The hubby and I are always searching for great pizza since the hubby is a pizzaiolo and still learning to perfect what I think is the perfect pizza. After the morning on the beach we decided to go to Antica Pizzeria in Marina Del Rey. We have been meaning to try this place for a couple of years but we never seem to be in the neighborhood. Well, we were a stone's throw away and hungry.
What makes this place special is that it was the first pizzeria in the US to receive the seal of Verace Pizza Napoletana. VPN is an association dedicated to preserving and promoting authentic pizza from Naples, Italy.
Cultural tidbit: In Italy, much like the US, you drink beer with pizza. Not wine. I do not have the taste for beer, so I drink wine. Yes, I like to break the rules.
Mediterranean Salad - Mixed greens, tomato, olives, goat cheese & balsamic vinaigrette
Pizza Margherita - the classic
Pizza Carfone - Italian sausage, rapini, & smoked mozzarella (No Sauce)
Pizza Capricciosa - Artichokes,mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, & prosciutto
Okay...let's talk pizza.
First and foremost the crust. Antica Pizzeria wood fires their pizza so the pizza cooks fast and hot The crust is thin and crisp but has a great chewiness, but not too chewy. On top of that the crust has great flavor, slightly smoky from the oven and some body to it. Have you ever had pizza that tastes as flat as a cracker? No body, lacking salt, or any taste at all? That's a bad crust. Here the crust was perfect in my book.
The pizza sauce was light yet full of tomato flavor. They make their own mozzarella in house and it's delicious.
All of the pizzas were delicious. The Margherita is the one we taste first because it is the bare bones pizza with the simplest components to taste and judge the crust, the sauce and the cheese. If one of these components is off, especially the crust then it doesn't matter what you put on top to try and make it taste better. However, my favorite of the day was the Pizza Cafone. The combination of the spicy/sweet sausage with the bitterness of the rapini and then brought all together with the creaminess of the smoky mozzarella was amazing. This pizza was also featured in GQ's American Pie Article on the best pizzas in the US.
Antica Pizzeria gets the pizza vote of approval as the best in the city by the hubs and me. They really have all that is right and good about pizza, even down to the giant "00" Caputo flour sacks in the restaurant. Now it is located in the Marina Villa Marketplace on Maxella, off of Lincoln, but don't be scared by the mall. This is no mall pizza. It's fantastic pizza and worth the trip.