Pedone's - 1501 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach. Crust, 3/8 inch thick, is very dense, dry, and tastes like pre-fab Betty Crocker biscuit dough. The sauce is a thick all-purpose marinara type which most likely is used in all their pasta dishes - no oregano or basil flavor. Good thing we asked for extra-extra sauce. All the pizzas that went by us to other tables looked like all cheese, no sauce. In years gone by, the owner, originally from New Jersey, was always right there keeping an eye on things. They once had the best spicy, crispy Buffalo chicken wings in greater L.A. The pizza used to be on my list of top three in the L.A. area. But the owner must have sold out or retired because the surfers have taken over behind the counter and in the kitchen. Unbearably noisy when crowded. Rating: a 4 -- not worth a trip from anywhere.
D'Amore's Pizza Connection, 15928 Ventura Blvd, Encino. All I can say is "Wow!" We found another good one. Not too heavy on the cheese. Good balance between cheese and sauce. And the crust is spectacular - crispy, though not as dry and floury as the traditional New York style; only about 1/2 inch rim around the edge and very little edge puffiness. The crust bottom is coated with fine dry cornmeal; well browned, but not charred. The crust is about 1/4 inch thick, and you can pick up a slice and fold it properly for very pleasurable scarfing. I was trying hard to find something wrong with this pie but the only thing I can come up with is that the sauce can be just a trace more sweet - really a nit. They claim to have their water shipped in from Boston, and the pie is described as Boston style. IÕm stumped as to just what that means. Nevertheless, this pie rates a solid 9 out of 10, just slightly below Patsy D'Amore's in Farmers Market, which has no connection to this place. Their two other Valley branches we haven't tried yet: 7137 Winnetka Ave, and 12910 Magnolia Blvd.