Cheesy, Savory, Delicious! Meat Lovers, Vegetarian and Vegan! A Pizza Journey - Superfine, Il Romanista, DeSano, Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn, Pizzeria Mozza, South End, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Prime, Lupetti, Triple Beam and More! [Thoughts + Pics]

So watching Huell Howser this week it was an episode (probably from 10 years ago) and he’s visiting Village Pizza on Larchmont.

They put the pizza on a screen and the owner who also is a pizza chef, told Huell that because they use flour on the board (he said that was not traditional thing to do (?) ) they put the pizza on the screen to keep the flour from burning on the oven.


Margheritas are traditionally a Neapolitan style pie. While I love this style its not for everyone. It is usually served with a knife and fork to eat it. From the excellent char on the bottom crust it definitely looks like your pizza was cooked enough. Neapolitan pizza is cooked at a temperature range from 840F to 900F for around 90 seconds. American pizza styles, New York or Neo-Neapolitan, are cooked at between 550F and 640F for between four and six minutes.
American pizza dough has a higher hydration point so as to cook longer, and is made from bread flour with more gluten than Caputo 00. Thus it has a crisper crust.
I hope you don’t think I am being pedantic here, but I love pizza and have studied it. I often make pizza at home and thus I rarely if ever order it when going out so I cannot comment on any of the places mentioned in this thread.
Just wanted to possibly shed some light on your limp crust dilemma.
Edited to add pics of NY style vs Neapolitan:


Trying to not feel insulted here tbh. I’m not that much of a plebe :sob:

But really though, if something is cut up into slices and served to me without a knife and a fork I’m gonna eat it like a traditional NY pie.


I felt like that Village Pizzeria episode was from 15-20 years ago. I was watching that episode as well. The owner is from Whitestone, right by where I grew up. Nice guy. Village was the best pizza when I first moved here in 2000. Haven’t been back in over a decade though.

BTW Superfine is most definitely NOT neoplolitan style pizza. Only NY style joints sell pizza by the slice. I’ve been to Superfine a bunch of times and like @Chowseeker1999 never had an issue with limp crust.


I understand and am clear it is not Neapolitan. Other than missing the wet center, what I had was VERY much CLOSER in texture to Neapolitan than to New York style.

Hopefully next time I do not get a puffy soft crust and get what you guys usually get.

You’re likely right about the age of that episode.

EDIT: @js76wisco I looked it up. The episode is from April 2007. Wow!


the 2 times I had Village Pizza the crust was reminiscent of a sponge I once tried to eat when I was 7…im not sure what the Village pizza “chef” meant as it seems tossing a little flour on the surface before spreading the dough seems quite common…

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Also, re: Superfine…I was told the normal pay system should be back up by now…im tech challenged and don’t order online but we worked it out last time


I am so sorry. I had no intention of insulting you.

Crunchy chewy slices from Superfine. And the flavor of their pepperoni and crust keeps me coming back. I wonder if you can request extra crispy crust?


Our kids favorite pizza. The Grandma from Tomato Pie. Always good.

And because I can :joy:


that grandma is so damn satisfying when it’s on point

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Update 5 (To-Go):

Once again, we had thought we were finally able to take a break from that giant baked disc of carbs with toppings on them, but thanks to FTC, we found ourselves on another Pizza Journey. :smile:

Apollonia’s (Revisit)

During our previous visit to Apollonia’s, we came to the same conclusion that Nemroz did with the bad QPR: Each Detroit-style square slice runs you between $7 - $8 (+ tax & tip). :expressionless: :frowning: But we wanted to give them another try.

Pepperoni (Square):

Apollonia’s features the signature Cheese “lacing” on the edges of their Detroit-style Pizza. Taking a bite:

There’s a lot of bread, the ratio feels off, but overall, the flavor is just OK. Taken as a Pepperoni Pizza, there are numerous other places we’d rather eat, the Pepperoni here is salty, standard, the Tomato Sauce is a bit too acidic and the overall taste is fine.

For Detroit-style, Steel Pan Pizza Co. blows this away and it’s much cheaper.

Acapulco Gold (Square) (Ricotta, Truffle Oil and Arugula):

We’re not fans of Truffle Oil, :frowning: but this had positive reviews on FTC so we had to give it a shot. The overall taste is much better than their Pepperoni, the Ricotta adds a nice creaminess and mellows out each bite, the Truffle Oil adds a certain aroma, but it might’ve been just fine with good quality Mushrooms, and I liked the slight bitterness from the Arugula. Definitely their best flavor there that we’ve tried so far. :slight_smile:

However, for $8 (+tax & tip) for 1 slice, it feels like the QPR isn’t too ideal.

Apollonia’s Pizzeria
5176 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 937-2823

DeSano Pizzeria (LBC)

Opened inside the SteelCraft Long Beach Food Hall (all outdoor seating), we had heard that DeSano opened up a branch from FTC years ago, but never made it down. As part of our Curry Journey, we stumbled upon DeSano’s 2nd branch and did an impromptu bang x bang. :smile:

We loved that you could pick up something to drink from, say, Smog City Brewery, and sit down and enjoy some food from the various vendors as well.

(Limited Release) Smog City Brewing Company - Bourbon Barrel-Aged O.E. Barleywine Style Ale (2020):

First, it should be noted, this DeSano branch is tiny compared to the OG location. There are no giant wood-burning ovens (the beautiful, mammoth brick ovens they brought over from Italy at their original location). They have a tiny wood-burning oven (like something you have in your backyard) to make it work / fit in this Food Hall location.

In addition, the menu is different at this 2nd branch: There are fewer Pizzas and no Calzones. Even each Pizza entry had a few less ingredients compared to the original location.

San Gennaro Pizza (San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Sausage, Peppadew, Caramelized Onions, Garlic, Buffalo Mozzarella):

The crust is soft with a touch of crispness on the edges, it looks a little pale compared to the OG DeSano’s.

However the flavor of the San Gennaro is quite good. Not as good as the original DeSano, but the San Marzano Tomato Sauce tastes familiar and close to the original, the Sausage, Peppadew Pickled Peppers (is that a tongue twister?), Caramelized Onions, Garlic is just a great flavor combination and it shines here. :slight_smile:

Margherita DOP Pizza (San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil, Garlic):

Respectable Margherita. The crust was slightly crisped, but pliant and had a decent chew and softness. Generous Basil. Classic flavors.

The original DeSano’s is much better, but this 2nd branch is a nice facsimile for those in the neighborhood that can’t drive up to the OG location.

DeSano Pizzeria (Long Beach Branch)
(inside SteelCraft Long Beach Food Hall)
3768 Long Beach Blvd., #102
Long Beach, CA 90807
Tel: (562) 337-8100

La Morra Pizzeria (Frozen To-Go)

The beloved newcomers, La Morra Pizzeria are still shutdown due to COVID-19 (tragic), but have managed to develop and establish a Frozen Pizza business for the time being.

We loved their Margherita (Frozen Pizza) last time, and it reheated quite well, so this time we tried:

Pepperoni Pizza:

This came out quite nice. The crust was crispy-crunchy (crispier than their freshly made Pies), the Pepperoni turned into slight “cups” and the flavor was delicious. :blush:

This might’ve been the best Frozen Pepperoni Pizza we’ve made at home since I can remember. :slight_smile:

We’re still longing for the day when La Morra Pizzeria returns. They are too good not to return, but we’re pulling for them to survive the pandemic. In the meantime, try some of Chef Swemle’s Frozen Pizzas To Go. They reheat fantastic at home for a nice treat if you want some Pizza and didn’t feel like driving out.

(Order Frozen Pizzas via their website.)

La Morra Pizzeria

Little Coyote Pizza

A new Pizzeria opened up by co-owners Jonathan Strader and Jack Leahy, they both met while working at Hatchet Hall. Chef Leahy became Chef de Cuisine at Hatchet Hall and then moved on to be Executive Chef at L&E Oyster Bar.

Speaking with Co-Owner Strader, he mentions Little Coyote was a way to open up something that’s fitting these times, something more accessible, relaxed and easy to function during a pandemic.

Whole Pizza - (Half) Pepperoni + (Half) Papa Joe:

Pepperoni Pizza (Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):

First, visually it looks gorgeous! There are real Pepperoni “Grease Chalices” as @Ns1 has been naming them. The staff confirms that Little Coyote is making a New York Style Pizza, and they cold ferment the dough.

Taking a bite…

Sturdy-ish Pizza crust (not soupy). The Tomato Sauce is balanced, but a touch on the acidic side. The Pepperoni are salty though. They are the saltiest Pepperoni of all the top contenders in the city (as a point of comparison), far saltier than Superfine, saltier than Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn, saltier than Steel Pan, La Morra Pizzeria and many other places.

But despite that, it’s quite tasty. :blush: The Pizza crust is crunchy on the outside (from the Olive Oil drizzle which seems to really toast up the outer crust). As a result this isn’t really a “foldable” Pizza (is that a requirement for NY Style? @Gr8pimpin @lapizzamaven @Ns1 @PorkyBelly and others.)

Papa Joe Pizza (Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):

The Papa Joe Pizza is delicious! :heart: Their Italian Sausage and Mushrooms are a classic combination, and the Italian Sausage is much less salty than the Pepperoni. The Mushrooms add a nice earthiness and that delicious savoriness that only Mushrooms can impart. These work better with the Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella.

Little Coyote offers Slices only from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (FYI).

We wanted to try some Slices, to see how the Slice compared to the Whole (as sometimes a Slice turns out better (ala Superfine)). For FTC “research” for everyone. :wink:

Pepperoni Pizza (Slice) (Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):

The Slice of reheated Pepperoni Pizza was exactly the same as the Whole Pie, except it was a bit more foldable(!). The crust was still quite crispy-crunchy, but the inside was able to bend more. Tasty, but greasy, and saltier than other top contenders.

The White Pie (Slice) (Spinach, Ricotta, Garlic, Onion, Mozzarella, Calabrian Chili, White Sauce):

This was quite tasty! :blush: I loved the combination of Spinach, Ricotta, Garlic and Onions. The Calabrian Chilies were non-existent (no spiciness), but otherwise, this was a lighter, more balanced flavor combination and worked well with their crispy-crunchy New York Style Pizza crust. :slight_smile: (@hanhgry @TheCookie @PorkyBelly and others.)

The Classic Italian Sandwich (Mortadella, Capicolla, Soppressata, Provolone & The Work):

Visually beautiful, but one look at the cross-section and we were worried that this might turn out like the disastrous Padrino Sandwich at Pizzana.

Thankfully it was better: First, like the Padrino, there is just too much of everything. At first, it seems strange that one would complain about generous fillings, but for a great Italian Sandwich, too much is not a good thing.

There is just too much Mortadella, Capicolla, and Soppressata, but the biggest offender is you get like 7 (SEVEN) slices worth of thickness of Provolone Cheese (so across a whole sandwich probably 14 normal slices?). :open_mouth: :frowning: It just overwhelms the taste and flavor.

Gjusta’s legendary Italian Sandwich is much more balanced, and Wax Paper’s Larry Mantle is also more balanced and tastier.

This isn’t bad, and certainly a quality Italian Sandwich, but just too much a study of excess.

Meatball Sandwich (50/50 Beef & Pork, Crushed Tomato, Mozzarella):

And then you get their Meatball Sandwich:

The first bite is a breakthrough of lightly crusty Bread from Little Brothers Bakery (Gardena), you get some creamy, luscious melted Mozzarella and their Crushed Tomato Sauce, but then you get a bite of their Housemade 50/50 Beef & Pork Meatballs.

Moist, tender, balanced, not overly salty, really meaty and the total combination is outstanding! :heart:

This is one of the best Meatball Sandwiches in L.A. right now! :blush: (@PorkyBelly @J_L @Gr8pimpin @Ns1 @js76wisco @A5KOBE and others.)

Little Coyote showed great promise, but we wanted to see how it compared to the top for Pepperoni, so off we went on a bang x bang with…

Superfine Pizza (Revisit)

17th(?) Visit:

It had been awhile since we last returned to Superfine, but hearing @Gr8pimpin’s mediocre visit recently, we were worried and wanted to see what was happening.

First, we noticed the regular Pizzaiolos weren’t there. Maybe it was a day off for them? We noticed a new person working (that person confirmed they only recently started).

Pepperoni Pizza (Slice):

First, the Pepperoni and Spinach on White looked wrong. But then we picked up the slice:

  • Both Slices were soupy and soft throughout and was like a bad Neapolitan Pie! :open_mouth: :sob:

What was going on?!

This was nothing like our previous ~16 visits to Superfine Pizza! :frowning:

Spinach On White Pizza (Spinach, Four Cheeses):

The Spinach on White Pizza was just as bad. Floppy, droopy. The flavors were also off. :frowning:

(Whole Pizza) Pepperoni (Half) + Queen Margherita with Sausage (Half):

The Whole Pie was even worse:

Attempting to pick up any slice from this whole Pizza, and the entire center (probably ~75% of this Pizza) was a totally soupy, soggy center (a.k.a. @PorkyBelly’s worst nightmare)! :sob:

It was disgusting! :nauseated_face:

And I don’t use that word lightly. Like almost rawish Pizza dough in the center. :frowning:

The Queen Margherita with Sausage half was also the same. Way too much Tomato Sauce and totally soupy and the toppings just were swimming in liquid. :cry:

It was so bad, we returned to the counter, asked the server making the Pizza if this was the “standard” that the Pizzas come out as now. She said, “Yes.” :expressionless: :angry: :confused: We explained the situation, showed how ridiculously gloppy the Pizza was and she responded with, “I can try making one with less sauce?”

We let them try again (remade Pizza with Less Sauce):

This was slightly better. It was still soft, soggy, zero crispiness, absolutely nothing like the real Superfine Pizza(!). :frowning:


Little Coyote (2nd Visit)

Pepperoni Pizza (Slice) (Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):

Tasty. This was just the same as our 1st visit, very consistent. As before, the Pepperoni Slice was crispy-crunchy on the outside, not really foldable without breaking / snapping the hard crust in half (the rest of the Pie inside was softer and foldable).

The Pepperoni as before were nicely crisped up and greasy, but still the same saltiness. :frowning: It’s not “bad” at all, but definitely way saltier than other top places.

Still a very good slice, even with the sodium problem.

Meatball Sandwich (50/50 Beef & Pork, Crushed Tomato, Mozzarella):

Wanting to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, we ordered their Meatball Sandwich again. And just like before:

SO GOOD! :heart: :blush: :heart:

Tender, almost fluffy, moist Housemade Meatballs with 50/50 Beef & Pork, nicely seasoned, zesty, meaty, but not overly salty!

On a personal level, I like Chef Zoe Nathan’s Turkey Meatball Sandwich at Huckleberry Cafe just a touch more (different take on a Meatball Sandwich), but Little Coyote’s is probably our new favorite Classic Meatball Sandwich in L.A. right now. Do not miss this! :heart:

(Whole Pizza) Pepperoni (Half) + Veggie Supremo (Half):

Pepperoni Pizza (Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):

On the full Pie, the Pepperoni on this 2nd visit is still like before: A very solid Pepperoni Pizza, good “Grease Chalices”, but it’s very greasy and quite salty. I liked the crisped up cups, the melted Mozzarella was decent quality, but the Tomato Sauce was a touch too acidic still for us. Good, but Superfine’s OG version was much better, and Pizza Wagon’s Tomato Sauce is also more enjoyable.

But besides the sodium issue (saltiest Pepperoni), it’s really greasy. As @A5KOBE pointed out, it’s dripping grease! (See pic above.) :frowning:

It wasn’t the heart attack inducing grease-fest of Johnny’s West Adams’ excessive Pastrami Sandwich, but it was close. There was so much Pepperoni Grease that it totally saturated the bottom of the Pizza Box (we had to ask for a new one). :open_mouth:

Veggie Supremo Pizza (Roasted Peppers, Red Onion, Olive, Mushroom, Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato):


The crispy-crunchy crust (a bit too crunchy) works beautifully with the fragrant Mushrooms, Red Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, a bit of briny saline pop from the Olives and melty Mozzarella and the Tomato Sauce. It brought everything together in balance.

This was probably our favorite Pizza at Little Coyote! Really tasty! :heart: (@hanhgry @PorkyBelly @J_L @TheCookie @Gr8pimpin and others.)

Little Coyote is a totally casual neighborhood Pizza joint, that happens to be making some very good quality Pies. They claim to be a New York Style, but I’ll leave that up to our FTC NY Pizza experts to judge. One thing we didn’t like was that the outer crust was so crunchy-toasted that it cut the roof of our mouths(!) (something @paranoidgarliclover mentioned with some Banh Mi Baguettes).

Their Pepperoni is too salty and one note and too greasy, the Red Sauce is a touch too acidic, but these are minor points that I’m bringing up as a point of finer comparison to the best in L.A.: As it is, Little Coyote’s Pepperoni Pizza is very good, probably Top 5 in L.A., even with the Salt issues.

But their Papa Joe (Italian Sausage, Mushrooms), the White Pie (Spinach, Ricotta, Garlic, Onion, Mozzarella), are even better and their Veggie Supremo Pizza is fantastic, probably our favorite Pizza on the menu and a real star!

Their Pepperoni isn’t worth a drive across town for, but I’d drive across town to order their Meatball Sandwich (featuring Housemade 50/50 Beef & Pork Meatballs), which is possibly the best Classic Meatball Sandwich in L.A. right now.

(A huge thanks to @PorkyBelly for the info!)

Little Coyote
2118 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90814
Tel: (562) 434-2009

Superfine Pizza (Revisit)

Our last visit was so horrendous, we had to make sure this was really a problem. So off we went for another revisit, back-to-back with Little Coyote’s 2nd visit.

18th(?) Visit:

Walking up to the counter, we made sure the new Pizza maker from yesterday wasn’t working today. Instead, it was yet another new Pizza maker.

Chatting with the young fellow (who looked like he was in high school), he confirmed that Superfine “lost a bunch of people. We’ve had all new people start.” :frowning:

Chatting with the security guard for the parking lot area, she confirmed she’s been working here and eating at Superfine for years (and we recognized her). When she asked how our Pizza was (awful), she nodded and simply said, “It’s not the same anymore.”

When we asked what happened to the OG Pizzaiolos, she said they left, “Found better jobs.” :frowning:

Pepperoni Pizza (Slice):

Even with this 2nd new staffer trying to make Pizzas, the results were the same:

Flaccid, soggy, soupy, awful Pepperoni Pizza! :sob:

This was nothing like Superfine Pizza from the past, the one that made the best Pepperoni Pizza in L.A.! :cry:

This is exactly like what @Gr8pimpin had on his recent visit! When you pick up the slice, it’s so soggy and droopy all the toppings just slide off:

There was zero crispiness, it was all soft and bad.

To note, the Tomato Sauce was still as tasty as before (Chef-Owner Steve Samson (Rossoblu)) probably made sure the recipe was still being followed, so you get a balanced, savory, delicious Tomato Sauce that is crave-worthy, but everything else about the Pizza is just bad.

I don’t want to see anyone fail during a pandemic, but to save our FTC’ers money and to report what’s happening:

  • Superfine Pizza has lost their OG Pizzaiolos, and is in major DOWNHILL alert! Avoid at all costs. :sob:

(Full Caveat: Superfine was my favorite Pepperoni Pizza in L.A. prior to this disaster of them losing their staff. I don’t say the above lightly.)

@PorkyBelly @J_L @TheCookie @A5KOBE @Gr8pimpin @lapizzamaven @Ns1 @js76wisco and others.

I really hope they hire some real Pizzaiolos to replace the great Pizza Makers they lost and right the ship. Otherwise, I’ve never seen a Pizza go from Best in L.A. to Worst so fast in my life.

Superfine Pizza
1101 San Pedro St., Unit F
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tel: (323) 698-5677


Now I really need to try Little Coyote!
@Chowseeker1999 I didn’t really enjoy my pizza at Superfine that much, either. The crust on mine was also floppy. I did think that the pepperoni was delicious.
I had tried Pizza Wagon a few days before, and I loved that much more. The crust was lovely, chewy and crisp. There may have been a tad more sauce than I personally preferred, but it was good. The pepperoni I had was tasty, but not as good as Superfine’s.


You should email them and give them feedback. I’ve only been to Superfine once during this pandemic and my pizzas was a disappointment too.

Out of curiosity, when was that visit?


Hi @attran99,

Thanks. I think you probably got their new hired staff. Superfine OG was amazing! Crisped, balanced, so delicious. I feel terrible for all our FTC’ers who just suffered this mediocre version and for the loss of a great Pizzeria. :frowning:

I hope you enjoy your visit to Little Coyote. :slight_smile:

Thanks @moonboy403. I’ll try emailing them.

It’s just a shock how bad they’ve turned out with the new staff. It really shows how important a good Pizzaiolo is, if anyone was ever curious what difference it makes.

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I never really had much problem having been there 10 times or so so I chalked up my bad visit as an outlier but perhaps we’re seeing a trend here…


I went the second weekend in June. I picked up Bavel for our dinner and Superfine for the kids.

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Mine happened in April and I had serious doubts about COVID precautions, or lack thereof, Superfine had taken. That’s why I haven’t been back since.