13 years. Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in 4 years. The average marriage length in California is 8 years. Michael Jordan played 13 years for the Chicago Bulls.
So 13 years… That’s a long time. That’s how long I have been in LA. At the same time, that’s how long I’ve been searching for a proper slice of New York pizza in this great city of ours. Sure there have been amazing pies (I’m looking at you Pizzeria Mozza, Bestia), but a slice? An honest to goodness, less than $4 a slice, folded at the back into a perfect bite? None. Not even close, really. And everyone in this town knows this. LA is just not a pizza town.
And let’s not ignore the New York-ness factor of the proper slice that I’m talking about. I’ll let Jon Stewart summarize the point in such an epic fashion that no one else ever needs to refer to anything else when describing New York pizza to a neophyte.
Well, I finally found that slice at Vito’s Pizza at 846 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Perfect crust? Check. Foldable? Infinitely. Freshest ingredients? Of course. But the hardest part is explaining the intangibles of a New York slice.
Former United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once famously stated that although he could not specifically define pornography, he would “know it when I see it” [Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964)]. The same goes for New York pizza. After 13 years of searching, I have finally found a proper slice in LA. I knew it when I ate it.
For those of you out there who will know a proper slice when you see it (or taste it), you will find it here at Vito’s. Now that I have found Vito’s I feel like those Boston Red Sox fans who finally had their 86 year old Curse of the Bambino lifted in 2004 when they finally won the World Series after all that time. After all of the struggle and the anguish of searching and waiting, it’s like “what’s next”? My 13 year pizza slice search in Los Angeles has ended. I’ll almost miss telling people that this city of 12.8 million residents in the greater area has no good pizza. Sigh.
But wait a second. I’m Chinese. And I’ve never had a proper Chinese meal in Los Angeles… The search is on!
846 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Brian Lee is a transplant from Canada who has been out here since 2000 to attend grad school. After all of these years, there is no Canadian left. Only Los Angelino remains and he couldn’t be happier.