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New Pizza Joint in Eagle Rock

A new pizza place has opened up in the 'Rock, right next door to the Colorado Wine Company.

I think it's called "Brownstone Pizza", though their signage isn't fully up yet and since I wasn't looking, I'm not sure. To be perfectly honest, I don't care what it's called. What does matter is that this is the best slice of NYC style pizza I've had since I left New York.

My all-time favorite slice of New York pizza was the old Joe's Pizza at the corner of 6th and Bleecker. Most other pizza joints in NYC barely measured up to that standard. The infinite variety of Ray's Pizza were all too soggy and gloppy. Most of the other corner shops couldn't get the balance between crust and cheese right, and too many places use lousy tomato sauce. But Joe's (before they moved a few doors up) used to be flawless. Thin, crispy and yet greasy at the same time, and scalding hot. The new location is good, but the few times I've been there, an inconsistency has crept in.

This new joint in Eagle Rock... the first bite of my first slice took me right back to every great slice of Joe's Pizza I'd ever eaten. Proust had his madelines. I have my pizza. For a moment, I was back in the city in my early twenties. it was 2:30 in the morning, and I was hunched over those rickety tables in the West Village, shoving down a couple of slices of pizza before staggering home from a night of wandering around dirty bars below Houston street.

It was that good. The grease, the sauce, the crust... it was that old school pizza that I loved. This is hands down the most authentic slice of NYC pizza I've eaten outside of the five boroughs, and for my tastes, it's a better slice than most of the slice-and-a-coke joints in the city.

It's a good time to be living in Eagle Rock.

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  1. Awesome , I think we will have to check it out tonight.
    Are they officially open for business just with no sign??

    1. i checked out brownstone pizza about 3 weeks ago, which was about a week after they opened. no wall decor, empty pizza rack, virtually deserted. it really looked like they had just opened. anyways, i had a slice of sausage. not homemade sausage, but still reasonably high quality. more important, the crust and the sauce were terrific - dead on. a higher quality of cheese would have been nice, but still good. for those who whine about "no good NY style thin crust in LA", it might be worth checking out.

      1. Is this a "sit down order appetizers, pizza, and pasta" place? Or are they more focussed on pizza? I would love to check this place out.

        1. I went there last night and split a whole pie and a salad with my fellow chowhound. The salad was simple: romaine, sliced tomato & olives, cold and freshly prepared with a homemade balsamic dressing. We ordered our pizza half cheese, half sausage. It came out pretty quickly and my review is as follows:

          1. It was perfectly thin and the dough was the right texture meaning that they did not over toss it.
          2. The ratio of cheese to sauce to dough was spot on. I easily folded up each piece with one hand ate away.
          3. Now, I'm being picky about the ingredients but I too felt that the cheese could have been better quality, the sauce more seasoned as well as the sausage.

          All in all a good pizza preparation wise but not the most tasty I have had.

          1. FYI, apparently Joe's Pizza is opening up a branch in Santa Monica on Broadway St. & Ocean Ave... assuming it's the same one you're talking about:

            http://www.joespizza.com/index.html

            here's the info:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412990

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodcorejunior

              The OP is indeed referring to that Joe's, and I'm excited but trying not to get my hopes too high. Joe's in NYC has slipped a lot since its heyday...I hope it regains form here in LA.

              PS: What is it about Eagle Rock that's attracting so many tasty restaurants these days? It seems like a number of places at the top of my list to try are located there...

            2. joe's is opening this week in santa monica. now if only we could switch
              the location of casa bianca and have one here too

              1 Reply
              1. re: epop

                I'd go for that! Can you order the pizza by the slice at Brownstone? I will need to try it for lunch today! Thanks!

              2. This isn't a "sit down, get appetizers" place at all. It's about as ugly as any sweatbox pizza shop in Manhattan, but this isn't a place for decor, atmosphere, or to take the kids for a fun evening out.

                It's all about the art of the slice, and like the other reviewers have noted, they nail it. Before Brownstone's opened, I would have swapped out Casa Bianca for a branch of Joe's Pizza in a heartbeat... But I went back for another slice, and it was every bit as good as I remember Joe's was back in the day (the mid 90's to be more specific). If Brownstone's keeps up the quality, I won't miss Joe's a bit.

                I'd be happy to trade out Casa Bianca, but I'd rather get a really good Indian restaurant in the neighborhood instead.

                1. Address please! And as a New Yorker How did you get the name "Detroit Slim"?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Skunk2Racer

                    2108 Colorado Blvd
                    Los Angeles, CA 90041
                    (323) 257-4992

                  2. We went there for the 2nd time last night and we were blown away. By far some of the best NY pizza in the city and it just happens to be walking distance. They are also very nice people local to the area. We wern't sure what time they closed and when we called at 9:10pm to check they said they closed at 9 but since the oven was still on they would put a pizza in for us. So glad they did!

                    1. Being a SoCal gal, I don't know what "New York" style pizza is supposed to taste like but I hope it's not like the pizza slice I had tonight.
                      The pizza slice was barely warm, the cheese a little congealed and the dough/crust soft and not a pleasant texture. I guess I'd give them another chance but I was pretty disappointed, so much so I almost went to Casa Bianca immediately after to get some HOT pizza. The staff is really nice though.
                      I know it's not fair to compare but for $3 I can get a burrito that's ten times more satisfying. Like I said, I'm a West Coast gal.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: perejil

                        Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Flipped a coin tonight, Brownstone or Joes..... Joe's won the Flip. Had a whole pie with mushrooms & sausage. Burnt my mouth with the first slice, AMAZING! Eat at JOE'S! Oh I ate 4 Slices by myself......

                        1. re: Skunk2Racer

                          I was deciding between Joe's or Brownstone as well. I was in SM today, but time constraints stopped me from getting to Joe's, so Brownstone won out. The only thing I regret about Brownstone was that I only got one slice to go! Though I do not have creds of NY style pizza connoisseur, IMHO best crust I have had on the eastside! The crust was nice and crisp and I really liked the sauce... hoping to hear comparisons of Joe’s to Brownstone’s…

                          1. re: LaLa Eat

                            Tried Brownstone for the first time tonight, had a slice of sausage and slice of pepperoni, both very oven hot and delicious. I don't know NY pizza, but that crust was as thin as it could be and crisp, and it was all good. I guess NY style sausage pizza is different from what I'm used to, it was pieces of sliced sausage instead of sausage w/o casing.
                            Plus they were super friendly. Today was their one month anniversary. There was another Chowhounder in there while I was there, who was it?
                            May try Joe's tomorrow.

                            1. re: LaLa Eat

                              i too was up in the air between Brownstone and Joe's... and I decided to hit up Brownstone because the drive was slightly shorter. Having grown up in NY/NJ and having been raised on DiFara's, Patsy Grimaldi's, Benny Todino's, and The Pizza Box, I would say that the pizza at Brownstone for the first couple bites is totally passable ny-style pizza: the crust cooked right... the browned edges looked good, super-thin crust.

                              The bottom was dusted with corn meal as opposed to flour, which is always a turn-off for me. The grit of it never appealed to me. Also, it felt like they skimped on the sauce, which is really a double-edged sword because on the one hand the incredibly thin crust doesn't droop and is cooked perfectly, but on the other hand it's kind of dry. I could definitely do for a little more sauce. Also, when you've worked your way down to the crust, it's not light and breadstick-y like back east. It's a bit dense and dry.

                              Long story short, if Brownstone were in my neighborhood, I'd hit it up here and there as a passable convenience. And despite it's faults, it's a valiant attempt at NYC pizza in the sparse world of LA pizza. Service was very friendly and those first few bites were tasty enough. But, as I'm not in the neighborhood, it's no contest for me, I'd opt for Village Pizza or Vito's to fill my pizza cravings.

                              1. re: foodcorejunior

                                I completely agree with you Foodcorejunior (also having grown up in NY). I enjoyed the pizza at Brownstone, but I did think the crust was a bit too thin. The staff (especially owner) was very friendly and definitely welcoming. I live in West Hollywood, so I'm lucky that Vito's is only a hop, skip and jump away. But if I were in the neighborhood (Eagle Rock) I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a slice at Brownstone.

                          2. re: perejil

                            Tried Brownstone for the first time today and was very disappointed with their pizza. Ordered a couple of cheese slices that came out barely warm and they were drenched in a very tangy tomato sauce that overwhelmed the whole flavor of the pizza! There was also hardly any cheese on my slices and the little amount that was put on was tasteless! The crust was also way too thin. To each his/her own, but these slices were some of the worst I've ever eaten in SoCal!

                            1. re: SoCal Foodie

                              Aaannd.... it's not a proper Chowhound discussion until someone hates it! Brownstones, welcome to the contentious pizza community!

                              Next time you try it - if there is a next time - just ask the owner to heat your slices up to the temperature of your liking.

                              I, too, found out the hard way that they're not open until 4:00PM on Sundays... But when I came back, I got a slice as good as the first time I was there.

                              Might help to consider that Brownstones is all about the Joe's Pizza/NYC slice, which is an entirely different ballgame from the Casa Bianca philosophy of pizza. The paper thin crust, topped with a thin slick of grease, sauce, and cheese is a highly prized delicacy in some quarters.

                            2. re: perejil

                              >I almost went to Casa Bianca immediately after to get some HOT pizza.

                              I actually DID go to Casa Bianca afterwards, trying to cancel the taste of one of the worst pizzas I've ever had. The Brownstone crust is nice -- thin and tender -- but the sauce, cheese, and meats (sliced sausage and meatballs) were atrocious. They tasted cheap, had off smells and boring textures, and forced you to endure a long, unpleasant aftertaste. Didn't care for it.

                              1. re: sbritchky

                                The great pizza debat goes on but I want to make sure people hear the other side of the coin. We have never liked Casa Bianca but LOVE brownstone please give it a try.

                                1. re: PurpleTeeth

                                  I'll have to sorta second that, though on a much less emphatic note.

                                  After hearing the masses sing Casa Bianca's praises for years, when I finally had a chance to try it, I found it completely unappetizing. Didn't really taste like pizza to me but some whole other thing. Way too much cheese and some strange foreign flavor (and, yes, I'm sure this is exactly what those who grew up on it love).

                                  And though my Brownstown experience was not necessarily cathartic (like Joe's) I liked it just fine. So that's where I'd return if I needed some Za on the Rado.

                            3. but do they deliver?

                              i love Casa Bianca and Folliero's in Highland Park, but neither of them deliver! I generally dont mind picking up, but sometimes it's nice to order in and it seems like there are hardly any good restaurants in the area that deliver (no Thai places either!).

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: goodnightdean

                                Warning: they don't open till 4:00 on Sundays.
                                I found out the hard way.

                                1. re: goodnightdean

                                  yes, the only downside to living in Eagle Rock, Highland Park or Mt. Washington....no delivery!

                                  1. re: tag heuer

                                    Very good delivery from Pizza Boy #1 in Glendale. Ludicrously cheap, good, chewy crust, not too much sauce, and they deliver to at least Eagle Rock.

                                  2. re: goodnightdean

                                    They're hoping to start delivery in a couple of weeks.

                                  3. The menu indicates "call us for take-out" so I would guess no on the delivery question.
                                    I went yesterday for lunch. Arrived about 1:45 and there were 7 people in this unassuming space. As previously posted, nothing on the yellow/gold walls, but I am not there for the ambiance. Also, cash only.
                                    I ordered two slices - pepperoni w/extra cheese & the margherita. Well done (I always order my pizzas well done). They arrived piping hot. The pepperoni w/extra cheese was perfect - spot on (and the first one I ate). I think the secret with this place is to get extra cheese. AND EAT IT THERE - the second it comes out of the oven!
                                    I ordered a regular cheese slice for a co-worker and by the time he got it (I peeked at it and it looked absolutely un-appetizing) it was about 45 minutes later (he was in a meeting). He emailed me and said that he does not think he needs to eat it again since it is nowhere near the NY pizza he had in NY last week. I told him that he should give it another try and eat it in-house, fresh, out of the oven. I would never order this pizza to-go, delivery or eat it after it has been out of the oven for more than 5 minutes. This is really thin crust. REALLY. And it is good. I liked the sauce. It had a nice robust flavor.
                                    The Margherita was good as well, but they just used regular tomatoes (I would have preferred Romas). I did not get extra cheese on this one and regret it a little bit, but I think I will stick with the meat varieties from now on. With extra cheese (did I mention that??!!).
                                    Their slices range from $2.50 (cheese) to $3.25 (vegetarian), extra toppings $.45. Whole cheese pizza $15.95 (HUGE!) with each extra topping $1.95. They have 2 salads - House & Caesar. 2 sub sandwiches - Meatball or Sausage $7.95. Pastas: Penne, Cheese Ravioli, Spaghetti, Baked Ziti. Seems their only sauce choice is Marinara - but you can have the penne and spaghetti with either meatballs or sausage. From $5.95 - 8.95.
                                    For me, I will stick with the pizzas. Really. Extra cheese, well done. The owner is really nice and service is sweet. I met his wife and they are excited and working really hard at pleasing their customers. I would definitely give this place a try if you are in the area. Not a destination place, definitely, but good pizza all the same.
                                    Open: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 9pm. Sunday 3:30 - 9. (323) 25-PIZZA

                                    1. Had lunch here today. Not bad, but nothing great. I agree that it's not hot enough. Next time I'll probably ask them to leave it in the oven a bit longer. I got one sausage and one pepperoni/mushroom, and the mushrooms came out still pretty cold. I honestly think Pizza Boy in Glendale is much better pizza (although I don't think there's anywhere to sit there).

                                      1. We got take out there last week.
                                        It was good, but not great. By the time we got it home it was too cold and heating it up in the toaster over did help.
                                        My parents(over 60 years in NYC ) thought the crust too thin and not all that flavorful.
                                        We got meatballs on one pie and they were cut into cubes. Not the way to do meatballs on a NY pizza. Would try again, but not worth the trip to pick up from Pasadena.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: stevenclaire

                                          I have come to the conclusion that the only way to get this pizza is as follows: extra cheese, cooked well done, eaten there. Period.