Casa Bianca Queen Jennie Martorana Dies at 88

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Photo: Jar () via Flickr

More than four years after the passing of her husband, Sam, Eagle Rock and L.A. pizza aficionados are grieving for Jennie Martorana, co-founder of Northeast L.A.'s Casa Bianca, prized for its pies. An L.A. Times obituary notes that Martorana died Sunday from "complications due to a stroke." She and her husband came to L.A. from Chicago in 1954 and opened the restaurant with Sam's brother, Joe, at the start of the following year.

Casa Bianca, more or less everything you desire from a red sauce, checkered-tablecloth Italian with pies that defy expectation, remains a forceful attraction for fans and culinary cognoscenti (in a 2005 obituary of Sam Martorana, Jonathan Gold wrote, "Casa Bianca serves the best neighborhood-pizzeria pizza in L.A."). A funeral was held yesterday in Eagle Rock, where Martorana's memory will continue to be savored with every bite of Bianca's slices. [LAT]