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The Top 5 Pizzerias in Hipsteropolis

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Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge A slice of Tomato Pie - STAR FOREMAN
  • Star Foreman
  • A slice of Tomato Pie

Forget G.W. Bush, pizza is the real uniter. It is an almost universally beloved food, favorite of everyone from kids and their parents to drunk college students to mischievous teenagers and their Mutant Ninja Turtle counterparts. Now watch us turn this noble nosh into the greatest divider: here is our list of the 5 best pizza places in the section of Northeast Los Angeles semi-affectionately known as Hipsteropolis.

Remember, this is not Pizzeria Mozza, these are casual neighborhood joints. And this is not Casa Bianca, because it's old news and they use canned mushrooms. If you don't like it, well, take the discussion to the comments. Turn the page...

5. Garage Pizza: The second-best late night hang out in the strip mall at Sunset and Fountain happens to throw down a pretty mean thin crust pie. Don't go in expecting anything other than what the name implies and you'll leave thrilled and full. The pizzas are well made and they've got some interesting options, so you'll be hard pressed to save room for a stop at the first-best late night hang out in that same strip mall, Tang's Donuts.

4. Nicky D's Wood-Fired Pizza: The sign outside is not the best part of this Silver Lake spot, and that's saying a lot. As fabulously cheesy as the giant picture of owner Nick's face is, his fabulous cheese and wood-burning pizza oven are even better. If you come in on the right day, the crust comes out just charred enough to add a smoky crunch, and the pepperoni are wonderful little lotuses filled with grease and floating on a sea of gooey cheese.

click to enlarge Nicky D is in the house
  • Nicky D is in the house

3. Pizza Buona: This charmingly run-down Echo Park pizza joint traffics in what may be the tastiest of WMD. They drop serious cheese bombs. Pizzas arrive and tables collapse under the weight of the heavy duty crust and the shocking amounts of cheese that those crusts are built to support. Your first slice will be a mess, toppings and cheese sliding off and landing everywhere from your hair to your lap. But you will persevere to find that slowly, as this magma cools off just a bit, it solidifies and leaves you with one delicious heart attack.

2. Folliero's: Though Folliero's has been in Highland Park since 1968, at this moment it looks a lot like gentrification. The spot is clean and pleasant, with whimsical pizza-inspired art decorating the bare brick walls. Do not, however, hold this unexpected interior against them; Folliero's pizza is for real. The sauce is sweet and tangy, and the crust is perfectly sturdy around the edges and flimsy in the middle, in the classic Neapolitan style. Try it with minimal toppings (sausage and garlic, perhaps) so you can really appreciate the quality of the pizza.

click to enlarge Folliero's pizza
  • Folliero's pizza

1. Tomato Pie Pizza Joint: If one were to design the ideal casual but high quality pizzeria from the ground up, the Silver Lake location of Tomato Pie would be it. The tables are outside but tucked away from the street, the staff is totally hip but still friendly, and most importantly the pizza is as good as it gets. Their tomato sauce has just the right bite, the cheese is used liberally but not overdone, and the crust has that extra special something. A specialty pizza as awesome as the Grandma just seals the deal.

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