Pizza Buona - A Brief Review (Alvarado/Sunset)
So after a year of living down the street, I finally made it out to the neighborhood pizza joint. FWIW, they also deliver.
The location looks ancient. Like, really ancient. The jukebox is new, but the music is old. Kitchen is quite big and clean though.
We ordered a large half pepperoni mushroom half jalapeno + meatball and some garlic bread.
Garlic bread was ok, nothing special, toasted well though and satiated our appetite long enough.
Pizza - Greasy. Damn. I'd say about as greasy as Nicky D's and Big Mama's in DTLA. We figure it's because they put their cheese on TOP of the toppings, thereby trapping all the grease in. Cheese kinda hard on top, not really stringy, even though the damn thing was really cheesy. Ingredients tasted pretty good (but greasy, damnit). Crust was thin towards the center, got pretty thick towards the end. Kinda crackery which was awesome, but weighed down by the grease/cheese.
Overall, better than chain, not as good as other pizzerias of consideration.
My pecking order (from all the local places I've been to):
Vitos -> lamonicas -> joe's -> nicky d's -> buono
Next up: Casa Biana/Petrillo's
We order food for delivery from Buona, but never pizza. If and when we order pizza in the neighborhood for delivery we order from Hard Times. We order a bastardization of a couple of their pastas when we order from them. We order marinara with shrimp, which is actually not on their menu but pretty delicious. Lots os large shrimps and a nice slightly spicy red sauce.
I live in Echo Park and have eaten at PB numerous times. I like everything on their menu except for their pizzas for the reasons stated above. Their sliding off the crust toppings have frustrated me one too many times. In fact, I would order a Dominos pizza over PB's, any day, and have done so several times!
Ironically, I ordered from Pizza Buona for the first time last night. I was unimpressed. Like roadfix, I found it impossible to eat the pizza by hand, because the toppings (including the thick, chewy cheese clump kept sliding off the infirm crust). Nonetheless, I found this pizza better than Hard Times, which I really didn't like.
Tomato Pie? Rufelli's ("Rudellis"?) (Fletcher between Riverside and Glendale)? The place on Sunset with the scooters, the name of which escapes me? Cappriccio? the re-opened Michaelangelo? the satanic-named place on Hillhurst (Purgatory? Lucifer's? Beelzebub's? something like that...)?(They may not even be opened yet; it's SL/LF!)
Thanks for the heads up on Pizza Buono....drive by all the time wondering what its like...looks like they should have good pizza.
Anytime I've seen a pizza made the cheese is the last thing to go on and its always on top. Maybe they use too much sauce or don't spread it out thin enough and that's why everything slides off. Also maybe it isn't real cheese and that's why its so greasy?
As far as local pizza goes, you now have loads of options. Tomato Pie on Hyperion in Silver Lake is a very tasty NYC-style pizza. It beats Hard Times by a country mile and is cheaper to boot. Garage Pizza on the corner of Sunset/Hyperion is pretty tasty as well and they're open late. Andiamo further east on Sunset - near Rambutan Thai - is decent but my favorite in the 'hood is Il Capriccio on Hollywood diagonally across from the Vista. It's the most "authentic" Italian, has a nice, wood-oven chew to the crust but is a bit on the expensive side.