Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vito's Wild Mushroom Pizza: Pizza perfection

"So this is what I’ve been missing,” I think as my teeth sink through the tender thin crust of Vito’s wild mushroom pizza.

My tongue sings with pleasure as the sweet tomato sauce saunters forth from beneath the light application of mozzarella cheese and heady hunks of shiitake and oyster mushrooms. I stare at my dining companions in bewilderment. It’s so simple, but paralyzing good.

They nod with knowing smiles.

I shake my head and take another bite. An entire shiitake mushroom comes with it, assaulting my mouth with its intense earthy flavor. I fold the piece in half like a New Yorker and attack it again – I feel like I’ve been reborn.


I’ve been to Vito’s Pizza, the much-praised NY-style pizzeria on La Cienega in West Hollywood, a handful of times in the past three years. The counter service is charmingly perfunctory, the pizza is reliably good, and it’s an easy place to run into to grab a couple slices when the effort of cooking seems too taxing.


In the past, I’ve always ordered the same thing – two slices of the Mediterranean Veggie Pie ($3.50 each) that comes with marinated spinach, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and the piece-de-resistance, luscious dollops of sweet ricotta. I love smearing the pillows of cheese across the slice for an even application, and always feel some what virtuous about my selection because of the ample amounts of spinach and fresh vegetables. It’s a comforting dinner that’s not too uncomfortable to consume.


Because I’ve always dined in or taken away slices, I never knew that Arturo’s Wild Mushroom Pizza that comes in one 18’’ size for $28.50 even existed. Its deliciousness eluded me for years as I blindly went about my business ordering Vito’s veggie pizza by the slice. This could have gone on forever had I not impetuously decided to join my two friends for dinner at their gorgeous new West Hollywood home that night.

“I should go.” I’d said, not wanting to intrude on their quiet Sunday evening.

“Stay!” My friend had insisted. “We can’t order an entire pizza for just ourselves!”

So I’d listened. I’d relaxed into the wooden back of my barstool, and then, when the pizza came, I timidly took my slice after they’d selected theirs first.

There’s no timidity now. The first slice gone, I reach for a second. Then a third. I dust it with parmesan, smear it with Terroni’s peperoncini piccanti that my friends keep in the fridge next to the wine and beer, and chomp and chew like I have no where else in the world I’d rather be.

It’s the perfect Sunday, and it’s the perfect NY-style pizza. This is what I’ve been missing.

Vito’s Pizza
846 N. La Cienega Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-6859

12 comments:

Tricerapops said...

LA has pizza insecurities and Vito's is a spot that just stays true to itself and ignores the hype, good bad or otherwise. Good rundown. Now if they only delivered to Hollywood.....

sarah j. gim said...

beer, wine and hot peppers.

oh god, we have a manfridge, don't we?

the actor's diet said...

i've yet to go! but i've heard about their eggplant parm as being a good sandwich to try...have you ever gotten it? or should i just stick to pizza?

Nicole said...

Love Vito's!!!!!! :) YUM!!!!!!

Esi said...

You know how I feel about shrooms, but I love Vito's white pizza.

bagnatic said...

i have a love/hate relationship with pizza. these pies look good though....

Monet said...

If only they could deliver to Austin! That pizza looks just spectacular. As a huge mushroom fan, I was drooling from the very first shot. Now all I want is a big slice of authentic NY pizza...and it is after midnight! Thanks for sharing love!

Anna A. said...

Yo Talf, I'm still missing out on this! Just glad you didn't say it's better than Ortica :)

Ashley said...

I'm guessing delivery isn't an option for me. Suppose I'll always have to come east for my pizza.

Diana said...

Tricerapops - Yeah, it's great to see that even though Vito's has slipped under the radar recently, they are still consisting churning out a great product.

Sarah - Haha, yes, and it's spectacular! I'll bring you over some Joan's on Third pickles to freshen it up some. ;)

Lynn - I haven't tried their eggplant parm, but if their pizza is any indication, I'm sure it's fantastic!

Nicole - It's the best! :)

Esi - Sam Kim said the same thing about their white pizza! Maybe I'll have to try that one next...

Amy - I have the same love/hate relationship! It brings me to tears when it's bad, but when it's good... well, it also brings me to tears. ;)

Monet - The mushrooms are really a highlight! I'd never seen a pizza with mushrooms like that before!

Anna - I didn't say it, but...

Ashley - As soon as you can breathe, you are coming over and we are ordering this pizza and watching something trashy. Got it? Good.

stuffycheaks said...

Wow.. definitely light on cheese. I might be able to handle a slice without barfing. Hmm I'll need to try some of that peperoncini next week. Can't wait!

ChocoMeat said...

I haven't had their mushroom pie yet! Ohhh boooy!