101 Greatest L.A. Dining places of 2020

“Fortune favors the brave” could possibly as well have been created about David Wilcox, who formerly operated the formidable but ill-fated Atwater Village cafe Journeyman. In 2018, as a last-ditch effort to preserve the restaurant, Wilcox transformed it into a pizzeria. The gamble paid off. Hail Mary Pizza specializes in funky, char-edged pies with blistery, chewy, quickly digestible crusts constructed from purely natural levain and full grains.

The Pep Pep, with pork chorizo, peppers and honey, is a sophisticated and lush constellation of sweet and spicy flavors. The Westside-impressed Giust-oh is brilliantly paved with feta and Mornay sauce and smooth, starchy bites of potato, chard and lemon zest, though the anchovy-as well as-jalapeño combo of the Frederick is a gleeful smack of cheesy, briny heat. Salads are built from the finest farmers current market produce — just lately there was a pretty autumnal blend of ultra-fresh new dandelion greens tossed with squash and pomegranate seeds. Desserts, which include the home brownies and the almond-crusted Basque cake with pastry product on the facet, are cause more than enough to connect with for takeout.

Outdoors the kitchen, Wilcox is a fervent advocate for independent eating places, and has experimented with profit-sharing designs in an energy to counter the industrywide pay back disparities among front- and back again-of-dwelling roles. But you do not have to have to know any of this to savor the pizza, which is some of the most distinctive and pleasant in Los Angeles.