Finally a real piece of pizza in Los Angeles.
While I (Greg) love almost all culinary aspects of Los Angeles, I find its pizza to be truly lacking. Perhaps this stems from growing up in Chicago, where making pizza is an art form. Or, maybe I’m just a snob, but whatever the reason, I’ve accepted that if I want good pizza I’ve gotta hop on a plane. This is my mind set walking into Masa of Echo Park, where I’ve been told they have good Chicago-style pizza. Walking in, Masa lacks the grungy, dimly lit, hole-in-the wall vibe that is prevalent with so many of Chicago’s finest pizzerias. Instead, Masa has a uniquely California feel with big bay windows letting in lots of sunshine.
Without conferring with my friends, I confidently order a large sausage and green pepper deep dish. After almost an hour, which is an appropriate amount of time to wait, our pizza comes out. The golden crust is thick and buttery with a subtle cornmeal flavor. The cheese is gooey and thick, while the chunky tomato sauce is pipping hot and has the tiniest hint of sweetness. The mildly spicy sausage comes in a large thin patty instead of chunks, and is topped with peppery caraway seeds. The green peppers are perfectly done with a nice crunch and evenly charred.
Some deep dish connoisseurs may notice this pizza isn’t assembled with the toppings below the sauce like classic Chicago-style. This is true, and there are a couple other differences here and there, but I look past these because, all in all, this is an amazingly well done pizza.
There will probably never be a replacement in Los Angeles for my beloved Chicago-style pizzerias, however Masa of Echo Park comes really damn close. If you like Chicago-style pizza, or hell, any kind of pizza, this is a must have!
By: Greg Kindra