Hollywood Pies - Top Tier

I have not yet tried Rance’s in Costa Mesa, nor have I hit up the Nancy’s in Alhambra.

If I leave those out, though, I can safely say that Hollywood Pies is flat-out the best Chicago deep dish pizza you can get in the greater LA Metro area.

I have tried Masa’s. I was disappointed in the grease levels which made what might have been a perfectly good crust into a mushy mess.

I’ve gone to Tony’s (heavy, bready crust, but fabulous cheese, good sausage)

I’ve gone to Taste Chicago in Burbank (grocerystore pizza at restaurant prices. the personal pan for lunch is ok, though)

Zelo’s in Arcadia does an interesting corn-meal crust variant but isn’t really substantial enough to call a chicago pie.

Hollywood Pies, though. They got that shit DOWN.

We’ve order a large half cheese / half sausage, which comes in 8 slices. 2 is plenty for a meal, 3 if you have a teenage metabolism.

The crust is golden brown with just a hint of crispness on the bottom. The edges, of course, are crunchy with just small bits of char. It’s a good 1-1.5" thick.

The sauce is tangy and not overly sweet, with soft chunks of tomato and a decent (though not overpowering) dash of chili flakes. This was a problem previously. Someone has a lighter hand with this one, and it’s perfect.

The cheese flows out when cut, strings from the box to the plate. It is rich, fatty without being greasy. I am smiling. I try a bit of the sausage. Not too mild, a solld kick of fennel with garlic and a bit of heat.

This is a good pizza. A proud pizza. A pizza I would be willing to call ‘Chicago style’

But-

Be aware. Hollywood Pies used to be a pick-up only place. Literally, they didn’t even have a store front. You’d call when you were close and they’d meet you at the curb. They now have a ‘sit down’ establishment, but only BARELY. It’s essentially a walk-up window with an enclosed patio behind the open one. A few tables, a watercooler, a thing of napkins and silverware. That’s it. Pizza’s are served in a to-go box, and they’ll give you paper plates if you want. Drinks are strictly canned sodas or san pelligrino water. No glasses. No ice. No beer. No public restroom, no kidding. The vietnamese place next door has a sign ‘ATTENTION PIZZA CUSTOMERS: NO RESTROOM’

They really do not want you to pee there.

Considering only the pizza, it’s no contest. This is the best chicago pie in L.A. However, unless you live within a decent driving distance of mid-city, it’s a PAIN in the ass to get to for to-go (it’s a 45 min ride for me. by the time I get back it’s cold I want to kill all the cars), and they are clearly NOT looking to establish a sit-down clientèle. But you know, that pie is so good I’ll sit at a bare table with a can of coke and enjoy it anyway.

Those looking for slightly more traditional service are advised to try Masa’s in Echo Park. Good place, I’ve found the pies lacking though.

Nothing, alas, beats the pizza + service at Berkeley Pizza in San Diego (yes, that’s right). A Zachary’s/Malnati’s buttery crust pie (like hollywood) but a casual service place, with beer, lunch specials, and generally a nice attitude.

But I will be willing to fight anyone who says there’s a better chicago pizza in Los Angeles.

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I like Hollywood pies quite a lot, but you are doing yourself a disservie by not going to Rance’s if this is what you enjoy most in Chicago pizza. I agree that HWP is the best in LA though.

Oh trust me, I have no resistance to trying Rance’s. It’s down in the OC and I’m in Glendale, so there’s travel time to factor.

There’s already a plan in place for a Disneyland trip and a stop at Rance’s in January.

Have you tried Lefty’s in SD?

I have!!

I like lefty’s a lot. They also do pan by the slice which is nice for when you don’t want a whole pie. Their crust is closer to a Gino’s East cornmeal affair and is really flavorful and crispy. The sauce is a little lacking in zip. But they also do Italian beef, which I recommend you order on garlic bread w some mozz melted over the top.

I personally like the pizza at Berkeley over Lefty’s but that is more a preference rather than a measure of quality.

Both are solid choices for different reasons

Love, love, love Hollywood Pies! I actually prefer them to Zachary’s in Berkeley.

Yup, done the Italian Beef. Good stuff.

I actually like their sauce, but you have to make sure to ask for extra sauce, as many times it’s a bit lacking in coverage.

Heck, with LA traffic being what it is, from Glendale to OC and Midtown are practically the same distance =P

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I’m eating hollywood pies now. I’ve been missing out! Delish.

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A friend of mine who is from Illinois and lives nearby Hollywood pies, says there is some new folks in there and they’ve gotten their act together. Before the new people, it had been hit or miss for a while according to my friend. The last two times I’d been there it was mostly miss. I had gone to the new Dough Box and thought that would be the place to go, even though it’s way the hell out of the way, but now that I hear Hollywood pies has their act together, I will have to try them again.

I like Hollywood Pies a lot as well. But if anyone is in Long Beach, please consider 5000 Pies on Santa Fe. They make an authentic Chicago Pizza which deserves mention on this list. Also they serve thin crust and sweet pies as well. it’s a church sponsored venture that employs the unemployed.

Take out only. Allow 50 minutes for the pizza.

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Hollywood Pies just posted they signed up with Uber Eats.