Echo Park’s Pizza Buona looking for a new home

Pizza Buona Reopens 12-7-2012 7-00-45 AM

Storefront ReportECHO PARK —  Pizza Buona, which has served up pizza from the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street for more than 50 years, is searching for a new location that will probably take it out of the neighborhood.

Israel Palacios, whose family owns the pizzeria, said a rent hike is prompting the move but declined to provide any more information at this time.

The search for a new home comes only a few years after Pizza Buona reopened after a months-long renovation to repair the damage from a car that crashed into the dining room and renovations required following an ADA lawsuit.  The restaurant has been in operation since 1959.

Where will Pizza Buona relocate? Will its customers follow?  What about those garlic breadsticks? Stay tuned.

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  1. Annie Sperling

    Do any of the landlords value tenants of 50 years?
    Is this favorite place of the neighborhood going to be turned into yet another facsimile … the whole flavor of the neighborhood is radically being replaced with mall type stores and boutique crap. Sunlake Pharmacy, small grocery stores, laundromats, Mom and Pop 99cent stores… how many ironic t-shirts and cutesie coffee shops can one stretch of street absorb.
    The long time residents beg of the landlords to keep the businesses like PIZZA BUONA in the neighborhood- we do not want to be the Americana.

    • What will we do without 99c stores on every corner?!?!?!?!?!

    • You’ll have to yell louder for the landlords to hear you, as they reside in another country and can give two craps about the neighborhood.

    • the crappy pizza shop lobby is simply out of control, evidenced by this lobbyist arguing willy nilly for crappy pizza subsidies.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      They are not the original owners….The husband died and screwed his wife (Maria) out the the restaurant. The current owner was a waitress. Maria the then wife got nothing from the old bastard. He had no personality. She was the charmer.

    • oh no!!! change!!!! no something changed!!!!!! lets make some banal jokes about what we think people we disparagingly call ‘hipsters’ like!!!!

      I love this place – very sadd to see it go – but 50 years is a blink in time – neighborhoods change, time rolls along, my place is 100 years old… and has seen a lot of shops come and go and a lot of people from all walks of life move in and out…

      lets not dilute ourselves into thinking what was is forever… and what we know now will be here until the sun burns out.

  2. Nooooooo. Best pizza ever!!! Oh no!!!!

    • Yeah, especially eaten in restaurant. If taken to go or delivery, the crust kind of softened, but right out of the oven – bam! So good. Maybe they needed a bunch of craft beers on tap to boost their margins…
      But I will go again to sit down in the shop soon. Get it while you still can…

  3. This is horrible news! I hope they can find a better location and thrive the way they deserve. I selfishly hope that it’s still nearby.

    • They cannot thrive when something like this happens. It takes several years to build up a clientele. When something like this happens, it often is the end of that business, even if they try to relocate to another area.

      This is going on with all the small shops. They businesses and themselves are being ruined.

      The amount of rent landlords are demanding can’t be paid by selling pizza. It would take a hell of a lot of pizza to be sold before they even started to make any money at all that month. Only shops selling far more expensive things can pay that rent. This is what always goes on in any place that gets enamored of regentrification — which itself is a false term since Echo Park and Silver Lake were already gentrified. what’s going on here is that the gentry is being run out in favor of the flat out wealthy. And only very high margin businesses can survive — and that is all that is opening up when these longtime shops get priced out..

  4. Bummer! They had a good run though… hopefully the owners can find a new (and safer) location.

    • Did they have a good run corner soul??? You should know… as a corner shop – and you a corner soul —— that this is BAD for them. WHO are YOU to say … they had a good run?? How offensive and snide of you!!! You probably love the cheese and wine shops more then anything else?

      • Not really sure why you’ve misconstrued my comment as rude or snide? I used to live around the corner about ten years ago, and ate here all the time. Sucks to see them priced out of the neighborhood. But 50 years is damn impressive for a small business in my book… I’m guessing Taix might be the only neighborhood spot that’s had a longer run.

        Also, I like pizzerias and wine shops… it must be pretty boring living in your black and white world.

  5. It will be replaced by Sbarros in 3….2….1.
    Welcome to the Echo Park Galleria!

  6. they’ll probably make more money at a different location with better parking options..i’m sure they’d rather make more money elsewhere than stay and pay higher rent

  7. This is not a good thing but the bottom line is If you are in business for more than 10 years and don’t manage to buy your building or move to a building you can buy, you are both a poor businessman and a fool. Landlords will screw you at every turn only if you let them.

    • OMG we get it… we should have all bought and it’s our own fault the neighborhood is become a galleria. It’s not the corporate overlords at all, and stop picking on them!

      • i’ve lived in echo park for almost 10 years and yes it’s changed..but 99% of you guys would never move here had it not been for “gentrification” and .echo park hasn’t changed that much in the last 3-5 years..just more annoying white people if anything

      • Just because you’re tired of hearing it doesn’t mean it isn’t a good point. Renting since 1959?!?! That’s just insane.

        I love the place, sad to see it go as well, but chances are their new location will have more than three parking spaces and A/C,, FFS. I wish them luck.

      • how long has taco bell, burger king, etc been in echo park? I think little ceasers is the only new chain to shop up recently, they’ve all been in the neighborhood for a long long time. what are you talking about?

        • Aldo Thee Apache

          yeah and notice how no one here seems remotely concerned when a garbage-y chain goes in, like Taco Bell or McDonalds (who serve diabetes inducing crap, and treat their workers like sh*t).
          But god forbid it’s an independent, that serves quality food, then perennially indignant commenters here lose their sh*t. “OMG KALE IS FOR F*GS AND HIPSTERS. TEH WHOLE NEIGHBORHOODZ IS COLLAPSING AND I’MA GONNA CRY!!!!!”

    • Bob, that is an ignorant comment.

    • Aldo Thee Apache

      Add to that the quality and service went from bad to worse.
      I’m somewhat bummed it’s leaving. It was one of the only pizza places what would deliver when I moved here years and years ago.
      That said the food quality was utter sh*t. Just giant piles of grease. served lukewarm or cold. The staff and the owners were surly. The floor and the kitchen were disgusting. I eventually stopped ordering delivery from there because it would take upwards of an hour and a half. And that’s if they managed showed up at all. After the 3rd time of ordering from them and getting stiffed, I finally gave up on the place.
      They would have been perfect fodder for Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
      I love me some home style mom and pop Italian food. And again it is sad somewhat to see them go, but they should have taken a leaf out of Palermo’s book. That place has managed to serve the same kind of comfort food, but much better quality and in a way more inviting atmosphere. (while still staying true to it’s old school feel). That’s why it’s still always packed while Buona has sat 1/2 empty for years.
      Tellingly the demise of Pizza Buona is indicative of a lot of businesses shuttering here. On one hand you could lazily blame gentrification. However it seems pretty clear that a lot of these places have managed to shoot themselves in the foot by offering the neighborhood nothing but dilapidated products, storefronts and customer service.

      • food tastes great. gets to your house at human time not fast food time. take it easy with the wanna be yelp review.

        • Aldo Thee Apache

          Fast food sucks. Sorry I’m not as binary in my culinary thinking as you are. There’s plenty of great local places to eat (both upscale and mom & pop), but a sh*tty restaurant is a sh*tty restaurant, no matter it’s age or standing. Sentimentality shouldn’t enter into it.
          You should try eating out more before you chime in with your retarded 2 cents.

    • bathing at baxter

      No doubt about it. Happened to me, family members & friends countless times in Manhattan where you never could buy your building or work space. Negotiated the longest leases you could get or moved. Foot traffic is expensive because that’s where the profit is.

  8. I fear that people in this neighborhood are starting to get “outrage fatigue” and will just shrug their shoulders
    at losing another neighborhood institution…

    I hope this isn’t the case

    • a shitty business isn’t a neighborhood institution. if you suck you go.

      • Aldo Thee Apache


        thank you. at least someone is making sense here. if they wanted to stay in business maybe they could have I dunno, not served increasingly sh*tttier and sh*ttier food in a dilapidated locale to people who felt obligated to eat there, simply because they’re keepin’ it real, yo!

  9. Another great place being ousted due to rent increase !
    Just pisses me off!!
    Hope they can stay close !!

    • Other problem is that the rent went up and pizza sales I’m guessing stayed the same or shrunk. When i moved here there was pizza buona and thats it. and i liked it a lot. only good pie in the neighborhood. recently there have been four or five serious competitors popping up with slices for sale and parking. It was the original in the neighborhood but some people like tasteless pizza i guess and go to two boots.

      • Two Boots is the opposite of tasteless. Excellent flavors and crust! Town Pizza in Highland Park, now that’s tasteless, no matter how many toppings they put on it.

  10. really sad about this. I love Pizza Buona. the nicest people, the best pizza. what a tragedy to lose them.

  11. Noooooo! This is terrible news.

  12. Kelly I wish there was a LIKE button.
    I’ve been praying for a earthquake. It’s what stopped the gentrification from happening last time. After the Northridge quake they all went running back to there frozen states. So buy high and after the quake sell low. I’m ready to buy back our neighborhoods. At a low cost.

    • Well said — nice to know we are not the only ones praying RiseUp!
      Gosh darn hipsters are so nasty and gross – smoking their weed and rdinking their coffee.

    • @riseup

      “I’ve been praying for a earthquake. ”

      You are one sick and pathetic puppy.

      I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

      If that’s your low life attitude, then I’m happy to see the neighborhood change.

      The less of people like you around, the better.

      I’ll take hipsters over nacos like you any day of the week.

    • Oh, that gave me such a laugh. First off, there was little flight out of L.A. after the Northridge quake. And people kept pouring in, and continue to do so today. A major quake only temporarily stalls housing turnover – and by temporary, I mean just a few months. Silver Lake and Echo Park started to gentrify about 15 years ago, but they’ve always had pockets of wealth. This is exactly what happened to Brooklyn and other boroughs in NYC. Once a neighborhood has gentrified, you can expect to wait for a very long time before it de-gentifies. In other words, you’ll be long dead before that happens here. Kept dreaming, though!

  13. Come to El Sereno!

  14. Anybody else old enough to recall it used to be Pizza Bozza?

    • Yep, we ate there regularly. Loved the old jukebox. Good times and happy memories at Pizza Bozza.

    • Yes! Pizza Bozza for sure! Way better name, why/when did they change it? mid 90s?I think I gave Pizza Buona a try but wasn’t the same as my childhood memories of Pizza Bozza! Ill have to try again before they close up shop.

  15. This is terrible news. My son and I have been going there for years. Our favorite pizza in LA. And the turkey sandwiches with warm fresh italian bread are amazing. The staff has always been courteous and accommodating. Once, we showed up just as a large party arrived, filling the place. And they set us up a table in the kitchen like a couple of good fellas! To us, it was an honor.

  16. Carsmakepeoplestupid

    Car crashed into the dining room. Blame it on the Rowena bike lanes!

    • Leopold Stotch

      Aww poor guy, Still can’t afford a car? Is that because you sit in your parent’s house all day typing irrelevant troll messages?

  17. Yes…I went there when it was Pizza Bozza in the early 1980’s. The neighborhood then was dangerous and not safe for most to walk down the street. There were stabbings, shootings, and robberies at every retail and bank chain on a regular basis. The police branded the area the Rampart District…..not Echo Park. Then the police department had their huge scandal regarding corruption amongst other charges. My first visit to Pizza Bozza was with a parking lot attendant from near where I was attending school. He would take groups of us there, his name was Frankie. He openly talked about working for the mob and also took care of the Park Plaza Hotel back lot too. The food was not so great and I would go back over the years and the food never really improved. Although the neighborhood did.

  18. Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock is similar, but in thinking the family must own the building because they are not going anywhere. I’m sad about Pizza Buona. I have a lot of good memories from the last 20 years eating their delicious pizza.

  19. Sentimentality aside, their pizza was undeniably awful and is the exact kind of pizza that gave LA such a bad pizza rap for years. Old doesn’t always mean good. Just because people love midcentury style again doesn’t mean everyone is rushing to instal linoleum flooring. Same thing with Pizza Buona – time to close this chapter.

    • I dunno, I had some pretty good pies there about ten years ago… maybe it’s gone downhill in recent years?

  20. It’s been a restaurant for over fifty years but not as Pizza Buona, it was as far back as I can remember, it was Pizza Bozza (I was born and raised in Echo Park, lived there from 1964 to 2002). They used to deliver and when we were teenagers,we’d order a pizza along with a six pack of beer and they never asked how old we were or for I.D. Those were the good ‘ol days!

  21. I want it.
    I’m a longtime Chef looking to lease a spot.
    I grew up in an Italian household in Upstate NY (I know Italian food) and would love to run Pizza Buona and keep the name.
    Who wants to go in with me??

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