I never got the chance to visit Pizza Buona before it closed its doors.
I passed it as I drove down Sunset Boulevard on my route to and from work every day and never decided to park around the area and walk into the restaurant. Each time I saw it I thought, “I’ll probably go in this weekend” and when those weekends passed I thought, “I’ll go in sometime soon.” As those days never came the restaurant shut its doors. My gut sank a bit when I took my same route to work and saw the glass of the front door covered in brown paper. There went the restaurant I told myself to visit and all I was left with was a sinking feeling of regret.
Days, weeks, and months would pass by before I saw the construction begin on the location and finally bring to life a new restaurant. What now sat on the corner of the bustling intersection of Sunset Avenue and Alvarado Street in Echo Park was the face of a new eatery. The backdrop for people chasing buses, nicely dressed women trying to bring commuters to Christ, and gym enthusiasts running with medicine balls is Cosa Buona. The new Italian restaurant by chef Zach Pollack opened this past May and a few weeks later on an ordinary drive to nowhere in particular, I found my chance to dine in a restaurant I put off visiting.
I stood outside the restaurant flipping through a few unimportant apps on my phone when the smiling hostess stepped outside and called my name. Letting me know my table was ready, he took me inside to where I was seated. As he disappeared, a curly-haired waiter took his place and handed me a dinner menu. Looking between the few pages I quickly came to a decision on what to have that evening.
A few minutes later the plates arrived to the table.
I started with the Chopped ($14). The beautifully colored salad sat on the bright white plate with provolone, salami, and olives. The array of leafy greens let slices of casually salted salami peek through as the golden olives lay subtly underneath. It was a nice salad, but I found it hard to justify the price. Sure the salami was thin sliced and the provolone had a great richness, but it wasn’t enough for me. Should there have been more dynamic contrasts between the ingredients I could have found a greater affinity to it, but without that it was just a nice.
Following the salad I started on the Meatballs ($13). Four well-rounded meatballs rested on a mound of burrata topped with marinara and served with a thick slice of toasted focaccia. In contrast to the salad I felt like this was completely worth the price! If not a frequent order, it should be one that is had at least a few times. The meatballs were nicely seasoned with a light kick of spice at the end of each bite. The burrata was silky, creamy, and could encapsulate the hearty meatballs like a glove. And the instant I felt like so bold to bring it all together, the focaccia acted as an impeccable playing ground for the two to meld together. I loved it and as much as I wanted more, I directed my attention to the final plate of my evening.
I would have relived yet another feeling of regret if I didn’t order a pizza from Cosa Buona. Knowing that, it was an obvious choice for me to get the Meatlovers ($19) pizza. I wanted something simple and traditional, yet something that I would hope could allow the chef to express his creativity on such an ordinary canvas. When I both saw and tasted the pizza, I felt like he did that and more! From the sausage to the bacon to the curled pepperoni I loved this pizza with each and every bite. The lightly charred crust to the cheese that let a breath of steam out in each pull I couldn’t stop myself from enjoying this. The best part was the dough that placed itself easily between thin and thick in its density which made it appealing to everyone who decided to order it.
After ordering and eating so much food, there was little space for dessert. I already had enough items to box and delight in throughout the week and didn’t need to waste anything after that. Looking back on the evening and the time leading up to it, I realize that I’m glad I got into Cosa Buona. I may not have had the chance to visit the Echo Park go-to spot, Pizza Buona, when I could have and that still remains as a decision I wish I could rectify. But as time has passed and this new restaurant has taken its place with a bit of homage to its predecessor, I’m glad I took hold of this new opportunity and dined in Cosa Buona.
Address: 2100 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Hours: Monday through Thursday – 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 10:30pm, Friday 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 11:30pm, Saturday – 5:30pm to 11:30pm, Sunday 5:30pm to 10:30pm, and Closed Sundays
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Street parking only
- Can be pricey