My first encounter with L.A. pizza after moving here from Brooklyn in 1981 was Damiano�s Mr. Pizza (412 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., 323-658-7611). It tasted so much like the real thing that I immediately proclaimed, �I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!� I have done just that on more than one occasion and to this day am wary of moving into any neighborhood where I cannot get this pizza delivered to my door, because it�s that important. Damiano�s crust is thin and chewy, the cheese is drool-worthy. Its small calzones are about the size of slightly flattened footballs and go nicely with any of the approximately 100 types of bottled beer available � and Damiano�s is one of the few restaurants to stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Situated in the core of the Jewish community on Fairfax Avenue, the present Damiano�s opened in 1972, the third and only remaining pizzeria founded by Dominic Albanese, whose real name is Damiano. The Damiano family originally hails from the Big Apple, which may explain why this Los Angeles outpost comes so close to replicating the authentic New York�style pizza. Damiano�s scoffs at gimmicks and slogans such as, �Thirty minutes or it�s free.� Pizza this sumptuous sometimes takes awhile longer, but it�s totally worth the wait.

LA Weekly