LA has never been and will never be known as prime destination in the world of pizza. Sure, there are some great spots for a variety of pies, but there is no such thing as LA-style pizza. Nonetheless, LA does its best to make transplants from other pizza cities happy. Take, for example, Masa of Echo Park, which dishes out some of the deepest dishes this side of Chicago.
A long, long time ago, I was a fledgling meat blogger just getting his bearings. In a desperate attempt to eat Giordano’s and get it on the blog, I bought a half-baked pie in Chicago, packed it in ice and brought it back to LA to finish the baking myself. The result was delicious, and while I reviewed it, I always felt that it was unfair to judge a restaurant in which much of the cooking was up to me. Since those days, very little has changed, but my desire for Giordano’s has only grown stronger. So on my last visit to Chicago, I made sure to hit Giordano’s for real, or to at least have some of my family pick it up for me in Evanston.
EDIT: I haven’t been back since they moved into a real place, but the experience here was so special I’m not sure it’s worth it.
You make a call and show up in a back alley 45 minutes later. When you arrive, your guy comes out carrying about five pounds worth. You hand him your cash, then take your purchase wherever you want and inhale it. If this sounds like a drug deal to you, get your mind out of the gutter. Unless your drug is pizza, in which case you should head to this back alley in West Hollywood immediately. This is the way it works for Hollywood Pies, the sketchiest pizza place in LA you’ve never been to. You may have eaten their pizza, and you may have even picked up their pizza, but you have never been there because there is no “there.”
As a relatively new city, I haven’t found Phoenix to have their own signature cuisine. Sure, they have some great Mexican food and boast one of the best pizza places in the country, but I haven’t yet found that distinct Phoenician specialty. And to be honest, that’s just fine with me, because I hail from the Midwest and apparently so do a lot of the restaurant owners in Phoenix. On my last visit, I had Coney Dogs that tasted straight out of Detroit, and this time I had myself a taste of Chicago at Oregano’s.