Monday, February 25, 2008

The BEST Pizza in L.A.

I really really love Pizza. Good pizza, that is. When we went to New York a couple of years ago, I think I came to appreciate this humble little pie a lot more. Pizza has a history in New York. The coal ovens they bake them in are 100 years old, the recipe hasn't changed and the same family still makes it, you know? People are loyal to it. Even native New Yorkers will wait in line hours for it. They defend their favorite pizza with a vengeance. And they have every right to - boy is it good. Back here in L.A. I had never found a pizza that I could call a favorite. Until now. And boy am I HAPPY! It is as if a lifelong quest has finally been realized (I know, it's really touching.)

A few weeks ago, Rich and I went to Dino's Pizza in Burbank. Located on the corner of Hollywood Way and Burbank Blvd. is a nondescript landmark I had just driven by many times and vowed I would try someday. It shares its parking lot (and sign) with Midas Tires. Which probably qualifies it as an official dive. If you ask me, it's all part of its charm. But, when you get out of your car and the amazing smell hits you, you don't care where you are. You just know you are in for some mighty fine pizza. I immediately liked the unpretentious style of the place. You walk in, order at the counter, then go to the "dining room" (a random addition that looks like it used to be part of the outside). They give you some yummy fresh popcorn (free) to nibble on - topped with butter, parmesan cheese and herbs. And the prices at Dino's are unbelievable. Their extra large pizza is $11.99, and their small antipasto salad (not so small - easily serves 3-4) is only $3.50. Where else could you eat out for that cheap? Taco Bell would be more. And it's not even food.

Caution: Supersizing this photo may cause drooling.
Dino's pizza can be best described as authentic. Honest. A good light and chewy crust (you can taste the olive oil) with quality toppings. I mean, I like California Pizza Kitchen-type pizza, but let's be honest - that's foo-foo pizza. Thai Chicken and cilantro are not bonafide pizza toppings, OK? I want great Italian sausage, a tasty sauce and flavorful mozzarella cheese. Dino's is the real deal. It was the kind of experience that after my first bite, I immediately began planning when I could come back to Dino's again. (thankfully Rich took me back last Friday.)

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