With relatives in town (esp. a young nephew in tow), I had the pleasure of sampling some of SGV's many pizza establishments.
So here goes (in no particular order).
AVANTI CAFE (http://avanticafe.com/ ). If California Pizza Kitchen ever focused and put more individualized attention and effort into its pies, then what you would get is probably a pie from Avanti Cafe. The crust is nice and charred on the outside, but slightly chewy in the center. It's got all the typical nouveau California style toppings covered, including a rather funky "glazed apple" creation -- not to my liking, but it does offer a nice change of pace to the more pedantic BBQ, pesto, seafood, 3-cheeses offerings. Not a bad joint, and it can crowded during peak hours.
PIZZA PLACE CALIFORNIA (303 South Mission Drive, San Gabriel,(626) 570-9622) Decent California-style pizza, but a bit pricey. Very good garlic rolls, however.
SAVOY PIZZA & PASTA (138 East Valley Boulevard Alhambra, (626) 308-9535) Skip the pies at this place. Nothing spectacular and the crust leaves much to be desired. What to get here? The Hainan chicken rice. Best in the area, and this includes all the HK-style restaurants that have this dish.
PETRILLO'S PIZZA (833 East Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, (626) 280-7332) I know this is a favorite of the many on the board, but I am not necessarily a big fan. Maybe because it's neither a thin crust, nor a thick crust ... just somewhere in between. But I think the biggest drawback for me for this place is that there is too much cheese on the pies. A major selling point for many perhaps, but just not my kind of pie. That being said, it is a very filling pizza and the ingredients are all tasty and fresh.
TONY'S PIZZA (2555 Huntington Dr, San Marino, (626) 793-4114) One of my long-time favorites. A basic thin crust pie with nicely proportioned amounts of cheese, sauce and toppings. Ain't going to change the world, but then it's only pizza and it shouldn't have to, right?
ZELO (328 E. Foothill Blvd., Arcadia, (626) 358-8298) Well, if you don't like thick crusts and you don't like cornmeal crusts, then avoid this place like the plague. Otherwise, head on out cuz the pies here are truly delicious and unique in their own way. The cornmeal crusts (at least for me) just gives a pizza that extra special something. Sort of like how just the right pinch of salt in chocolate chip cookies makes all the difference. Favorite pie here is the corn pizza -- just wonderful.