Upper Crust

In peak berry season, three pies are put to the test, with our panel of judges rating each on a scale of 1 to 10.

The Judges



Kamil Majer

Owner, Blu-Jam Cafe, Sherman Oaks






Karen Young

Food editor, Ventura Blvd 

Editor, The Ventura Blvd Sauce email newsletter (sign up at ourventurablvd.com)






Jeff Briller

Executive, Global Eagle Entertainment







I Heart Pies

This online bakery makes all-organic, gourmet pies. We tasted their strawberry rhubarb medium-size pie (approximately two slices per pie). Order for delivery at iheartpies.com.

KM: Nice presentation. Looked very fresh-baked. 

KY: This pie seemed a bit undercooked. Their presentation of a smaller pie was really pretty though.

JB: Great, sweet crust. Nice appearance. Looked fresh and homemade. Would be terrific after dinner with a light, sweet wine.

Score: 6.5


Republic of Pie

This coffee and dessert hotspot, known for its rotating menu of seasonal pies, put their marionberry variety up to test. 11118 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-308-7990

KM: Nice balance of sweetness and tanginess.
Good overall flavor.

KY: Nicely tart. The flavor of fresh fruit really popped. Because it has real fruit, I’d prefer that the berries have more texture instead of being so smooth. Largest piece of pie I’ve seen! 

JB: Very fresh, flavorful. Would’ve been better with a thicker, flakier crust. Picturesque, tall slice loaded with real fruit filling.

Score: 7.5



The longtime Valley establishment offered a slice of their boy-senberry pie. 12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, 818-766-4437

KM: Not my favorite. I could taste the corn syrup.

KY: The filling seemed canned and was too thick and syrupy. The crust needed more time in the oven.

JB: Would be better if fresh fruit had been used in the filling. A bit too sweet for me. 

Score: 4.0 



Porch Pies

We’d been hearing about this Valley Village-based master pie making company for years and were thrilled to hear it lives up to its reputation for making melt-in-your-mouth, home-baked berry pies. All three judges went wild over their mixed berry crumble—a 10-inch deep dish pie topped with a brown sugar crumble for $35. Order for delivery ($10) at porchpies.com. Also available for pick-up at Big Sugar Bake Shop in Studio City.

KM: Great crunch and crust. Perfect balance between acidity and sweetness. Loved the presentation too.

KY: Part crumble, part pie; this slice was tart with a slightly sweet bite. The texture of the filling worked beautifully with the flaky crust. Looks like it just came out of the oven. Perfect.

JB: Tasted light and fresh. Great “crumble.” Delicious!

Score: 9.3