Obviously, I chose pepperoni.
The crust was soft and fresh, my favorite kind. I really enjoyed the cheese blend that somehow seemed to get better with time, a rarity among cheeses. The sauce was just a little more flavourful than I would like, but it would please sauce lovers. It’s a bit greasy, and can be tough to manage. It’s the size of a proper NY slice so one wants to fold it, but it’s just a smidge too thick to actually fold, making it a 2 handed job to get it from plate to mouth.
My sister and brother-in-law accompanied me on this pizzadventure, and while it’s one of their favorite places to get a slice, they didn’t love the softness that occurred in the middle of the pizza:
“I like it. The one thing I don’t like is that the tip of it is always too soft.” – Jamie
“It was soft this time around but normally the bottom is a little more crispy. There’s definitely a lot worse.” – Juan
Overall, Pizzanista was a welcome surprise in a city known for not knowing how to make pizza. It was a strong pizza that stood up to some of our favorites in Seattle and beyond. I rated this pizza a 4 out of 5.