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Daily Slice: Folliero 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.

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[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

For years I've heard of a "great", "OMG, my favorite" pizzeria on Los Angeles' eastern border of Highland Park. Folliero is the quintessential 1960's neighborhood joint. It's hard to remain unbiased when greeted by the owner's family and seeing the modestly priced menu. They make a decent pie, but like many pizzerias that persevered through the onslaught of chains, the fondness for the food is bolstered by nostalgia.

On the 14-inch cheese pizza ($7.50) knots of coagulated mozzarella roll through the watery—albeit—flavorful tomato sauce. It's simple, with just a light note of sweetness. The thin, wet crust flairs out to a puffy edge—more supple then a New York style, but with none of the complexity of a Neapolitan crust. A dark dust of char floats over the otherwise powdery underside, soaking up the loose sauce. The crust has a surprisingly rich chew once you move past the tides of sauce and cheese. Fresh basil is buried under the mozzarella, as are any other toppings ordered.

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Still, the doughy pink center dominates. Diehard fans say it's the perfect amount of cheese, but more reasonable people will say it's way too much. It's the globular kind that slips off each slice and hits the plate with an audible plunk. The cheese is applied so heavily it's more texture then flavor. Try as you might to eat with your hands, you'll eventually resign yourself to the fork and knife.

This is undoubtedly the best pizza in Highland Park and the perfect place to go... if you happen to be in the area.

Folliero Pizza & Italian Food

5566 North Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90042 (map)
323-254-0505; follieros.com

About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie

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