The Westside is shaking up L.A.’s cheese-and-dough game with fresh ideas from near and far
By Angela Matano
Los Angeles may not have the pizza tradition that New York and Chicago do, but what we lack in bonafides we make up for in innovation. From healthy eating to farmers market fresh, choose the pizza experience your heart desires among these exciting new Westside pizza joints.
Sampa’s Gourmet Pizza Co.
Surprising in lots of ways, Sampa’s pizza champions a unique confluence of Italian flavors by way of Brazil. Who knew that Sao Paolo even had a history of Italian cuisine? Other surprises come via the unique ingredients peppering the menu. Try the Rio de Janeiro — a mashup of tomato sauce, oregano and mozzarella with hearts of palm and catupiry, a sort of Brazilian cream cheese. Also on hand: dessert pizzas. Indulge in a banana flambé with cinnamon and sugar, or the Romeo & Juliet with guava paste. Now that’s amore!
534 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey | (310) 827-4500 sampaspizza.com
There aren’t many pizza places that cite Tokyo as an inspiration, but Pblc Trde isn’t looking to be like every other place. Chef Eduardo Salcedo brought his fermented starter all the way from Japan to Santa Monica in order to replicate the leopard crust he fell in love with. Go for the classic Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil, or take a chance on something unusual like the Huitlacoche, a combination of mascarpone de salsa verde, queso Oaxaca, queso fresco and pickled chilis.
2917 Main St., Santa Monica (310) 399-0805 | pblctrde.la
Ingredients rule the roost at this new pizza parlor from the folks behind Milo + Olive. Locally sourced meat, organic flour and produce, and non-GMO mozzarella let the simple flavors shout for themselves. And they do! Tangy, spicy, juicy, crispy, spicy, salty — believe me, you will get all the feels from your slice. The SRO stands for standing room only, as the tiny spot only sports a few barstools, the focus being on take-out and delivery. Don’t miss out on dessert; the phenomenal chocolate chip cookie and ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery promise to finish off your meal in full court decadence.
826 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica (310) 392-0706 | milosro.com
For lots of Angelenos, pizza represents one of the deadly sins. Whether or not your dietary restrictions skew toward dairy or gluten, the basic mix of dough and cheese can scare people off. Luckily, Double Zero steps into the breach with plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free pies that come completely guilt free and bursting with health. The surprisingly good “cheese” is cashew-based, fluffy and zesty with a consistency reminiscent of ricotta. The crust for the pie can be had in a regular or gluten-free version, depending on your proclivities. Eat and be merry, without any regrets.
1700 Lincoln Blvd., Venice | (424) 280-4672 matthewkenneycuisine.com
Lately the Promenade’s array of eateries is on the upswing. The Gallery Food Hall serves up quite a few delicious options, from STRFSH to Azule Taqueria and, most importantly, Paperboy. Not your Nona’s pizzeria, Paperboy prides itself on its punk-rock aesthetic. The thin-crust pies come with a wide variety of toppings, dripping with an even wider variety of cheeses. A brand-new menu includes classigs like margherita or Italian sausage as well as an adventurous pie featuring clams with garlic, lemon, cream, fresh herbs and, bonito flakes, and a ‘Shroom and Leek’ with herb mushrooms, creamed leeks, taleggio, parmesan, truffle oil. If that’s not enough to fill your belly, feast on unconventional sides such as Fried Broccoli and Cauliflower or Dough Scraps & Fundido.
1315 Third St. Promenade, Santa Monica | (310) 319-6211 paperboypizza.com
Gadzooks! With the launch of a Sunday service pizza night every week, Little Prince just turned their little spot into a potentially religious experience. Charming and low-key, this sweet spot serves up wood-fired pies that celebrate classic Italian flavors like Burrata, anchovies and smoked ricotta, while also venturing into the rougher California terrain of nettles, Hope Ranch mussels and pickled chili. Relax and imbibe a cocktail; the Desert Fox, a mix of sage, apricot, vodka, champagne vinegar and cava, packs a wallop.
2424 Main St., Santa Monica | (310) 356-0725 | littleprince.la