I’ve passed Casa Bianca Pizza Pie a couple of dozen times over the years, and even tried eating at it three times previously, but was always thwarted by its hours: no lunch service, closed on Sundays. The old-school neon sign, however, would not be denied, and neither would Jonathan Gold’s glowing praise of Casa Bianca, founded in 1955, as L.A.’s best neighborhood pizza parlor. (His unattributed review begins with the section labeled “The Pie.”)
Is it all that? I met up there last Friday with a friend recently transplanted from Rancho Cucamonga to Eagle Rock.
The place was bustling, with people crowded into the foyer and others waiting on the sidewalk. Celebrity photos, including a young Ed Asner and an old Ed Asner, line the walls. In the dining room, the tables have red-checked tablecloths. The atmosphere reminded me of Vince’s Spaghetti, only cozier, and filled with the happy hum of conversation.
The pizza proved to be quite good, with a thin, crispy crust, the way I like it. The homemade sausage lived up to its hype. The other half of our pizza, done Hawaiian style, is said to have been a favorite of Obama’s when he went to Occidental College. I don’t normally deign to eat ham and pineapple on a pizza but have to say this version was impressive.
Service was exceptionally friendly and the tiramasu ($4.75) is worth getting.
Is this L.A.’s best pizza? As Gold says, someplace has to have L.A.’s best pizza. It could very well be Casa Bianca. Then again, the pizza may be just as good at San Biagio’s in Upland, which is considerably more convenient. Casa Bianca does get the edge for atmosphere (Gold: “This is the pizza parlor all Americans have been conditioned to look for since early childhood”). And for sausage.