For years, my absolute favorite pizza place in L.A. was Albano’s on Melrose, just west of La Brea. Having done my fair share of time in the Northeast, I am a bit partial to New York style, thin crust pizza. Albano’s was not close to where I live and the parking was often less than convenient , but the pies made it worth any hassle. For a short time, they opened a second location in The Valley (twice), which was easier to get to, but I still preferred visiting the Melrose location. However, by the end of 2007, Albano’s was no more. While the owner was briefly involved with Robano’s when it initially opened in Toluca Lake in 2008, he ended up leaving and their pizza hasn’t been the same since.
I was driving to an appointment last Friday and as I drove by the former Albano’s location, I looked over as I usually do. I was shocked to see the old sign instead of that of one of the pizza joints that took over the spot after Albano’s closed. I didn’t quite believe what I saw and was running early, so I drove around the block for confirmation. OMG! Later that night, we went for slices and were hugged and kissed by Anthony Albano, who knew us as regular customers before and appreciated us coming back over the hill for Albano’s, the Best Pizza in L.A. It’s delicious. Try it for yourself.
Scooting down Hyperion after work I noticed a pizza joint I have never seen before called “Tomato Pie.” Hungry from ritual starvation, I pulled up their web site as soon as I got home. After impatiently scanning the online menu, bombarded with more options than I expected, my stomach began to groan with anticipation. Tomato Pie’s menu boasts “east coast flavor” pizzas, pastas (hot and cold), salads, subs, desserts, there is really so much to choose from that I couldn’t decide so I called them up to ask what they suggest.
Another surprise. I totally expected the phone to be answered by an apathetic clock puncher who would be openly annoyed with all of my questions. However, the guy who took my call was friendly and helpful, taking his time to assist me with my virgin Tomato Pie experience. I later found out that his name is Freddy and, along with partner Garrett, runs the joint.
ME: “What do you think is the best thing on the menu?”
FREDDY: “Our most popular item by far is the Grandma.”
Hello friends! Mark and Steve here, on Sunday we wandered into the local 99¢ store on La Brea in Hollywood. Hunting for cheaps snacks and cheap thrills on a lazy Sunday, we discovered an interesting new food group, “Mallow”:
We were tickled by the fact that marshmallow products, pressed and colored to resemble hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers and fries even existed so we bought one of each, and scurried home.
What follows is the true, documented, and photographed tellings of two able-bodied eaters in the greatest taste-test of their lives!