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Chef Jason Neroni Opens Best Bet Pizzeria in Los Angeles

The accomplished chef from The Rose in nearby Venice is now making inventive pies, focaccia, and a full menu of California-Italian dishes.

pepperoni and sausage pizza

Pepperoni and sausage pizza from Best Bet Pizzeria in Los Angeles.

Update on 1/1/2024: Best Bet closed in December, ending a brief run that included winning "Dish of the Year" from Los Angeles magazine for its Ode to Franco pie, inspired by Italian pizza chef Franco Pepe.

Don’t let the name fool you: Best Bet Pizzeria, which opened this week in LA’s Culver City neighborhood, is much more than a place to order a pie. Chef Jason Neroni, an Angeleno who rose to culinary fame in New York City before returning home, has created what’s being called his “most personal restaurant concept,” and it features a full menu of Italian-inspired dishes that also shines a light on California’s first-rate produce and ingredients.

truffle pizza
Truffle pizza from Best Bet.

Still, pizza is in the name, and Neroni makes a bold statement with his ovens, offering three different preparations. Montanara or “mountain-style” is a Naples pizza variety where the dough is flash fried before toppings are added. His focaccia or “grandma” pizza is served crunchy; it’s the lightest of the three. Then there’s a “Neo-New York” pie that combines the best of Naples and NYC’s styles, with chewy crust and a sturdier base that’s more New Yorker than Neapolitan.

cacio e pepe pasta
Best Bet Pizzeria features pasta dishes such as Orecchiette with pink peppercorns and caciocavallo al burro, a play on cacio e pepe.

Neroni, who’s also chef at long-running The Rose in LA’s Venice neighborhood, has a history of channeling high-quality ingredients into creatively designed dishes. His cooking earned him three stars in The New York Times at 10 Downing Food & Wine in Manhattan, back in 2009, and more recently, his Venice hotspot Superba attracted a cult following for its playful snack-inspired menu.

The interior at Best Bet Pizzeria in Los Angeles.

Best Bet, located in a former IHOP—hence the A-frame design—represents “everything about me and my passion for food, hospitality, and drink,” Neroni says in a release. He showcases not only his love of pizza, but a strong knowledge of Italian cooking traditions. Besides the pizza sections, tne menu breaks down into Breads, Fritti and Spuntini, Fresh (with salads and small plates), Pasta and Rice, and Meat. 

So yes, more than pizza, though we suspect there’ll be pies on every table at Best Bet, along with a smattering of dishes from throughout the menu, plus wines from Italy and California, and perhaps a cocktail or two. 

Best Bet Pizzeria, 12665 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066,, @bestbetpizzeria, (310) 853-8096

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