There was an Eater LA profile on Monday about a new Chicago Pizza place - delivery or pick-up only - called Hollywood Pies, so this past Friday I figured I'd give them a try.
I was born and raised in Chicago, and love deep dish Chicago style pizza. I had gotten used to the fact that there is no real Chicago pizza to be found in LA - I've had Masa, I've had Tony's Little Italy, they're fine but they're not quite 'it". I was fine mail-ordering some Lou Malnati's every so often. But I'm always game to try something claming to be authentic Chicago pie.
I ordered a large sausage and a small spinach, and about an hour later I picked them up from their place, which as it turns out is right across from the Largo on La Cienega. It was formerly the Acapulco on La Cienega. I called them up again and they came out with my pizzas. It felt just a little bit like a drug deal, but then proper Chicago pizza is kind of a drug, right?
I gotta say, this is good, authentic Chicago pizza. I think they got it just about perfect. To start with, it's heavy. I mean, it has a proper heft the way a real deep dish pizza should. The crust is very nice, not too buttery or greasy, no corn meal on the bottom but they laid down a little netting mat under each pizza to keep it from unifying with the box. The back crust is nicely crispy and flavorful, the bottom crust is not too thick or doughy. Just about perfect.
There is then a nice pully layer of mozzarella on top of the crust, then the toppings, then the tomatoes and spices. For the sausage, it was broken up into smallish bits with good spice and flavor, some fennel seeds in there, and mixed with ricotta. It added a nice smoothness and richness to the overall flavor. The spinach was sauteed with some garlic and chopped fine.
The tomatoes on top were especially good, nicely garlicky and with a great smack of oregano that really helped to make the taste that much more authentic. Then a layer of parmesan on top of the tomatoes.
I managed three pieces before getting very full - again, it's nice and dense - and my wife, who is from LA but a Chicago pizza convert from our visits there, enjoyed it as well.
I'm now convinced that proper Chicago deep dish pizza exists in Los Angeles. And they're in my neighborhood! I grew up eating at Malnati's, Giordano's, Carmen's and Due. Lately when I go home we've been going to this place Delisi's which was truly amazing, though they closed recently. Hollywood Pies ranks right up there with my favorites from Chicago.
2063 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107