Been a long time since I wrote on this topic (and boy, has Chowhound changed!). Wrote this up last night for another forum and thought I'd share here. All inputs, additions, critiques welcome.
Tony’s Little Italy – Placentia: Stuffed crust that holds up to the best in Chicago. 30+ years. Very good “extra-thin” also.
Chicago Pasta House – Moreno Valley: Owned by on original employee of Giordano’s. So good and been there 30+ years
Casa Bianca – Eagle Rock: One of LA’s quintessential pizza places, like going back in time. Great thin crust pizza
Rosati’s – Temecula and Encinitas (full restaurants), La Quinta (limited seating): Simply love the vibe at the Temecula location as well as the food. Had the best thin crust pizza I have had in CA in a LONG time at the La Quinta location this summer.
Other good places (some with limited personal experience)
Masa – Echo Park: Very popular restaurant/bakery/bar/café, pizza comes from former Gino’s East employees
Hollywood Pies – LA: Finally settled on a location after operating fly-by-night for awhile
Romano’s – Riverside (multiple locations): Need to go back for more
Rance’s – Costa Mesa
Cruisers – Newport Beach: Chicago-style pizza and food on the Balboa Peninsula? Awesome combination!
Little Toni’s – North Hollywood: A holdover from my late 80s time in the SFV. Very good thin crust pizza
Selma’s – Rancho Santa Margarita (and other OC locations) – the “full Chicago-style” does it pretty well
Lefty’s - San Diego (2 locations): great Chicago-style place for our friends down south
Need to try
5000 Pies – Long Beach (stuffed)
Dough Box – LA (El Sereno) (deep dish)
Pizza Jones – LA (Boyle Heights) (thin)
Gone but not forgotten
Giorgio’s of Chicago – Laguna Niguel
Luke’s – Aliso Viejo
Chicago Chicago – Irvine
Gino’s East – Manhattan Beach
Giordano’s – Laguna Hills