Why is LaRocco’s Never Mentioned as One of the Best Slices in L.A.?
Food blogs are not exactly the bastions of humility- after all, it takes a lot of arrogance to spew your opinions daily on the interwebs. But I’d like to admit something to you. Despite living in NYC from 2005-2009 I know nothing about pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I like. And I know a few things… I know the difference between Neapolitan style pizza, and “New York style” pizza. I know that “real” Chicago pan pizza is better than Uno’s. I think Mozza is amazing, but I also like Pitfire. And as for the Vito’s vs. Joe’s battle in WeHo, they both tasted good to me. I know that there is no DiFara’s here in Los Angeles (and there never will be.) But you know what? There’s no DiFara’s in Manhattan either. And once Dom dies, there won’t be a DiFara’s in Brooklyn anymore either. John’s on Bleeker Street tastes great to me, but pizza “aficionados” seem divided. In fact, pizza “aficionados” seem divided on everything. Which leads me to wonder… what the hell makes a perfect pizza?
I usually turn to Slice as my goto pizza experts. They talk about things like tip sag, hole structure, char. They take “upskirt” shots (and as a result, I’ve started taking upskirt shots.) What are we looking for beneath that slice of pizza? I haven’t the foggiest fucking idea. I’m just a fat man, who likes to eat a few slices for lunch every once in awhile. If you top dough with cheese and put it in the oven (with sauce or without), chances are I’m going to like it. Which leads me to this question:
Last week I tried LaRocco’s in Downtown Culver City, and I thought it was pretty awesome. Why aren’t they mentioned as one of the best slices in Los Angeles? Is it just under the radar? Or do I just not know shit about pizza?
LaRocco’s pedigree seems good enough. According to their website, the owner was born in Italy, and brought up in Brooklyn, where he “learned the secret to making the finest dough around.” How can you argue with that!? Of course not everybody born in Italy can cook, and not everybody in Brooklyn knows how to make pizza. Their open from 11am “until the dough runs out”. (Nice touch.)
LaRocco’s is not cheap, but it’s not outrageous either. A whole pie will run you around $20… but pies and slices can be two completely different animals. And for lunch, I was more interested in trying their slices.
Their lunch deal is 2 slices (or 1 slice and a salad) plus a soda for $7. It’s a bit expensive, but they soften the blow by letting you choose whatever slices you want… so if you like a lot of toppings on your pizza, two slices full of stuff will end up being cheaper at LaRocco’s than most places, where the lunch specials are just for slices of plain cheese.
Even though it didn’t make sense financially, I decided to try their cheese slice (you know, for science) and their white slice. They were a tad bit on the small side, but tasted good. There was no char though, which maybe some “experts” would complain about? I don’t know. Tasted good to me. And even though I know less about salad than I do about pizza, I’m guessing the one slice plus a salad lunch special is pretty popular. (The salads are pre-made, and looked pretty big.)
Afterwards I went down the street to Victor Jr’s (10113 Washington Blvd), across the street from the Sony Building. Their pizza was way doughier, and their sauce had a lot of extra seasonings in it… almost like a marinara. I definitely preferred LaRocco’s, but it was warm, and doughy, and still good, and I could see how people who work in the Sony building would just eat at Victor’s. Actually scratch that. I don’t see how people could chose Victor’s over LaRocco’s. And if I worked there I’d walk the extra 5 minutes to score the better slice! Does that make me a pizza aficionado?
LaRocco’s, 3819 Main Street, 310-837-8345