This week Besha Rodell reviews Zach Pollack’s newest endeavor, Cosa Buona in Echo Park. The review centers around a new category of gentrification, where “an old-school pizza place is bought and revamped and becomes a new-school pizza place, while appealing to both the gourmet pretensions and the nostalgic instincts of a gentrifying population that grew up eating in old-school pizza places.”
While there’s no question fancy pizza is nothing new in Los Angeles, the type of establishment where “you can sub out regular mozzarella for bufala mozzarella” is certainly a new trend that the Weekly critic can’t help but like:
And ugh, I can't help it — I like it. I liked it when Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo did it at Jon & Vinny's on Fairfax, replacing Damiano Pizza, and I like it at Cosa Buona in Echo Park, which replaced Pizza Buona. Yes, even the name was appropriated, a move on the part of chef-owner Zach Pollack that probably felt to him like a respectful nod to the past but to some undoubtedly seems like a co-opting of a history Pollack had no part in building. [LAW]
Because at the end of the day, the Alimento chef is turning out some delicious pizzas:
Unsurprisingly, the pizzas are wonderful — the crust dappled with just enough char and imbued with a mellow tang, the structure sturdy but stretchy. There's no one pizza that's obviously superior to all the rest, but I do recommend ordering the calzone, which is almost a pizza/salad hybrid, its contents of slightly wilted romaine in a caesar dressing spilling out of the crust along with a ton of capers and burrata. It oozes funk and crunch and freshness, and redefines the form in the best way possible. [LAW]
While B. Rod does mention somewhat underwhelming service and prices that assure a dinner for two will cost well over $100, it is an overwhelmingly positive review, with the critic concluding, “it's the food of your youth but better and the pizza of your adulthood (but also probably better).”
Cosa Buona scores three stars.