Mulberry Street Pizzeria
240 S. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA, USA

I've found that pretty much all the restaurants Angelinos rave about – the ones they tell visitors they have to try – actually turn out to be overhyped, overpriced, and ultimately disappointing.

Perhaps this is true of any city. A Chicagoan at heart, I cringe when I hear people say Uno's is the best pizza, or Portillo's has the ultimate Chicago hot dog. Really, cities bear little resemblance to how they appear in CityGuides.

So, the locals will tell you that Mulberry Street is the place to get real, authentic New York pizza in L.A. Now, I've had real New York pizza, and I've had many L.A. attempts at it. And while I want Mulberry Street to be my favorite, it just isn't. Time and again, I give it a shot, and it's just not that great. Not bad. Certainly not Sbarro. But in all honesty, I've had far better New York-style pizza a few blocks south, in the Hassidic neighborhood on Pico.

Mulberry is owned in part by Cathy Moriarty, which is yet another reason to want to like it. They supposedly import real New York water for the crust. The walls are lined with autographed photos of appreciative celebs, with the "Bruno Kirby Sat Here" seat at the counter being probably being the coolest. But the pizza just isn't the best. Good. Not great. It's like Pink's … you'll get a better hot dog at Marty's, but Pink's is a more "classic" L.A. experience.

At any rate, Mulberry is certainly worth a visit. I'd recommend the plain cheese or white spinach pizza, or the any of the classic slices … not so much the chicken-oriented ones, which seem a bit too California-pandering. One to avoid is the Sicilian, a thick, super-bready cheese pizza slice that can't decide whether it wants to be Chicago deep-dish or some kind of weirdo cheese-topped focaccia … it's not inedible, per se, but has pretty much all of the characteristics I like least in pizza rolled into one.

$4 a slice is steep for a slice, and arguably not worth it. Over time, I feel like I'm trying too hard to have this place become what everyone says it is, and I feel less and less of a need to go back. As with most of L.A., enjoy this when you come to visit. But don't live here, nor make this your local pizza place of choice.

Review by Hot Ruby Fortuna, April 2010