Los Angeles Magazine gave a little bit of respect to our neck of the urban woods this month. An insert in their “Best New Restaurants of 2007” praises the culinary magnetism of Colorado Blvd. Some of our favorites like The Oinkster, Casa Bianca, and Lemongrass were mentioned, but I’ll have to take issue with a few of their opinions. First, we’re not big fans of Taco Spot. I’m not sure if it’s the odd attempt at contemporizing Mexican food in a neighborhood with so many excellent traditional choices, or if we were just so in love with its previous incarnation as Dante’s. Larkin’s, previously reviewed here, gets a separate mention as one of the best new restaurants in their “neighborhood hangouts” insert. Really? I wish this place all the best but I can’t fathom this being one of the best new restaurants in the city. It’s too pricey for what you get, and it’s freezing cold inside. No complaints with the magazine mention of The York.
The article did introduce me to Brownstone Pizza, which I didn’t even know existed. Its nonchalant façade is tucked into 2108 Colorado Blvd., next to the Colorado Wine Company (review forthcoming). It’s pretty audacious to open a pizza parlor down the street from neighborhood stalwart Casa Bianca but the owner insisted he wasn’t worried as they were “doing something different”. The pie was huge, with a thin crust that was very soft in the middle but crispy on the edges. It didn’t change my life but is certainly good enough to go back for. So, where does this place stand as far as Northeast Pizza? Here’s my humble opinion of the places I’ve tried:
5. Italiano’s Pizza at 6500 N. Figueroa St. doesn’t screw up a dish that’s pretty hard to screw up. They deliver and while their pizza isn’t anything special, I’m never disappointed.
4. The Capri at 4604 Eagle Rock Blvd is the ubiquitous family Italian Restaurant with red checkered tablecloths and tons of décor on the walls. The prices are good and pizza isn’t the only hit on the menu. If you’re an Oxy student, you used to be able to get the “Oxy Special” which was all the spaghetti in marinara you could eat.
3. Folliero Pizza & Italian Food at 5566 is Highland Park’s Casa Bianca. It’s been here forever, doesn’t deliver, only takes cash, and is always crowded. A nice brick façade with a big window allows you to see the guys hand tossing your dough from the street and you can always wander down to see the Chicken Boy while you wait. Pizza here is thin, greasy, and they used some canned ingredients, but it’s good, reasonably priced, and the other Italian dishes are excellent.
2. Brownstone Pizza – Maybe it’s just liking something new, but the rookie get’s some love. They’re planning on setting up a delivery service in the near future.
1. Casa Bianca at 1650 Colorado Blvd has been consistently ranked as one of the Best Pizza’s in LA. It’s pretty hard to argue but this place reminds me a lot of Palermo in Los Feliz (which is a good thing). Casa Bianca sits at the top of anyone’s list and knows it. They have no parking, are closed on Mondays, take only cash, and don’t deliver. It’s a little bit of a production to have a night out here, but it’s always worth it.
As always, we’re looking for more excuses to eat out, so if you know of someplace omitted here, speak up.
We’ll be on hiatus through New Year’s Day but will return in 2008 with pictures and stories from our respective travels to New Mexico and Guatemala. Thanks for reading and have a great Christmas and New Years!