Dough, cheese, sauce and high heat.
You really can’t lose with that combination.
But you can certainly improve upon it, and we know five new restaurants that are doing just that.
We’ve broken each down by style, scene and accessibility, because not every pizza craving is made equal.
Even if the effect — utter and complete satisfaction — almost always is.
The pie: They say Neapolitan, but it skews more wood-fired rustic, like you’ll see on a lot of bistro appetizer menus these days. It can be a little loose in the center, which isn’t a bad thing — but you’ll have to a fork and knife it. Get the Diavola for its smoky cheese and garlicky, lean salami.
The scene: You’ll need the fork and knife for appearances, too: it’s the nicest resto in the neighborhood.
Accessibility: Do you know someone? Because you’ll need to know someone to score a res on the weekends.
Luchini Pizzeria and Bar
The pie: NYC and Sicilian. If you don’t like a thick square slice, the standard thin crust is a can’t lose. But it’s hard to find a good bready slice in L.A. (thanks, gluten), and if that’s what you want, look no further.
The scene: Part bar, part standard parlor, this is where you come when you want a quick bite or a greasy slice to blot out the booze. And they have a full bar. You can start the night here, end the night here, or pop in for lunch.
Accessibility: You wearing clothes? Good. Step right up.
The pie: Neo-Neapolitan. LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold heralded their margherita as the best this side of Naples. We haven’t been to Naples, but even the vegan pie is remarkable here — that’s because the fermented dough has tons of flavor despite being paper-thin, the cheese is flown in from Italy, and the rest of the ingredients are day-of fresh.
The scene: Casual and easy, but these guys know their wine and pour lesser-known varietals.
Accessibility: You can make a res or wait for a bit in the very predictable line.
The pie: Neapolitan. It’s easy to overlook the pizza at The Ponte because everything else is so appealing. But that squash blossom ‘za with the anchovy butter will make you think twice about that.
The scene: Super stylish, and home to one of L.A.’s best patios (especially for summer).
Accessibility: It’s a big space, but also gets busy. That being said, you can probably find a spot at the bar any night. Regardless of where you sit, you’ll want a Negroni and something from the wine list.
The pie: Rustic. The pizza is cooked at over 800 degrees, and comes out piping hot moments after you’ve ordered. The pepperoni is a must get.
The scene: It’s like an adult pizza parlor. The wine list is approachable in both price and breadth. Great place for a friendly group dinner.
Accessibility: It’s small and first-come, first-served. It’s also highly worth the wait.