Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Brownstone Pizzeria in Eagle Rock
Casa Bianca this, Casa Bianca that. Every night (except Sunday and Monday) you'll see the people lined up, patiently waiting, sitting in white plastic chairs, standing around, waiting up to an hour, on the corner of Colorado and Vincent, for that famed Casa Bianca pizza.
Others would see Casa Bianca and its citywide legend as an intimidating force that could never be defeated. Did not Casa Bianca own the pizza market in Eagle Rock (putting aside Pizza Man and Capri for the time being)?
Brownstone Pizza saw Casa Bianca's outsized reputation and its overflow of demand as an opportunity. Brownstone had the temerity to challenge the supremacy of Casa Bianca on Colorado. And as an eight-year resident of New York City, I'll tell you this: Brownstone is giving Casa Bianca a run for its money. There's more than one pizza game in town, and Brownstone is not to be slept on.
They've got a thin New-York style crust at Brownstone. The crust is crispy and light, with just the proper amount of thickness. The pizza dough has a great flavor that I haven't found at any other L.A. pizza place, and haven't come close to since I left the East Coast. The amount of sauce and cheese is just right. The slices are neither too hard nor too floppy. There can be a tendency for things to slide when the pie is hot, with extra cheese or a lot of toppings and you're bringing it home in the car -- but with the standard cheese, margherita, pepperoni, vegetarian, etc., the pie will almost always be excellent.
The owners at Brownstone realize they're still making a name for themselves and that their main competition has a nearly sixty-year head-start on them. But the people at Brownstone are savvy. They've teamed up with the good people at Colorado Wine Company, next door. It's easy to order a pie from Brownstone, go into CoWineCo for a nice glass of wine or beer, get your pie, and enjoy it in the sweet lounge area at the back of the wine store. Of course, Brownstone has a decent selection of beer available in their store.
Another possibility: call ahead, pick up a pie at Brownstone, and take it down the street to The Black Boar. The Black Boar will let you bring in whatever food you want. They've got nice big tables at The Black Boar that would work great for a few pints and a huge extra-large pie from Brownstone. Result: easy and convenient good time in your neighborhood. If delivery to the pub could be arranged, I might never leave the 90041 again.
I can't help but root for Brownstone. They're the new kid on the block, and they're offering the neighborhood an excellent product. I've never been disappointed. Keep waiting in line at Casa Bianca if you want, by all means. But know that just a few blocks away, a great New York-style thin crust is available in just a few minutes, with no waiting around. Heck, you can even have a glass of wine and chat with the friendly folks at CoWineCo while your pie cooks.
Inexplicably, Brownstone closes at 9 p.m. -- just when some people are working up an appetite. Brownstone, stay open later! We will come and eat your pizza late! I guarantee you that.
What a neighborhood. Count your blessings.