Daily Slice: All'angolo, Los Angeles
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
I am a cheese-a-holic, and I'm not ashamed of it. From the Pizzarosa at Palermo to the Bianca at Mozza—if it's loaded with cheese I will order it. Frequently I find white pizzas to be a bland, anemic waste of a meal—subpar crusts glazed with saltless mozzarella and a trace of Parmesan. But the Quattro Formaggi ($9 for the 10") at All'angolo comes dangerously close to being a full on cheese bomb. Thick layers of creamy mozzarella, Parmigiano and fontina are dotted with gorgonzola and puddles of ivory brie. Crumbling walls of brie rind peek through oozing cheese on this dizzying Pollock-like canvas. The layers of flavor are phenomenal, each bite a bold new blend of cheeses—if you're keeping count, yes there are five on this four cheese pizza.
Some might think the overabundance of cheese compensates for an underwhelming crust. It's true that the crust doesn't bring much to this party, but in this case the awesomeness of the topping obliterates the concern over crust quality.
The Margherita ($8 for the 10") is where the underwhelming crust becomes apparent. Though this is likely the best Margherita pizza in the area, it pales in comparison to others throughout the city. The sauce is mediocre, a mouthful of crushed boiled tomatoes with little hint of garlic or herbs. The monosyllabic mozzarella is applied in heavy-handed chunks (and not in the good way like on the Quattro Formaggi)—the slices weep long wet tendrils of cheese. At least the fresh ribbons of basil are floral and sweet.
But I'm not to saying this crust is bad. It's soft, almost flavorless, with huge bubbles rising like hot air balloons along the ridge and speckled char on the underside from the deck oven. It just doesn't taste like much of anything, a quality that complements the powerful Quattro Formaggi, but not the Margherita.
I can't recommend traveling out of your way specifically for All'Angolo's pizza. The chef's talents are most evident in the bowls of house made pastas (all under $10!). But the Quattro Formaggi pizza is a decadent accompaniment to their delicately fried calamari, leafy green salads, bowls of al dente pasta, a bottle of BYOB wine and a small group of your favorite friends.