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The best Neopolitan pizza I've ever had recently opened in Torrance - La Bella Napoli. I've tried many of the top rated places in L.A. & NYC, plus a couple dozen in Italy, and this is better than all of them. Mozza wishes it tasted like this! And you get a 16" pie for about the same as Mozza's tiny one person pizza, plus more sauce, cheese, and toppings.
The two owners/chefs are from Naples Italy, using 100+ year old family recipes, and recently moved here to follow their dream. A 3rd chef moved here from Italy 5 years ago and has worked at several other highly rated Italian restaurants in Socal (one was rated the best pizza in America by Zagat - I've had it and it doesn't compare).
Everyone who works there speaks Italian, as do many patrons (who knew so many 1st & 2nd generation Italians live in the South Bay?!). Yet they treat us non-Italians like family too! FYI - if one of the owners answers the phone it can be comical trying to follow their charming Italian version of English when ordering, so they may pass the phone to one of the other people working.
More great stuff - they make their own mozzarella cheese on-site, pasta too, and of course their dough and amazing tomato sauce, bringing over the best of every ingredient they can from Italy, cutting no corners. There's not a liquor license so bring your own wine or beer with no corkage fee.
Please be aware it's a very little place in a non-descript older strip center near Palos Verdes and very casual (for now plastic dinnerware & paper plates). So call ahead to make sure there are open tables. Yet despite its informalities and small dining area, the pizza, pastas/Italian dishes, and desserts are real deal Naples gourmet!
How great is it? After first seeing 5 Star reviews on Yelp, I've dined there 12 times in less than 5 weeks! Mostly the Margherita Pizza (which I highly recommend you try first), and a couple pastas too. I love their homemade tomato sauce so I ask for a little extra with corresponding pastas, but you can decide what works best for you. The chefs and staff will sincerely try to oblige any reasonable request, and I have yet to have one turned down.
Btw, this has only been their soft opening with a limited menu, as they test things out. Their grand opening is about a month away. However, if it's this great in the trial phase I can't imagine how amazing it will be when they are ready for a full menu!
As a former managing partner of a highly rated fine dining restaurant I know food - and La Bella Napoli is a true gem. Since it's small it can get very busy during prime times, so be patient (I often order by phone then dine in, or choose to go during less busy times).
When you call or arrive tell them Andrew sent you, and that I promised the pizza will be extraordinary!
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