you want a pizza this?

You can’t tell a New Yorker about pizza. Because New Yorkers know pizza better than anyone (spoken like a born and bredimage New Yorker, I know). If asked what the one thing I miss about living in New York is, the answer would have to be the pizza. You can throw a dart and hit a pizza place (that you can walk to) selling slices, and the pizza will always be great. Thin crust (not supermodel-pizza thin, just regular thin), perfect combo of sauce with mozz, perfectly foldable for walking purposes (cue Stayin’ Alive from opening scene of Saturday Night Fever).

In LA, pizza is a different story. It’s not easy to find the real stuff we grew up on. Pizza here, like almost everything in LA, is a big production. There are tons of gourmet-wired, wood-fired, designer-inspired choices, none of which, in my mind, is real pizza.

For example, even though I am a pizza purist, I’ll agree that legitimate toppings include (in no particular order) green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni (or sausage or meatball). What you can’t sell me on is believing that any of the following choices counts as a topping that any self-respecting pizza would wear: smoked salmon (seriously? you can’t even call it lox?), barbecued chicken, pesto, goat cheese, artichokes, fennel, niçoise olives, eggplant, broccoli rabe, potatoes — and that LA classic, sprouts. I’m not saying that putting these ingredients on dough with sauce may not be tasty — I’m saying it’s not pizza. Not to a New Yorker, anyway. (And you know that pineapple and ham combo? Sorry. That’s not pizza, no matter where you are.)

Do I have an attitude about pizza? Absolutely; it’s my birthright. Even here, on a sunny 75° day in February.

pizza signHow you doin’?




© 2013 Claudia Grossman

4 comments on “you want a pizza this?

  1. Claudia:

    Another great column, with the topic particularly appropriate on Super Bowl Sunday, which has evolved to be a national holiday of sorts. Of course, I cannot remain silent in the face of the assertion that New Yorkers know pizza better than anyone. Having been in Chicago for many years, I can attest to the depth and breadth of Chicagoan pizza knowledge. Having said that, I am not one of those who takes the usual partisan stance of New York vs. Chicago pizza and which is “better. I love them both. Don’t get me started about hot dogs, though. An authentic Chicago dog — Vienna preferably — beats New York dogs hands down. Nathan’s opened a Chicago outpost years ago and it was a miserable failure. I don’t think it was Chicagoan chauvinism. The Nathan’s dog just didn’t measure up.

    • I can live with NY and Chicago pizzas being two totally different kinds of food. When I lived in NY, I loved the sidewalk-cart hot dogs (I think they were Sabrett or Shofar). And in LA, I do admit to enjoying the occasional Dodger Dog. With ketchup, of course. : )

  2. With this one, you hit it out of the park. Pizza with all that stuff on it, makes my head spin. Mitch is way off base with the hot dogs. The best dog is bought in Lake Worth in front of the Home Depot (I have one every 6 months). They make it just the way I like it and the way I used to have it at Nathan”s. Well done on a toasted roll with mustard. Take that Mitch.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D

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