Fired on Wood

Bringing the heat to Los Feliz

Los Angeles has long lagged behind New York and the Bay Area for Neapolitan-style pizza, but the tides of our wood-fired history are shifting.

Bez Compani's Mother Dough, which quietly debuted last month, has brought a bit of Naples to Los Feliz.

The longtime neighborhood resident spent a year transforming a former tattoo parlor on Hollywood Boulevard. Friends helped to craft tables from a fallen oak tree, and one wall sports 8,400 hefty nails stamped with the year they penetrated railroad ties.

Neapolitan artisan Stefano Ferrara constructed Mother Dough's oven, which burns at a sweltering 850 degrees when fed with oak and almond wood. Compani himself makes every pizza that passes through the oven's flame-licked mouth.

The Margherita (pictured; $15) showcases Mother Dough's springy, blistered and slightly tangy crust as it carries San Marzano tomato sauce, molten mozzarella and basil. Meaty variations add San Danielle prosciutto ($19) or slices of whiskey-fennel sausage ($18). Less-classical options include a sauceless zucchini pizza with Manchego and thyme ($17).

Like the best pizzerias, the menu doesn't drift far beyond pizza. There are a few uncooked starters such as briny marinated olives ($4), and desserts like the rich triple-chocolate mousse with caramel sauce and lavender sea salt ($8).

Mother Dough, 4648 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz;
323-644-2885 or motherdoughpizza.com