After her family’s Echo Park pizzeria had been closed for nine months, Otilia Schweitzer wondered whether customers would ever return to Pizza Buona. On Friday, Schweitzer got her answer. The dining room was packed. The kitchen frantic as workers tossed pizza dough into the air and shoveled pies into the oven. The phone rang constantly as long-time customers called in for the pizzas, sandwiches and salads they had been denied since February, when the restaurant closed after a car came crashing into the dining room. The repairs were complicated by the need to build a new restroom accessible to the disabled. All this made for a pent-up demand for pizza.
“I couldn’t wait,” said 29-year-old Mark Dellis of Silver Lake, who walked out with a cheese pizza and a container of dipping ranch dressing for dipping sauce.
Pizza Buona customers shared stories about their favorite menu items – “Have you tried the tomato salad?” – as they waited for their orders at the restaurant that anchors one corner of Sunset Boulevad and Alvarado Street. Some pizza to-go orders took an hour to fill. But 36-year0ld Claudia Guillen, whose parents dined at Pizza Buona when they were dating, had no complaints. When it comes to pizza, she said, “no one else compares”