Domenick's Pizza House has been located right next to the railroad tracks in Carson since 1955. Whether it is on the good side of the tracks or the bad side of the tracks on Avalon Boulevard has changed more than once in the 45 years that my family has been patronizing the family-owned pizzeria. I won't ever forget a childhood spent drinking root beer out of their red plastic cups while playing "Billy Don't be a Hero" on the jukebox.
In the early days, the rotund and effusive Domenick would greet each table with warmness and enthusiasm. The original Domenick is long gone now, as are the first two sons. The third son, Domenick Jr., is now running the place himself. The smiles and hugs are still there, but no one forgets Domenick Sr., whose jolly likeness dominates the wall.
Over all of these years, Domenick's has retained its old school pizza house vibe, the same recipes, and the same menu, with cringe-worthy sandwich titles like "the Mussolini" and "The Dago Burger".
The sandwiches at Domenick's are stunning, especially the Italian sub, made with mortadella, provolone and salami. The crust of the warmed bread crackles with each bite until it gives way to the soft, supple interior and fatty fillings. The meatball sandwich is enough for two people, with giant meatballs and a tangy red sauce causing you to take bites that are too big to be good for you. The burgers are served as a hoagie-shaped patty on the same Italian bread.
If you are tired of nouvelle regional Italian restaurants and pine for the old-fashioned red-sauce joints, Domenick's is your place. You can still order a variety of mix and match old-fashioned pastas that will make you nostalgic for the old days. The ravioli are perfectly cooked, and spaghetti with red sauce is offered as a side dish.
Domenick's pizza toppings are spot-on, with thickly sliced pepperoni cooked until it is crispy. Over the years, though, we have noticed the crust is unpredictable. Sometimes it's a little too doughy and soft. That's really the only complaint, not bad for 45 years.