Calling All Ex-New Yorkers – Get Your Authentic Pizza HERE!



By (ex-New Yorker Raven West)

Tony’s Place

There are many reasons why New Yorkers love California. 78 vs 29 degrees in January, watching Monday night football with dinner at 6pm or celebrating New Year’s Eve at 9pm and at Midnight! California is a beautiful state, except for one minor complaint.

You can’t get a decent pizza anywhere.

Yes, there are the popular chains, and perhaps one or two restaurants that will claim “NY Style”, but a true New Yorker will be disappointed every time.

The common excuse is “it’s the water”, and while a few select restaurants will even try to import water from the East Coast and use that line to entice New York customers, just one look, (not even one bite) totally destroys the claim.

Desperate New Yorkers can go on-line and order a pizza (one site has a 16” cheese pizza for $59)! Last year for my birthday my daughter who works in

Ron’s Special Brick Oven

Manhattan, packed slices of pizza and had them Fedex to me. I didn’t ask her how much she paid, but it was worth every bite.

So, imagine my skepticism when I heard of a little place in Camarillo called Tony’s NY Pizzeria. Quite by accident, I attended an event at the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. The owner Ron Goodson walked in carrying boxes of pizza. Expecting the usual “California style what they call pizza imposter”, I was stunned.  Right in front of me was a genuine New York pizza!

One bite and I was back on Times Square. I was in pizza heaven! A few days later, I sat down with Ron to discover how this native Californian and former Goodson’s of Malibu jewelry store owner discovered the secret to making the perfect New York style pizza 3,000 miles from my home!

“We closed the jewelry store in 2005 so I could spend more time with my family,” Ron explained. “I’ve always enjoyed great food and would make pizza at home so when this location became available, I spent months doing research and talking to some of the best pizza makers I could find. Then, I hired an expert pizza chef, Joe who has over 45 years of experience.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t the water, or the ingredients that made the best NY pizza, it was the oven.  

Pizza Chef Joe

“I found out there are as many pizza dough recipes as there are pizza ovens. Everybody tailors their recipe to how they’re planning on cooking the pizza. So, the first thing we imported from New York, wasn’t the water, it was the brick oven. Pizza is meant to be cooked hot and fast. The new oven temperature is 800 degrees instead of the 500 it replaced. The minute we installed the new oven we could tell the difference. When you sliced it with a rolling knife you heard the crust going “crunch” rather than cutting dough.

The oven temperature is also a key ingredient in cooking the cheese. If your cheese browns too fast, then emotionally you want to pull the pizza out of the oven before the crust is cooked. There is a talent to knowing exactly when the crust is done – you can see it on the bottom and the cheese is melted to perfection.”

Size also matters.

“We only have three sizes; small is 14”, the large is 16” and our largest, the Jumbo is 18”. The new oven is about 6 inches shorter than the one we replaced so we can only cook three pizzas at a time. Besides, a larger pizza won’t fit through the front door.”

So, just order two!

Tony’s will deliver small orders free within a 3 mile radius of their location on 31 Lewis road. There is a small surcharge for orders 5 miles or more, and catering is available. 

Can you tell which pizza was made in Times Square, NYC and which one was made in Camarillo, CA?

While I will always be a Yankees fan, I’ll root for the Dodgers if they’re in the World Series and while I’m a NY Giants fan at heart – GO L.A. RAMS! And when it comes to authentic New York Pizza – Tony’s is the place to go!

Now, if I could only find a decent rye bread!

For additional information visit:

NY Pizza Lover, Raven West


Photo Credits: Raven West

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.Named in the TOP 50 Authors by

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