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Folliero’s Pizza ~ Highland Park

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Folliero's Pizza ~ 566 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 ~ (323) 254-0505

Suck it Brooklyn! While you fiendishly pine for our Southland tacos, we're over here avoiding the motherfucking Noid from Bravo in Santa Monica to Coop in Cheviot Hills to Mozza in Hollywood (btw, did you know there's a fancy Mex restaurant in NYC called Florencia13?). Stepping into famous Foliero's Pizza in Highland Park is like hoo-riding with Doc Brown back to the early 1960's. Opened 40 years ago, this charming pizza parlour is old school to the bone, a red brick building with a carved wooden doorway, bare brick walls inside, and smiling, laughing families carving up the pies that a cracker jack team of Mexican Mario and Luigis get to tossing. Service is particularly warm and there's a community vibe here. And beer. They have beer.

The thin crust pizza here is very good, often even great, depending on fate and timing. Rustic and made from scratch, its ilk can be found at authentic diners from Naples to Corsica. You will not get cheesy bread in the crust or 14 pizzas for the price of one, just whole pies that taste rightly of fine olive oil, ripe wheat, basil, mozzarella, along with your fresh ingredients. Some specialty pies bust items like chorizo on them, which I hear is a good call.

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Yes, this pizza is on its way towards thin and the baked crust is light and crisp. The cheese is stretchier then one of Plasticman's loads. Meat toppings are greasy and thus quite tasty, while the veggies can range from overcooked to just right. The sauce does not have much bite, it is just a mellow, ripe base for the party that is to be held in your mouth.

People argue all day about whether the pizza here suits them (with mostly transplants being the haters), it seems L.A. pizza will never escape intense scrutiny and be allowed to be just a good bite, even despite the hundreds of shitty pizza parlors that exist in New York for every one Lombardi's or Grimaldi's. That said, I have learned there is variation in quality some days at Folliero's, but you could say the same about many of our city's priciest restaurants in general. And speaking of prices, they are a huge draw at the Big F's, fairly inexpensive here at around $11 or $12 for a large pie with a couple of toppings. But yes, one of the risks of not being a uniform chain is that the pizza might have a shifting personality from time to time.

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The first time I ate here, the slices came with too little cheese for the heavy toppings of pina and sausage, causing the pizza to collapse on itself. It was still delicious, but my plate looked like Pizza the Hut from Spaceballs, all mashed up cheese and delectable debris. Repeat visits have not seen a repeat of that tasty disaster, bringing me only great pleasure and a smooth, satisfying finish... Aaaaaah! I will be back again and again for this comforting food and atmosphere, or my name is not John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith-- BADADADADADADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Soooo, this is an awesome group spot to share a couple of pizzas, a few beers, and an hour of reasoning with fine friends, be they co-workers or pals from N.A. It won't be long now before all the H-worded 'tards come out in their Halloween costumes and pull a Gold Room on the joint.

When last I left Folliero's, an old HP gentlemen practically embraced me on the sidewalk. "It's just like the old days again!" he said. Even though I had little idea what the fuck he was talking about, he was right on when it came to the meal I'd had. Authenticity, Mom n' Pop coziness, and tasty pizza reign at Folliero's as they have for four decades.

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