"A piece of the puzzle is the water temperature. New York City water temp 365 days a year comes out of the faucet at 41 degrees. And water temperature is really important for the dough's quality development."
And with that, acclaimed chef Daniel Holzman matter of factly solved the conundrum of an authentic New York-style slice finally breaking through in the Los Angeles dining scene. There's been many who have claimed the NYC-style, but none have come close until Holzman's Danny Boy's Famous Original in Downtown Los Angeles.
"Yeast is a living organism, it's a bacteria, and the hotter it is, the faster it goes. It beats out all the other bacteria and wants the food. If you slow the yeast down, the other bacteria have the opportunity to flourish and you get more flavor development. If you start with 41 degree water, you cool down the dough and you can extend your fermentation process. So you get more flavorful dough with a certain quality to it."
Of course there's more to the water temperature, though. You need the best, freshest New York-style ingredients, to ensure the overall quality of the pie. And you need the size to be on point — whether it be 18 or 20 inches remains up for debate still among NYC pizza purists. Also, that pie's got to hold up, stability is king here. Get that droopy shit out of here as I shake my fist in New Yorker.
I get it, though. You got a lauded chef, with a fine dining pedigree, who knows his New York slices, rocks an iced out pizza chain that would make any rapper look twice, and exudes the bravado and sincerity of all the Five Boroughs — and boom, damn good pizza all up in my tastebuds.
Situated inside Halo, a new dining and retail destination in the heart of DTLA, Danny Boy's is slinging pies that save me a flight into JFK International Airport. You've got the usual suspects here — Cheese, Pepperoni, Meatball — amongst others, all done incredibly and with the gusto and say-it-with-your-chest flavor and quality that any tried and true New Yorker will respect.
How else is a slice of Danny Boy's worthy of repping the Five Boroughs? It all comes down to how you hold it.
"The thing that makes a New York pizza a New York pizza is that you hold it with three fingers, one with the middle on top, the thumb and the 'fuck you' finger on the bottom. And you make a slight fold, then the thing should hold straight and not be flaccid on the tip. Then if you fold it further, it cracks on the bottom but doesn't break in half."
After trying a couple slices for myself (and making sure I saved some to take home and maraud later), I have no problem admitting that Danny Boy's is the best NYC-style pizza in Los Angeles. The crust is crisp, crunching effortlessly without being arid, the ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and the whole experience in helping myself to each slice was simply comforting.
Congrats Daniel Holzman, you've cracked the Da Vinci code to bringing authentic New York 'za into the City of Angels. You've dropped all the gems, it's now on Angelenos to taste the most official, the truly legit on the left coast.