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Deep dish versus thin(ner) crust: Pizza battle at the new N.Y. & C. pizzeria

July 15, 2009 |  5:18 pm

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The four guys behind South in Santa Monica are getting ready to strike again with another Westside spot. This time, instead of paying homage to comforts of Southern culture with mint juleps served in Mason jars, they’re embracing the pizza cultures of both New York and Chicago in the former Toi space at 1120 Wilshire Blvd. “We took the space and split it in the middle,” says co-owner Adam Milstein. The right side looks like New York, with tabletops covered and varnished with New York Times pages dating back 40 years. The left side captures the spirit of Chicago, complete with photos of the Sears Tower and Wrigley Field. They’re calling it N.Y. & C.

The pizzeria, which will stay open until 3:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, goes beyond a clever design scheme and a cute name. Milstein says his partners went all over New York to research pizzerias – some went further and even got jobs in kitchens for some hands-on learning. For the inside track on Chicago-style deep dish, Milstein hit up his grandfather’s best friend, owner of Wapaghetti's in Illinois. “He sent me ingredients and secret family recipes,” says Milstein.

The results? The New York menu will offer thin(ner) crust pizzas such as the “Central Park” made with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs and extra cheese and the “Empire State,” which is similar to a Margherita with mozzarella, marinara and fresh basil. The Chicago options include the meaty deep dish “Windy City” topped with sausage, pepperoni, sliced beef, mushroom and extra cheese. And to wash it down: about 45 kinds of beer, 14 of them bottled.

N.Y. & C. is targeted to open at the end of July or early August and will also offer delivery.

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Brian VanderBrug / Los Angeles Times