Is Apollonia’s L.A. Best Kept Pizza Secret?
I think we are finally at the point where we can stop saying that L.A. isn’t a great pizza town. Mozza, Sotto and Olio can go head to head with any of the best Neapolitan pizzas in NYC, a city which doesn’t even have an 800 Degrees equivalent yet! Great deep dish pizza can be found at Masa or Hollywood Pies, and slice fans can take their pick between Vito’s, Joe’s, and Mulberry Street. Even Slice Truck and Pizzanista are good enough. But I understand where the stereotype comes from. In New York, serviceable slices of pizza are found on every block of every neighborhood, ready to be eaten on the go for lunch or as a late night booze sponge. New Yorkers have pizza the way we have tacos.
But just like New York has plenty of Mexican restaurants, L.A. has plenty of pizza places. In every strip mall of every neighborhood you can get a slice. The problem is, more often than not the pizza is pretty terrible. Gross sauce, flavorless cheese, and don’t even get me started on the dough. If you don’t live or work near one of the places above, it’s a sad state of affairs to be a slice fan in L.A. So when I stumbled into Apollonia’s, an 8 month old pizza shop in the same mid-wilshire strip mall as Jinya I had pretty low expectations. Not just because I had never heard of the place but… well actually that’s it. Because I had never heard of the place. And if none of the L.A. pizza cognescenti are talking about a pizza place in such a high traffic area of town, how good could it be?
The Apollonia’s menu is packed full of the annoying things you would expect to find at a L.A. pizza joint that labels itself “artisan”. There’s vegan cheese, gourmet sausages with unappetizing sounding fillings (rattlesnake, alligator, vegetarian, chicken), and gluten free dough. But they do have slices at lunchtime- cheese ($2.50), pepperoni ($3.00), and margherita ($3.50)- so that’s what I went for.
There wasn’t any cheese ready (they said it would take 12-15 mins) so I settled on pepperoni and margherita. By no means am I a pizza expert, but I’ve been trying to learn from the experts so I can explain why it is I get excited about some slices but end up super disappointed by others. So, I will now attempt to describe the slices using pizza buzz words that will give the appearance of expertise…
Considering that I was the only person in the place, and it was a little bit late for lunch, I was excited that the pizza still came out with just the right amount of char after being reheated. The pizza itself is super thin, but they still managed to keep it in that perfect place between crispy and chewy. The slice folded nicely for eating, and exhibited just the right amount of tip sag. And the crust itself had some nice bubbling, and a decent hole structure. And now… for the obligatory upskirt shot.
I’m not sure I have any idea what I just said there. What I do know is I plowed through both pieces and for the first time in a long time I was incredibly
satisfied happy with a two slice of pizza lunch. Is their margherita slice a little unconventional? Sure. Are their whole pies not as good? Who knows. Does vegan sausage ruin everything? Of course it does. But none of that matters to me. I just know that two slices from Apollonia’s will be replacing one of my quick lunch taco runs starting immediately.
Apollonia’s, 5176 Wilshire Blvd. 323-937-2823