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One of LA’s Best Pan Pizza Spots Secures a New Mid-City Storefront

Bootleg Pizza has gone from underground hit to food truck, and now it’s jumping into the brick and mortar restaurant game

A white hand holds a corner slice of square pizza.
Bootleg Pizza
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

One of LA’s best pan pizza spots, Bootleg Pizza, continues to grow during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, moving from its current food truck home to a brand new storefront on Pico Boulevard in Mid-City. Neon signage is up now for Bootleg’s new address at 5504 W. Pico Boulevard, in the former Mid-City Deli space not far from Paper or Plastik Cafe and My 2 Cents.

Bootleg owner Kyle Lambert tells Eater that the space came together relatively quickly, adding that construction on-site is basically done, so all that remains now is staffing and fine-tuning some details. The arrival of Bootleg Pizza the restaurant is the culmination of a whirlwind 18 months for Lambert, who first landed on the citywide radar while doing weekend-only pan pizzas by the slice out of a commissary kitchen in Little Ethiopia. Fans flocked for the thicker, extra-dark slices based on Lambert’s memories of similar square slice spots in New Jersey growing up, so much so that he and partner (and wife) Stephanie decided to try their luck in a food truck, which opened just before the pandemic.

A man in a grey apron holds two slices of pizza on white paper plates in front of a restaurant.
Kyle Lambert at his former pop-up location
Farley Elliott

While the timing of the truck could have been better, Lambert has found a way to continue to push forward, offering preorder pickup windows and a rotating menu all across down while battling lockdowns, a lack of foot traffic, and rolling curfews earlier this year. But the reality is, Lambert recently told Eater, that life on a food truck “sucks” a lot of the time, particularly now with commissary space at a premium and everyone on edge.

So now here comes the restaurant on Pico Boulevard, which should open by the first week of December. Bootleg Pizza will run lunch and dinner hours seven days a week, offering whole pies as well as slices only. The menu will largely transfer straight from the truck, with a rotating collection of specials, plus garlic knots and cinnamon sugar knots for dessert. And given the tension of this moment, from election worries to increasing COVID-19 cases and beyond, it seems that — despite the growing prevalence of pizza all of Los Angeles — fans will be ready more than ever to continue to follow Bootleg’s journey, from pop-up to food truck to Mid-City restaurant.

Bootleg Pizza Pico

5504 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019 Visit Website