Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
So I'm driving mumsy and Colby Cheese towards the 5 South on-ramp to go to Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock when my intuition tells me to take the 5 North instead. "Hey! I know a really good pizza place!" I exclaim. I tell them about Antonio's Pizzeria on Ventura Blvd. which I went to, after a zillion year hiatus, a few months ago with Adorable Gourmet H and Mr. Taste of Thai. But intuition sometimes loses when two other people in the car are hungry and they think that it will be quicker at Casa Bianca. Wrong!
The first time that I went to Antonio's was back in 1981. I went with some girlfriends to Josephina's pizza parlor across the street and there was an hour and a half wait (some of you may remember Josephina's in it's heyday.) We didn't feel like waiting that long so we went to the place across the street, Antonio's, which was just as popular but it had three huge rooms so the wait was only a half hour.
I really don't remember what I ate that night or even if the food was very good but fastfoward to a Friday night not too long ago after a improv showing of Night of the Living Dead when three hungry theater goers are trying to decide where to eat on Ventura and I see the flashing neon lights of Antonio's and I say, "Well, that place used to be popular and it's still open so it must be good" (totally ignoring the McDonald's factor). We decide to check it out.
Antonio's is now down to one small room and no wait but it seems like it is still popular. AGH and I share a bell pepper, mushroom, and garlic pizza and man, is it good! Hm, no wonder this place is still in business. But how come more people don't know about the fabulous pizza?
Ok, so back to Casa Bianca Pizza Pie. So after our over an hour wait during which I start remembering even more pizza places that we could have gone to, we finally get a table and order. I get the "Deluxe" which has their "famous" sausage, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Mumsy gets a sausage with the "zesty" olives, and Colby Cheese gets a plain sausage.
Now here's the thing about Casa Bianca Pizza Pie: about 60% of the people think it's the best pizza in LA and the other 40% say, "Fahgeddaboudit!" I used to be in the former group but now I'm in the latter. What most people object to is the use of canned mushrooms. That doesn't bother me so much because it's so retro and it takes me way back to when I was a young'un. What bothered me was the crust. I guess that I've been eating exceptionally good crust lately because I simply hated Casa Bianca's. It was dry and tasted like unsalted crackers in some parts yet was overly fermented in other parts (problems with the yeast?) Also, the crust was too dense and very tough which means that it was overworked. The toppings tasted very good but the bad crust dominated.
Here are some really good pizza places:
Marino - 6001 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood (I haven't been here yet, we were going to go on Sunday night but they are closed on Sundays. Maestro says this is the best pizza in the city and I don't doubt it since he is usually right about food.)
Antonio's Pizzeria - 13619 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks
Michelangelo Pizzeria - 1637 Silver Lake Blvd. in Silver Lake (Excellent crust! If you like very thin crispy crust this pizza is for you!)
Village Pizzeria - 131 N. Larchmont in Larchmont Village (We went here instead of Marino. Probably not as good as pizzas listed above but I like it better than Casa Bianca)
Village Pizzeria's Village Special pizza sans anchovies: