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Best Warehouse Pizza: Eatalian Cafe

Eatalian Cafe's Speciale pizza
Eatalian Cafe's Speciale pizza
A. Froug

Keep chewing. Close your eyes and the scene is clear: You're eating pizza in Bologna, a softly lit neighborhood haunt, where in the corner rests a majestic oven built from the soil of Mount Vesuvius. Open your eyes and the illusion disappears: You're eating at Eatalian Cafe, in a cavernous warehouse in Gardena, white walls and steel mozzarella cheese machines reflecting light back and forth, where the pizza-making operation stands next to an espresso kiosk, a gelato bar and a display case stacked with golden, buttery, baked goods.

Who could expect that Antonio, a serious Italian pizzaiolo veteran of Emilia-Romagna, would choose this expansive space to bake pies such as the Speciale? For knife, fork and teeth alike to cut so effortlessly through the dough, a soft, melting, tender thing. For the brightness of the cherry tomatoes and basil to play so elegantly against the rich mozzarella. For the crust to be just done, just brown, exhibiting just a few spots of black, a cut above the jet-black pizza pies coming from the ovens of confused neophytes. So keep those eyes wide open and pay attention: This industrial behemoth is serving the most effortlessly Italian pizzas in the city.

Gelato at Eatalian Cafe
Gelato at Eatalian Cafe
A. Froug

Our Best of L.A. issue is now out; this is one of over 400 pieces in this year's issue. Check it out.

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