Pizzeria Sei Pays Homage to Neapolitan Pizza in Los Angeles

But this is the thrill of pizza — the way it develops, continuously, through digressions, idiosyncrasies, anomalies and adaptations. Through the overlapping work of the people who cook it, day in, day out.

Mr. Joo, who immigrated from South Korea as a teenager, learned to make pizzas at Pizzana, Daniele Uditi’s Los Angeles restaurant, which makes beautiful, sometimes even cheeky neo-Neapolitan pies. Later, he studied Mr. Kakinuma’s techniques online, and observed videos of Pizza Studio Tamaki and Savoy Pizza.

At Sei, he buys produce — basil, mushrooms, garlic, eggs — from the Santa Monica Farmers Market twice a week, and works with a yeasted dough that’s proofed slowly over the course of two days. His pizzas reflect both of the neo-Neapolitan styles he studied, but they’re not entirely either, still grafting toward his own.

The salty margherita has a juicy, but not soggy center, and the Bismarck comes with a tender-to-runny egg. My favorite is the white pie, the raw dough drawn across the counter so it’s shining, covered only with a swirl of thick cream and fior di latte mozzarella, freckled with preserved lemon and obscenely large glugs of olive oil.

I’ve eaten this pizza at the sun-baked metal table on the sidewalk, and in my car rushing down the Santa Monica Freeway — a slice is just about structurally sound enough for this. But the best way to enjoy it is at the counter, straight from the oven, off the peel and onto a plate, the crust full of steam, still hissing with life.

Pizzeria Sei, 8781 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, 424-279-9800, pizzeriasei.com

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