I had never eaten an authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza before picking one up from Hollywood Pies, so color me surprised at how heavy it was, both in heft of each slice and by how quickly it filled me up. For some reason I was expecting the pizza to be more along the lines of a pan pizza that you’d find at Pizza Hut (but much better obviously). The crust reminded me of the pizza I had at Zelo, which was cornmeal-based. On top of this heavy dough, a liberal spread of tomato sauce was applied on top of a thick layer of mozzarella (and creamy ricotta as well for some of the pizzas). Man, do these pizzas fill you up.
Hollywood Pies is strictly a takeout and delivery place. They operate out of a random location on Robertson Blvd, where there is no signage. The entire space is dedicated to the kitchen; you have to wait outside the place when you go to pick up (feels like a drug deal going down – not that I know how those transactions are operated). The pizzas themselves aren’t exactly cheap, but they offer significant discounts for takeout, and for delivery they have a generous 5 miles radius. Be advised that there will be a wait – at least 45 minutes for takeout, and probably 1-2 hours for delivery.
There are more than a dozen varieties of pies, but just about all of them are the same, plus/minus one or two ingredients. So if you like mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, onions, or ricotta, you can just close your eyes and point to one pizza on the menu and not be disappointed. Like I mentioned previously, I actually feel that the pizza is very similar to the one pizza I had at Zelo. Which means that I do feel that the crust is a bit heavy, and hard sans the crunch I usually prefer for pizza crusts. It was more of a crumbly cardboard texture. But biting past the crust, the copious amounts of melted cheese and sauce (which had a nice sweet and tart flavor) is oh-so-satisfying.
Nowadays, I’m more enamored with the new wave of Neapolitan pizzas and the even superior ones that are made at Pizzeria Mozza. But the way I feel about Hollywood Pies is similar to how I feel about 800 Degrees – it opens up new possibilities for pizzas. While 800 Degrees brought Neapolitan pies to the masses, Hollywood Pies kind of does the opposite in jazzing up what is perceived (by me at least) as fast food pizza. It’s not perfect, and not something I’d find myself eating on a regular basis, but I’m glad that it’s here and accessible.
Chris Hei grade: B
1437 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035