Fresh ingredients rule at Stefano's Pizzeria, with homemade sauce and farmers'-market herbs and veggies spreading their power over a doughy dominion. The menus at both the Santa Monica Place and Howard Hughes locations manifest four kinds of hand-tossed pies, including thin New York–style pizza ($2.75–$4/slice), which Stefano's native New Yorker owner carried with him to the coast, transporting simple cheese pies beneath the seat and in overhead compartments. The thick Sicilian–style ($3+/slice) has traveled even further, embodying secret recipes handed down through generations. Inventive gourmet varieties ($21.50–$24.50 for 18") present creative concoctions of barbecue-chicken-and-four-cheese pizza, and stuffed selections ($5.25/slice) arrive tableside, bursting with toppings and oven gossip.
Buffalo Wings & Pizza churns out a spread of wings, pizzas, and burgers lovingly designed to fill every hunger-shaped hole in your stomach. The eatery's menu boasts tender chicken wings in flavors that range from mildly spicy to suicide, and more than 20 toppings and 11 sauces weigh down its 9- to 20-inch pizzas to keep them from blowing away. Five beers such as Fat Tire, Pacifico, and Blue Moon splash into glasses straight from the keg, and a full bar supplies patrons with cheer-inducing libations during games displayed on Buffalo Wings' projector.
Located in a spacious dining room and roughly 100 yards from the beach and Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Pizzeria specializes in Italian dishes that have become American classics. The owner, who was worked as a chef at Spago in Beverly Hills, utilizes a menu of pizzas with eclectic ingredients, bowls of sauce-covered pasta, hot wings by the dozen, calzones, and a wide variety of subs and salads. As patrons mull over pizza toppings, the cooks can suggest combinations such as buffalo chicken with mozzarella and red onions, or speciality pizzas such as the Deluxe. Alongside the pizzas, chefs use their toppings to create hot and cold subs, as well as salads that burst with vegetables like a scarecrow’s investment portfolio.
Short of the sink, Bella Vista Brazilian Pizza's chefs pile almost every ingredient in the kitchen—from meats and cheeses to fresh fruit and chocolate—onto thin-crust disks to create 30 different styles of gourmet pizza. Waiters then meander through the dining room in the tradition of Brazilian-rodizio-style meals, serving guests as much pizza as they can stomach or fit in their cheeks for later. Slices come slathered in specialty Brazilian-style sauces and topped with brazilian sausages, and catupiry—brazilian cream cheese—as well as in other non-traditional toppings such as cinnamon, hearts of palm, beef strogonoff, and vegetarian cheese. In addition to its savory pizza staples, Bella Vista also churns out dessert pizzas and four pasta dishes.
Open seven days a week and stationed in the Brazilian Mall, Bella Vista enshrouds guests in the light emitted by a tinted-window ceiling and decorative wicker-basket light fixtures. Energetic music fills the space as diners sup on slices and sip their own BYOB beverages.