You'd think pizza would be something we could all get behind, right? No controversy around this one — just mozzarella and tomato sauce and a good crust.

Right. In 2012, food is the thing to argue about, and last week's annual Summer Restaurant Issue, which just happened to focus on pizza, was no exception. Readers were wound up about our adoration of the pizza at Mozza. They were incensed about the pies that made our Top 10 list. One reader even accused us of taking kickbacks! For all the gloriously overwrought feedback, just keep reading …

Our package kicked off with Besha Rodell's story about L.A.'s “pizza moment” (“Life of Pie”). In response, Coldwarice snipes, “I'm just glad pizza is now safe for people in certain tax brackets.

Andrehp42 has a more specific complaint. “Mozza blows. Eight inches of pizza surrounded by a mountain range of dough? Most overrated pizza ever. I make better pizza in my home oven with ingredients from Trader Joe's!” Hmm, really?

As for Taggart, he disagrees with our praise for Sotto (“The Best Pizza in Los Angeles,” by Garrett Snyder). “Like the sheep we are, we tried Sotto tonight,” he writes. “I lived in NY for 25 years, so I've had my fair share of pizza. I've also been to Mozza many times, and the zucchini flower/burrata pie may be the best pizza I've had. So, when L.A. Weekly puts that at No. 2 under Sotto, we tried Sotto.

“It's not light, to start with. It's overcooked on the outside and gooey on the inside — how do you do that at 800 degrees? The tomatoes are decent, but there's no cheese. I've eaten pizza in Italy, too, and it wasn't that mean. I've had better pizza in Boston, and that's saying something.

Dcae26 adds, “I don't know why you included 800 Degrees on this list. Milo and Olive is amazing; so is Pizzeria Mozza. I haven't tried any of the other ones on this list, but I will. I just gotta say 800 Degrees is nothing but an assembly-line pizza place. Cool concept, but the pizza sucks.”

Jnason concurs. “Just went to 800 degrees last night. I was a bit disappointed, honestly. The pizza was so soggy. Also, there was an overwhelming salty flavor that seemed like it was from the dough. But maybe it was sauce or toppings? The staff looked completely wiped out at 9:30 or 10 p.m. Not much help — indifferent to the guests — not rude — just seemed burned out, and there wasn't a line when I was there.

I love the idea of this place. I'll probably go back to give it a second chance sometime, because I thought I would enjoy it. But seemed like an off time of day.

Micahrzehnder was annoyed by Snyder's list of the top five slices in town (“A Slice Is Nice”). “Absolutely hysterical. I don't get it: The No. 1 picks always seem to be the worst ones on these lists. Vito's is pretty good, but it basically is just OK. They fail to have the proper New York crispiness. It's all flat/soggy in the middle, and only slightly crisp toward the edges. If that really is the best slice in LA, then that means the others must all really suck, and L.A. is a truly sad place for pizza.

“I've found over and over that the No. 1 place on these lists is the worst on the list. It's completely ridiculous, and absolutely within my rights to question whether these guys take kickbacks for the No. 1 spot, based on my experiences.” Well, Micahrzehnder, we'd respond to your question, but we're too busy laughing hysterically. (Oh, and for those of you wanting to send us envelopes of cash, see our address below.)

The one story in our special issue that drew no complaints was Amy Scattergood's tale of driving around with a Domino's delivery man (“Deliverance”). “What a great story! Thanks for your thorough investigative research, attention to perspective and mostly — humor,” writes Rayoung2. “I haven't ordered delivery pizza in a year. I'm rethinking that now.

“I had the same reaction,” Bigmouth agrees. “Great story.”

The KDAY Story

Ben Westhoff's feature story about the rise of an independent radio station specializing in (wait for it!) gangsta rap oldies earned raves (“Gangsta Rap Oldies Station,” Aug. 3).

Bewford Willis writes, “Cool writeup on KDAY. I grew up listening to KDAY and KGFJ. My only disappointment is that, long before gangsta rap took ownership of the airwaves, KDAY played a lot of hip-hop born outside of L.A. I miss those days.

“Your article provided much depth about KDAY. Yes, I was one of those back in the day with a Jheri curl, posted up at World on Wheels. So now, to get my dose of hip-hop, I have to listen to a station in Canada! We-Funk Isn't that sad considering that I live in the so-called Entertainment Capitol of the World? But I digress. Your article was cool and in my opinion, KDAY shouldn't only be linked to 'gangsta' hip-hop because KDAY was much larger than that for me.”

LWKY writes, “I only listen to two stations: 94.7 the Wave and KDAY. One of the biggest reasons KDAY is so big right now is that there's no other true hip-hop radio station in L.A. I remember 10 years ago Power 106 being the station that, if you weren't listening to it, you weren't down, you weren't cool. KDAY was more low-key at that time.

“Today Power 106 has gone through a major identity crisis, and the Beat has turned into an R&B station, making room for KDAY. But by staying true to what they do, the station has emerged as a top L.A. favorite. I love KDAY. I want to work for KDAY.

Downtown Blues

Readers were still talking last week about Hillel Aron's report on falling real estate prices downtown (“Downtown L.A. Underwater,” July 27).

Barry Johnson writes, “Why is anybody surprised by this? These so-called condos and lofts are nothing more than byproducts of quasi-developers, who took old dilapidated buildings and reconditioned warehouses and, with a minimal amount of investment and great marketing propaganda from the real estate industry, expected to reap large profits at the expense of inexperienced buyers. Well, they've exceeded the small percentage of buyers who are willing to spend as much as a half-million for some warehouse space in the so-called 'Arts District.' Really? Just show someone from out of town the area and tell them these buildings are selling spaces for $300,000 to $500,000, and watch them shake their head and say, 'Man, those Southern California people are crazy!' ”

Christobalito1 is not impressed. “Typical blah, blah, blah anti-development L.A. Weekly article. Full of propaganda, weakly researched and commented on by the same 20 anti-development posters. I love downtown and am so happy I bought here. My property is more than holding its own in the same neighborhood that this reporter is referencing. Lazy, lazy journalism, at best.”

Mike True adds, “Too many down payments, and the ability to generate revenue from those down payments, have been lost forever because buyers did not understand market fundamentals. New construction sold by a developer is always overpriced on a per-square-foot basis. It's what developers do.

Downtown buyers could have bought 1930s to 1960s construction from a resident buyer in many Westside areas during the bubble and paid less than buying a downtown loft newly renovated by a developer. The buyer's wrong choice is the root of the problem.


Our Aug. 3 news story incorrectly described the city attorney's position as to the city's billboard database (“Scholar Sues Over an Old L.A. Secret”). The city contends that it has repeatedly offered Lisa Sedano the complete database, as it exists in its current, draft form, with no caveats — provided she pay $591.44 to cover the costs of producing the records. It also has offered to provide owner identities and permit numbers in every case where such information exists. The L.A. Weekly regrets the error.

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