By Jill Weinlein, 4/24/2014
Bless this pizza pie from Napoli!
DeSano Pizza is a unique Napoli style pizza place where you can see your pizza prepared and then popped into one of four traditional wood-fired ovens imported from Italy. Each oven is 10,000 pounds and heats easily to 900 degrees.
The ovens have the names of an Italian city and saint on the front. “In Italy, there is a saint for each day. Each city is protected by a saint, and our ovens are protected too,” said Marino Monferrato, the Managing Partner for DeSano’s Los Angeles.
Monferrato had been working at the popular Cecconi’s in West Hollywood. When Scott DeSano of DeSano Pizza restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee and in Charleston, South Carolina dined at Cecconi’s, he told Monferrato, “Your pizza is good, but my pizza is better.” At the time, Monferrato had been the General Manager and Sommelier at Cecconi’s for five years. DeSano lured him away to open a DeSano Pizza and Bakery restaurant in East Hollywood.
Monferrato accepted DeSano’s offer and brought along prized pizzaiolo, Massimiliano Di Lascio. “In my native Italy, you are surrounded by restaurants that revolve around a wood-burning oven and the pizzaiolas who make the pies,” Monferrato said.
Both Monferrato and Di Lascio are natives of Italy and bring an authentic perspective to the casual neighborhood pizzeria. Di Lascio was raised in Salerno and became an award-winning pizzaiolo preparing pizza that he perfected in his native Italy.
Monferrato is from the Piedmont area of Italy. “It’s home to a lot of Italian wineries,” he said.
Sitting in a large 7,000-square-foot warehouse space, we sat at a table near the kitchen and ordered a couple of the Napoli pizza pies made with authentic flavors and ingredients such as mozzarella de bufala, prosciutto cotto and a delightful peppadew.
“Peppadew is a vegetable that is half tomato and red pepper. It offers a beautiful and clean taste with sausage,” Monferrato said. The peppadew has a sweet heat that peps up the flavors of the pizza.
Servers presented our freshly made pizzas and salads within minutes. Each pizza comes either personal-sized or larger for families,
couples and friends to share. Ingredients are sourced from the Campania region of Southern Italy.
DeSano is waiting for its liquor license, and hopes to be offering his customers wine and beer soon.
Desserts are a choice of four traditional housemade cannoli made with homemade ricotta on thick shells imported from the East Coast. The chocolate, pistachio and Nutella were exquisite. Ask for a scoop of gelato made by local artisan Alessandro Fontana. He makes all of the gelatos in Burbank and brings them to Monferrato. The salted caramel and lemon are delicious.
“My gelato has no chemicals and made with 40 percent less butterfat than ice cream. The lemon gelato is gluten free,” Fontana said.
There is an adjacent private dining room that offers a separate entrance off one of the parking lots for larger private parties. The parking is ample at DeSano Pizza.
DeSano Pizza and Bakery East Hollywood is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or until
DeSano runs out of dough. Free parking is offered in the attached lot. 4959 Santa Monica Blvd., (323)913-7000.
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