Picking up a pizza at the new Dough Box Pizza & Bread can feel like one of those illicit handoffs that go down in The Fast & the Furious movies. You're driving though an industrial warehouse district just off the 10 freeway in East L.A., looking for an address with the word "OFFICE" in white lettering over the door frame. You park outside, make a phone call and a hefty Chicago-style deep dish pizza is run out to your car from a commissary kitchen inside. Of course, if you ordered delivery instead — which residents within a 5-mile radius can do (that includes downtown, Boyle Heights, Highland Park, South Pasadena, Chinatown and most of Echo Park) — the pizza would simply arrive at your doorstep. But where's the fun in that?
If the concept of Dough Box sounds familiar, that's because founder and East L.A. native Alexandra Gonzalez was one of the original partners in Hollywood Pies, the takeout-or-delivery–only pizza service that first appeared on the scene in 2011 and quickly gained attention for its weighty pies loaded with a thick strata of cheese and a generous layer of red sauce. If you were looking for proper deep dish, there was simply no better option. We even added the place to our list of the 10 Best Pizza Places in Los Angeles last year.
Gonzalez left Hollywood Pies in 2013 and set out to open Dough Box in East L.A., alongside former Bread Lounge pastry chef Tony Hernandez. Together they're offering around a dozen varieties of pizza, with topping combinations named after local streets and boulevards. The Alameda is made with heaps of mozzarella, house-made ricotta, spinach and garlic, while The York comes loaded with mozzarella, pepperoni and crumbled Italian sausage.
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If you're not into deep-dish for some odd reason, there is also a thin-crust option, which is thinner than the half-inch crust on the deep dish but still substantial when compared with New York–style pizza. The most noticeable difference between Hollywood Pies and Dough Box is the flavor of the crust; at Dough Box, it's still crispy and crunchy but with a bit more of a tangy sourdough flavor, which might be credited to Hernandez's bread-making skills.
Prices for deep dish start at $10 for a 6-inch pie, which probably could feed two; and $15 for a 9-inch pie, which will easily feed two, with leftovers. The only caveat might be the requisite patience: Due to their thickness, these pizzas require 30 to 45 minutes to bake, which can mean delivery times of an hour or more.
Currently you can order pizza from Dough Box Tuesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m. In the near future, Gonzalez and Hernandez also hope to introduce artisan bread for both retail and wholesale delivery. In the meantime, you'll know who to dial when the craving for Chicago-style deep dish hits.
Dough Box L.A., 1539 Fishburn Ave., East L.A.; (323) 346-6811, doughboxla.com.