Open five months, Banducci’s can be added to the relatively short list of Southern California restaurants that do deep-dish Chicago pizza right, says RSMBob.

It’s a small place (just one long family-style table and a side counter), but the menu is extensive: pizza with thin crust and thick crust, deep dish, Chicago-style deep dish, and stuffed crust. All the standard toppings are available, along with several specialty pizzas. There are other Chicago favorites, such as Italian beef, hot dogs, ribs, and even cheesecake.

Stuffed-crust pizza is a double-decker, with a second layer of dough atop the fillings and cheese. Sausage-stuffed has a great balance of crust, cheese, and sausage, with a moderately chunky sauce. The crust has a pretty thick rolled edge, with soft-pretzel flavor. Unlike many pretenders, it’s not a gloppy mess. In fact, it could use a teeny bit more sauce. Thin-crust pizza is good, but nothing special—for thin-crust Chicago pizza, you still want Casa Bianca, says epop.

Tony’s Little Italy is another reliable pizzeria for deep dish; the crust has the flavor and texture of a buttermilk biscuit crust, says GoodEatz. Note for next time: Skip the Hawaiian and get something traditional, like sausage, mushroom, and garlic. And make sure to go for stuffed-crust. Tony’s is mostly a to-go operation, though it has about eight tables; you order at the counter. It’s just a basic strip-mall joint but very clean, it serves beer and wine, and you get real silverware and melamine plates for your pizza.

The third restaurant in RSMBob’s top three SoCal deep-dish pizza places is quite a trek: Chicago Pasta House, about halfway between Pasadena and Palm Springs. It’s not quite Lou Malnati’s (the Chowhound favorite in Chicago), says Jack Flash, but it’s tasty, reasonably authentic, and much closer than Chicago.

Banducci’s Famous Chicago Pizza Co. [South Bay]
2706 Del Amo Boulevard, Lakewood

Casa Bianca Pizza Pie [Eagle Rock]
1650 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles

Tony’s Little Italy Pizza [Orange County]
1808 N. Placentia Avenue Unit B, Placentia

Chicago Pasta House [Inland Empire]
24667 Sunnymead Boulevard, Moreno Valley

Board Links: Banducci’s Famous Chicago Style Pizza in Lakewood
Chicago Style Pizza?
Is there a ‘real’ Chicago pizza close to LA?

See more articles