Confessions of a Pizza Snob

I’ve now lived in Glendale 25 years, and as of May it will be 30 years in California. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and if you know anything about the people of New Jersey (excluding exaggerated reality TV shows) it is that we take our food, especially pizza, very seriously. The crust should be thin and have some crispness to it. Toppings consist of any or a combination of the following: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green pepper, onion. PERIOD. The mere mention of Hawaiian pineapple pizza triggers my gag reflex. Fruit has no place on or near a respectable pizza. The addition of “gourmet” meats such as chicken or ham is not at all repulsive, but if you want chicken or ham and cheese on bread, go eat a sandwich. A fancy-schmancy 10″ circle of baked dough with toppings is called an appetizer. Real pizza should yield 6-8 respectable slices, and still leave room for a side of pasta and/or salad.

Over these past 30 years, I have been on the hunt for good California pizza, and I must confess it has been a herculean quest. Most often my disappointment lies with the crust. I’ve been told the “problem” is the water. I’m not sure if there are too many or not enough minerals in Southern California water, nonetheless, I’ve tolerated soft, doughy pizza crust, while not unpalatable, simply isn’t the pizza I long for.

Now the good news. It’s taken me almost three decades to find, but good pizza does exist in our area. I wish my #1 choice was closer, but through sheer tenacity and optimism, my #3 and #4 picks are within five minutes from home. I generally prefer to eat at the establishment because fresh out-of-the-oven pizza is always better than one that has to be reheated.

1. North End Pizzeria – Burbank

2. Vito’s – West Hollywood

3. Giuseppe’s – Montrose

4. Rocky’s – Glendale * Rocky’s Gourmet Pizza

* I am acknowledging Rocky’s, located across from Verdugo Park on Canada Blvd., for its excellent taste even though its crust is the soft variety, and it’s really close to home.



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