I was going down La Cienega this Sunday and saw the much talked about Vito's. I've never been there, so I decided to check it out. They were taking out a cheese pizza out of the oven just as I walked in - perfect. I got a slice. It was good. Got into a little conversation with Vito, he's heard about this board and the internet rumors that he serves the best pizza - but he seems to be pretty confident in that opinion without anyone telling him :).
So anyways, I decided to do a little comparison. Over the next 2 hours I ate a slice of cheese at the following places:
Mulberry St. Pizza (On Beverly Dr. between Wilshire and Olympic)
Frankie & Johnnie's NY Pizza (On San Vicente)
D'Amore's (on Westwood Blvd)
In each slice i considered 1) Crust 2) Cheese and 3) Sauce
Mulberry St. Pizza - It had the most flavor. It was soft and cutable yet still crunchy. Most importantly the crust itself tasted great even without the cheese and the sauce.
A close second here is Vito's, which I would say is neck and neck. I think Mulberry's crust was just _slightly_ thicker and meatier, so this may come down to personal preference.
Vito's. Had the most flavor. Definitely high quality. There wasn't too much of it, but it was just enough for the crust and the sauce and melded perfectly to create just the right taste balance.
Tie: Vito's and Mulberry. Mulberry is more spicy, Vito's is a little more subtle. All other sauces were either tasteless or just very salty compared to these two.
About each place:
Lamonica's in Westoowd was the only truly bad slice that i've had. Horrible, worse than subway bread. I think i'd prefer ketchup to the sauce, and the cheese was overwhelming (huge amount of it), and tasted pretty bad. A disgusting grease bomb it was. The ambience of the place was also the worst. Felt like eating in a public restroom.
Frankie & Johnnie's had the worst bread. Completely tasteless. It had more cheese than any other slice save Lamonica's, but it wasn't too bad. I found it filling without being too overwhelming. The sauce was too big on salt and too little on flavor. Overall not a disaster, but just bland compared to the other slices. Really just an average pizza.
D'Amore's had the worst crust after Lamonica's and F&J's. Very dry. Overall a pretty tasteless piece of pizza. I would probably rank it under F&J's now that I think about it. The sauce was slightly better, so maybe that saves it. It was also considerably lighter than F&J's. This might have been the lightest piece i've had, which may have to do with it's flavorlessness. Their menus actually tout the low fat and carb content in a side by side comparison with some national chains. This place had the best ambiance though. If i had to sit down at a pizza place, it would be either here or the Village Pizzeria.
Damiano's had the worst cheese. Probably fourth after Vito's, Mulberry's and Village Pizzeria. The crust was too tough (not cutable) and not very flavorful. Sauce a little on the salty side, but not too bad. Overall a decent slice, with the cheese however really bringing it down. Nice selection of beers, but other than that, the place feels like a dive bar of the worst kind :).
Village Pizzeria was great overall. The crust was the let down here. It was thin and felt too much like the washed out subway bread. It really tasted differently from the other crusts, so maybe some people would prefer it. Almost like sourdough without the sourness, if that makes any sense. The sauce was definitely heavy on the salt. It was the most "tomatoey" and salty of all. Not to the point of ruining the slice though. Both this and Mulberry's have the strongest tasting sauces, but whereas Mulberry's sauce is spicy and flavorful, this one was mostly just salty. Overall a great slice of pizza though. I would rank the Village Pizzeria 3rd behind Vito's and Mulberry.
Mulberry is the most expensive, but disregarding price I would probably order a full pizza here than any place else. I'm a fan of spicy food, and the slightly thicker, richer crust it has compared to Vito's. Comparing all these slices side by side though you really get to see how different they are. The slice here really tasted significantly better than all other places, save Vito.
Vito's has really good pizza. Pretty bad ambience. They do have both wine and beer, but very poor selections of both. That's their major down side. For the pizza purist, this is probably the place to go. Best combination of crust, cheese and sauce that create a great total taste. Both Mulberry's and Vito's also have the best non-plain cheese pizzas as well.
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