For years, I and others have trekked all the way out to Moreno Valley to The Chicago Pasta House if e wanted a true Chicago-style seep dish or stuffed crust pizza. Although still worthy of the drive, I have been on a quest to find something closer to LA and OC, until now without success.
Sunday night my wife and I ventured out to the north Orange County city of Placentia to a small, hole-in-the-wall place called Tony's Little Italy Pizza. This is the prototype of a Chicago neighborhood pizzeria...in a small, definately not upscale strip mall, surrounded by a liquor store and a lounge, small storefront, no air conditioning and only 3 small tables inside. THe place has been there for over 20 years and is family run.
Now for the pizza. We ordered a thin crust "Hawaiian" (Can Bacon and Pineapple -- gotta please the wife I guess) and a stuffed crust sausage. The thin crust was not all that thin, with a well done crust and loaded with cheese and the toppings. While I found it tasty, i was admittedly disappointed, as it was cut in wedges (blasphemy!) and the crust was pretty tough. After a slice or two, we put it aside as pizza #2 arrived.
They nailed it! Most reminiscent of GIno's East with the crumbled sausage, thick sauce (but no yucky big tomato chunks) and a load of melted mozzarella on a nicely done crust with perhaps a hint of cornmeal. The crust was wonderful and blended perfectly with the cheese, sauce and toppings.
As for the the thin crust, they told me next time to order the "extra-thin" crust version (not on the menu) and they cut that in squares. Nice people, but the place is almost exclusively delivery and carry-out. I did tell them I was about to let out the secret and make 'em famous. By the way, they also have italian beef on the menu, which I hope to try next time.
Tony's Little Italy Pizza
1851 North Kraemer Blvd (at Bastanchury)