by Charlie Amter - 53 Reviews - 9 List
Pizzette, plural of pizzetta, are suddenly popping up all over Los Angeles. Some restaurants fry them (Oliverio) while others bake them in a stone oven (Vinolio). But all are small flatbread style pizzas perfect for a snack or for solo diners. Here are five restaurants in L.A. we think might satisfy even the most jaded pizzette purveyors.
Updated: March 10, 2010
Well-known L.A. Chef Mirko Paderno (formerly of All? Angelo) serves up an amazing array of pizzette at his new post at the Avalon Hotel's in-house restaurant, Oliverio. His pizzetta truffle with goat cheese and black summer truffles is outstanding, as is his reverential take on a classic pizzetta Napoletana with burrata cheese and tomato. Paderno's pizzette are fried and adapted from his mother's recipe (Naples-style).
Have a craving for great pizza but not really in the mood for an entire pie? Consider heading to Hollywood, where the new-ish and charming Vinolio offers tasty and authentic (almost all ingredients used here are direct from Italy) seven-inch pizzettes (pictured above) for just $6. Considering a slice of not-so-great pizza goes for nearly $5 just up the street at Greco's, we say Vinolio's has just about the best deal going for pizzette purveyors.
Perhaps the polar opposite of swank dining destinations such as Oliverio are restaurants such as Vitello's Express. But make no mistake: just because the environs are less refined at this Sherman Oaks favorite doesn't mean the pizzettes are any less tasty. Vitello's is famous for their pizzetti, which come in two varieties--pesto or margherita. For just $8.50, you'll be transported to Rome via their light, crispy and damn-near-perfect personal pizzas. They also offer traditional crust and deep dish, for those who like their pizzas a little thicker.
While The London West Hollywood is well-known as a dinner destination (Gordon Ramsay at the London remains a favorite, even though Ramsay himself may no longer be directly involved), fewer people are aware of the London Hotel's smaller adjacent Boxwood Cafe. At the bright lunch spot, snack on a perfectly executed verde pizzette (fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta, arugula) or feast on their popular sausage pizzette (roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, fennel).
The rustic, NorCal-inspired menu at this Melrose favorite includes seasonal finds like white truffle mac 'n' cheese and salads. But Taste is also famed for its inventive pizzettas. Think prosciutto and fig (black Mission fig jam, prosciutto, gorgonzola and scallions) or the only-in-California pear and caramelized onion pizzetta (with walnuts, gorgonzola and organic arugula).