Daily Slice: The Good Pizza, 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.
Every so often The Good Pizza pops up on so-and-so's list of favorite pizza in Los Angeles. Still, every time I spied their strip mall location, I'd keep driving. But when The Good Pizza's owner, Ferdinando de Stefano (or just Nando), was spotted chowing down at Olio with Peppe Miele, I knew I finally had to check it out.
The Margherita ($2.25), with its outstanding crushed tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil, was my favorite slice. The sauce is delicately sweet, light on the herbs, and full of acidic tomato pulp. The islands of sauce on each slice are pure pleasure to bite into, making the areas of just cheese bland and boring. Therein lies the problem: there is just not enough sauce. After experiencing a few nearly sauceless slices, I now assess the pizza on display and request the sauciest one.
The Pesto Pizza Bianca ($2.25), with homemade pesto sauce, dollops of ricotta and a bubbly layer of mozzarella cheese, is a house favorite. The generous ricotta adds tons of creaminess, but very little flavor. The pesto is basil-y, but lacks pungent olive oil, sharp garlic, salty Parmesan, and nutty pine nuts. Without a hardy dosing from the Parmesan shaker, this slice is a bland trip from tip to end.
The crust is reliably good, with more crisp then chew, and a ring of char along the edge from reheating the slice. The underside sports brown speckles that give just enough flavor to the mild dough.
Their website adamantly asserts that "The Good Pizza has its own style. It is not comparable to the so-called New York-style pizza. The Good Pizza is simply UNIQUE*." Um, the so-called New York-style?! I can understand their frustration when Angelenos classifying this as NY-style, but can they understand my frustration when they declare this is a "superb Neapolitan-style pizza"? I think we can all agree that these 18" deck oven baked pies are not Neapolitan-style either. But then again, owner Nando was born and raised in Naples... so let's just agree to disagree.
* Actually, it tastes similar to New Jersey inspired Vito's Pizza. Around these parts, that's a compliment!
The Good Pizza7929 Emerson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045 (map)