As the Tao Group has rolled out its dining lineup at the buzzy new Dream Hollywood hotel—Beauty & Essex, Tao LA and the new Highlight Room on the roof—high expectations have been met, and culinary excitement has reached a peak. But a little pizza place has, on occasion, stolen the show.
Luchini Pizzeria & Bar has become a fast favorite thanks to its authentic and creative New York-style pies. Tao’s corporate executive chef Marc Marrone—a transplanted New Yorker himself—says infusing the true flavor and style of the Big Apple was essential in creating yet another venue at Dream that would stand out, from the hip-hop album covers on the wall to the deep-dish Sicilian pizzas coming out of the ovens. “We knew what we needed to tie this block together was kickass New York pizza,” he says.
The menu seems simple: salads, Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas and slices, fries and a burger. But a lot of research and testing went into those pizzas. “The dough was a real process for all of us,” Marrone says. “I think we went through 15 different versions to get the right crunch and the right chew. It was the biggest challenge of the whole thing.”
The chef knew he had a winner on his hands with the Sicilian—especially the popular Roni Roni with classic cup-and-char pepperoni—but was a little surprised the thicker-crust pies have been so successful in SoCal. “I really thought being in LA and just anywhere on the West Coast, the bigger, heavier, more dough thing would be less popular, but we sell out of it, all day long,” he says. “It’s the No. 1 hit.” Luchini Pizzeria & Bar at Dream Hollywood, 323-593-7771; daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m.