Settebello – Best Pizza in MDR! No, Really, It’s Actually Good

11 Sep

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Marina Del Rey is one of the sadder food places in LA. The area including Westchester, Playa Vista, Del Rey is an island of mediocrity between Santa Monica and Culver City. With tons of new, awesome pizza opening up all over LA, MDR had been wearing its sad face until now.

I know that saying Settebello is MDR’s best pizza is damning it with faint praise. But really, this is really great pizza in a beautiful, if fake, setting.

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Settebello is part of the new Marina Market Place, which is bringing a shot in the arm to MDR. The new dine-in movie theater, a Gelson’s market, the Yard House, Le Pain Quotidien, and (!) Tender Greens. It’s also directly across the street from Paiche.

Settebello’s public face is a former local college quarterback, who was at least smart enough to bail on his marginal chances of playing pro ball and cashed out an insurance policy and went into business. He decided to hitch his star to pizza, a good bet as pizza is overtaking burgers as LA’s gentrified food of the moment.

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They’ve done a good job making a beautiful space to eat your $13 pie. Although the building is brand new, they have tapped into the urban, industrial, retro style of every other place in town. It feels especially fake in MDR, one of the most artificial places in this plastic city. But the beautiful elements make you forget that you are a couple hundred yards from the marina with no view of any water.

Hey, look at the tin ceiling! Harkening back to the place’s roots — in 2013.

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For a place with a view of a condo complex and a mini-mall, they have made a wonderful place to sit outside and have a drink.

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The pizza is serious. Settebello is a member of Vera Pizza Napoletana, a club of pizzerias that agree to maintain certain Neapolitan pizza traditions. So they use San Marzano tomatoes and Italian flour. The oven, like the one at Sotto, was imported brick by brick from Italy. And they only use wood to fire the oven.

Unlike Mozza, Settebello is making pies as traditionally Neapolitan as possible. They warn that Neapolitans use a fork and knife to eat their pizza, since it is thin and limp in the middle.

Considerations of style aside, this is a really great pizza. The crust is bubbly and chewy and has just the right hint of burnt-ness underneath. The sauce is bright and tasty. I had begun to favor white pies or pies with very little red sauce, but this one struck me as a pizza highlighted by the sauce.

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I got the carbonara pizza, which means bacon. Actually, pancetta, not the crisp overly smoky stuff we love for breakfast. All the ingredients: Crushed Tomatoes, Pancetta, Egg, Mozzarella, Cracked Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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And the undershot:

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Settebello
13455 Maxella Avenue, Suite 250
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
P: 310-306-8204 | F: 310-306-8241

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