photo credit: Philip Guerette
DeSano Pizza Bakery
Sometimes you just want pizza.
Too often in this city, the best pizza experiences come attached to the big name restaurant extravaganzas that end up taking over your whole night. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - say the words Bestia, Mozza, or Gjelina and we will be there with clear minds and empty stomachs. But when it comes to those quick, casual, dependable pizza joints we all need in life, LA is severely lacking. And that’s exactly what makes DeSano so essential.
Located on Santa Monica Blvd. in East Hollywood, the first thing you’ll notice about DeSano is how large it is. You order at the front counter area, grab your number, and make your way to the massive back eating area with long, wooden communal tables and flat screen TV’s lining the wall. You'll notice stacks of canned tomatoes, bags of dough, and four massive wood-fired ovens in the back, giving the whole space the look and feel of some sort of back kitchen rec room. Hint: This is a good thing.
It’s around this time when you realize how Italian this place is. You won’t find any drunk bros watching Lakers games here. Instead, expect groups of middle-aged Italian men shouting at Champions League (soccer) games like their lives depend on it. And then there’s the food itself - if this isn’t the best pizza in LA, it’s certainly the most authentic. Those canned tomatoes, bags of dough, and huge ovens in the corner? All shipped over from the Italy. The pizza here just feels and tastes fresh, and that's not something you can always say in this town. Our move is their namesake DeSano pizza (sausage, pepperoni, and pecorino) and the Bianca. And don’t ignore the calzone - it’s flaky, mozzarella-filled greatness and not so filling you won’t be able to go wild on pizza either.
DeSano thrives most, however, because it's a simple, bare-bones pizzeria (that happens to be delicious). You can swing by on your way home from a long day and pick up a pizza to eat later on your couch or roll in with 15 friends over the weekend for a birthday throwdown. It’s laid-back, inexpensive, and most importantly, fun. And that’s exactly what you want when you’re eating good pizza.
Best Neapolitan pizza in the city? Yes. Sure, it's just sausage and pepperoni, but sometimes that's all you need. The crust at DeSano’s (thin, chewy, and very foldable) is good enough that you could pretty much put anything on it and be happy.
Stuffed with all the soppressata, proscuitto, pepperoni, and garlic you can handle, this is actually a great dish to cut up and eat as an appetizer with friends. Or if you’re alone, order it to-go and snuggle with it underneath the covers tonight.
Is this the best spinach salad you’ve ever had? Absolutely not. But if you want some greens in your life, you should order it. It also comes served on a cafeteria tray and that’s just zero fcks given.
This is their version of a white pizza. Mozzarella, pecorino, ricotta, and scamorza. Ideal for the vegetarians in the group or people who can’t control themselves around cheese.
Definitely the heaviest of the pizzas at DeSano, but also pretty damn good. This is the pizza you order when you roll in a little drunk and looking to get sloppy.
We’ve definitely had better cannolis, but we’ve also had much worse. If you’re going to get one, the hazelnut is the way to go.