Owner Mar Diego worked her way up from the projects and a stay in a penitentiary to create this pizza shop that has a higher purpose: to rehabilitate troubled youths by giving them jobs and responsibilities. Some have criminal records and addictions; others have mental health challenges. Many come from broken homes, and a few are homeless. Diego learned how to make pizza when she apprenticed at restaurants in Rome, and she finessed her skills while working in New York pizzerias.
At Dough Girl, the pizzas are a New York–meets–Southern California hybrid that utilize fresh, never-frozen ingredients and hand-sliced mozzarella cheese. The vegan pepperoni and sausages are house-made. Best sellers include The Mobster, with lobster sauce and tiger shrimp, and the Animal-Style, a thin pie piled high with french fries and American cheddar. Diego’s mentees help dream up other concoctions, such as ravioli pizza, that add a humorous touch to Dough Girl’s eclectic menu.—Eddie Lin
Click on each pizza below to learn more about Dough Girl's mouth-watering pies.