Daily Slice: Cafe Angelino, Los Angeles

Daily Slice

A different slice profiled each day.

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]

When I come across Angelinos who yearn for authentic* Italian pizza, they often name Cafe Angelino as their favorite. Authentic, in this case, does not denote doughy, wood-fired Neapolitan pies. Cafe Angelino serves a thin crisp-crusted pizza reminiscent of any corner cafe from any region of Italy.

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The small dining room, just off high-end Robertson Blvd (catty-corner from Pizzeria Il Finco), offers a straightforward red sauce Italian menu. The Margherita ($10.75) seems the right place to start. The thin crust bubbles and chars during its trip into the Bakers Pride deck oven. A mild base for the pulpy raw tomato sauce, strewn with small seeds and wayward herbs. Sliced into large quarters, the center quickly sogs-up under the globs of aged mozzarella. This is a knife and fork affair. The salt from the cheese is overwhelming; I almost gave up after the first pie.

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Mentally setting aside the salt assault, I ventured into the cheeseless section of the pizza menu. The sauce—so bright and summer sweet—deserves to be the forward flavor of the pie. The Puttanesca ($10.75) with tomato sauce, olives, capers and oregano strikes an ideal balance of sweet and salty brine. Without the cheese, the pizza remains light from crust to tip and showcases the simplicity of this everyman meal.

*This is my least favorite descriptive term. Ever.

Cafe Angelino

8735 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (map) 310-246-1177; cafeangelino.com