Pizzana - Brentwood

Pretty solid “neo-neapolitan” pizza in Brentwood. The crust is thin and crispy at the edges with no soupy center. Doesn’t quite top my current favorites desano and mozza.

pate di fegatini - housemade chicken liver pate, san marzano jam, wood fired bread
Smooth and rich, the sweetness from the jam paired nicely. The bread was perfectly charred and chewy.

agnello - san marzano dop, fior di latte, lamb sausage, oregano
Sausage was slightly gamey, sauce was bright and fresh. Doesn’t beat gjelina’s lamb pie though.

this is how i cut carbs

hawaiana - san marzano dop, fior di latte, prosciutto cotto, spicy pickled pineapple
The pickled pineapple was interesting, slighty spicy and not as sweet.

panna cotta - salted caramel, vanilla bean panna cotta, carmelized pretzel

toto

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Hi @PorkyBelly,

Nice report back and nice pics! Thanks. :slight_smile:

LOL, love the cutting carbs note. :smile:

Good to know it’s a solid place in the area; I’ll have to stop by soon.

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That’s a toto? I so, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansai anymore.

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LOL

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When initial articles started about this new Pizza place in Brentwood, it focused on the fact that actor Chris O’Donnell was one of the owners, along with Candace and Charles Nelson (the couple behind Sprinkles Cupcakes). For us, that didn’t say much on how the actual food might turn out. It seemed more like a publicity grab, so as a result we just skipped the new venture - Pizzana - for many months. Heck, even the name sounded like some kind of marketing creation. :sweat_smile:

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But after reading a report from @PorkyBelly and then hearing from FTC’ers like @lapizzamaven, we decided to give it a try.

The driving force behind the food at Pizzana is one Daniele Uditi, a pizzaiolo who worked at Italy’s L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele at one point, before coming to L.A. to create what their website says is “Neo Neapolitan Pizza.”

Zucchine Alla Scapece (Tempura Fried Zucchini, Lemon Aioli):

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We started with their Tempura Fried Zucchini Flowers. These were fried nicely, not too oily and a solid starter, but it wasn’t as light as Pizzeria Mozza or Felix’s versions (both of which are stuffed with Ricotta).

Funghi Pizza (Italian Crema, Fontina, Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom, Caramelized Onion):

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Looking at the ingredients and different flavors of Pizza being offered, you could see why this was branded as “Neo Neapolitan”: They had flavors inspired by classic Pastas (like “Cacio e Pepe Pizza” and “Amatriciana Pizza” etc.).

For the Funghi, it turned out to be local farmers market Shiitake and Oyster Mushrooms combining with Italian Crema and Fontina Cheese to create this wonderful, fragrant taste. :slight_smile:

The Pizza is a thin crust style, bendable, but not soupy in the center, with ample leopard-spotting on the outer crust and bottom.

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We really liked the “vented” plates for the Pizzas, which seemed to help them from getting soggy / steaming while you were eating them.

Margherita Pizza (San Marzano DOP, Fior di Latte, Parmigiano, Basil):

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We had to try the classic Margherita Pizza as a baseline as well. :slight_smile: Pizzana’s Margherita was fine: Tasty, but I think of all the Pizzas, this is the one that reaffirmed our feelings for all of their offerings:

Creative interesting toppings (outside of the Margherita of course), but the crust / dough is lacking. It’s not “bad” at all, but comparing it to our favorites around town, Pizzana’s is just rather bland.

Bianca Pizza (Fior di Latte, Panna, Fennel Sausage, Shaved Fennel, Red Onion):

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The Fennel Sausage and Shaved Fennel with Red Onions reminded me of Pizzeria Mozza’s popular offering (one of our favorites), and when combined with their Fior di Latte it made for this porky, lightly sweet-herbal, fragrant, creamy Pizza.

Delicious! :blush:

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On our 2nd visit, we started with…

Carnivoro Pizza (San Marzano DOP, Fior di Latte, Spicy Soppressata, Fennel Sausage, Prosciutto Cotto, Parmigiano, Basil):

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I liked the crispiness of the Prosciutto Cotto, and the bit of zesty heat from the Soppressata helped to elevate this one as well. It might’ve been a bit too much meat, but still a solid flavor. :slight_smile:

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Verde Pizza (Roman Artichoke, Basil Pesto, Fior di Latte, Gaeta Olive, Sundried Tomato):

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One of the specials of the day, the Verde Pizza sounded intriguing with the Basil Pesto and Roman Artichokes. We were glad to have ordered it:

Their Basil Pesto and Fresh Basil helped to create a really fragrant, aromatic flavor, with bits of piquant from the Roman Artichoke and salinity from the Gaeta Olives and Sundried Tomatoes.

This was probably our 2nd favorite of the pies we tried. :slight_smile:

Overall, Pizzana represents a solid restaurant for a new style of Neapolitan Pizzas, with its strength being in its diverse toppings (e.g., we’re curious how the fusion-y Messicana Pizza will turn out, with its Chorizo, Cilantro Lime Sauce, Jalapeno and Queso Fresco).

All of the flavors we tried worked well, and a few of them really shone, like the Funghi, Bianca and the Verde. But when we really thought about it (all while chowing down on the crust), as @PorkyBelly says, it doesn’t surpass our favorites in DeSano or Pizzeria Mozza. We went back to DeSano after this and confirmed what we were thinking:

It’s the crust and Pizza dough: Pizzana’s is fine, but really a touch bland compared to the crust and taste at our favorites. Ultimately, we’re glad to have Pizzana nearby and it’s a boon for Westsiders, but outside of traffic, we’d rather drive to DeSano’s.

Pizzana
11712 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Tel: (310) 481-7108

http://pizzana.com/

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Great reportage chow seeker…looks like you tried everything, too…what I wrote about was that it was top quality but my one and only experience was a bit problematic…I wanted a Margherita w/ sausage but no way I could alter the pies because SO much thought went into the different combos…OK, we’ve heard that before…so the waitress suggested the carnivoro but too much meat so I asked them to hold all the meats but the sausage, which is what they brought me but they still charged me $24…well, if Pizzana opened 10+ years ago, I would’ve been a regular, but as we know, today, Angelenos have quite a nice choice of excellent pizza options. and I’ll probably not be going to Pizzana

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This place doesn’t accept cash…beyond bizarre.

But I am curious how their cacio e pepe pizza is. I’ve never seen that done outside of Rome.

Char looks amazing and where can I buy those plates???

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Then it’s dead on arrival, in my book. (Unless someone else is paying… evil diabolical laugh ensues)

Those pies look incredible! The test of a crust for me is whether I want to eat the cornicione by itself, without any sauce or cheese. Like the pizzas at Mozza have huge, puffy edges, but I don’t even mind because the crust is so flavorful.

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Thanks for the report and great pics @Chowseeker1999, how are the crowds, is it still impossible to get a reservation or just walk-in?

If i go again I’d like to try the “neo-margherita” that jgold is raving about.

Hi @Bigmouth,

Yah they looked great and generally were tasty. But like you said of your test (that’s what we did), and after a couple bites, we really didn’t want to eat it by itself. It didn’t stand the test compared to our feelings at Mozza or DeSano.

It’s still very enjoyable though, just doesn’t top my favorite places around town.

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Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thanks. On our 2 visits… we showed up a few minutes after opening on the weekend and were able to walk in (no lines). But by the time we left it was about 90% full?

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Thanks for the great report.
FWIW, if you return, we LOVE the salads at Pizzana, perhaps more than the pizza - which we like a lot.

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It’s definitely a strange policy…I was forced to leave when I went as I only had a few hundred dollars on me in cash at the time and had left my cards in my other pants by accident :confused:

Uh… How much does the usual dinner cost at Pizzana?

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I don’t know, I guess probably only $50-$100 with wine?

But they wouldn’t take any of my money lol They canceled my order instead and asked me to leave lol

It’s pretty fortunate I randomly overheard another couple saying they thought they had to pay with credit cards only, and that I clarified with the waitress, I guess they would have called the cops on me if I had actually eaten the dinner and tried to pay with my meager benjamins.

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as much as I love the crust’s flavor at Mozza, the cornicione is way too big…

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Hit Pizzana the other night and have to say I was really impressed.

We tried the artichokes, the broccoli, the Brussels sprouts salad, a cacio e pepe pizza, and a carnivoro pizza. I thought the veggies, with the exception of the Brussels sprouts, were sort of forgettable. But the pizzas, especially the cacio e pepe, were exceptional.

Here’s the cacio e pepe:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zsDkPDIYP4I2oTKF2

Carnivoro:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Vk990jxykCVbEPVf2

And undercarriage:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/QUkYH6JAp8uZ9ar83

The texture of the crust was just about perfect. Charred and crisp yet still pliable, exactly how I like it. I still haven’t been to DeSano, but I thought the texture was superior to Mozza, which cooks pies for longer at a lower temperature.

If I had one criticism, it was the flavor of the crust. My sense of taste still hasn’t fully recovered from the flu, but t seemed to me the crust was lacking that little punch of something that elevates good pizza dough to truly great. On that basis, I’d still rank Mozza ahead of these guys.

But damn do I crave that cacio e pepe pizza. Now that they do takeout, I can definitely see myself swinging by to pick up a pie from time to time.

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Hi @Bigmouth,

Thanks for the report. :slight_smile: I don’t think it was your tastebuds recovering, we felt the same way about Pizzana’s crust, which is why we still like DeSano and Mozza more.

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