Chef Zach Pollack has already helped to define L.A.'s Italian food scene, first at Sotto and then at Alimento, his fantastic restaurant in Silver Lake. Now at Cosa Buona he's helping to define the new school of Italian-American food, serving pizzas and classic pizza-parlor fare with a cheffy spin. That means smoked mozzarella sticks and chicken wings slathered in a house-made “red hot” sauce that's spicy but also fruity, the sweetness of the peppers shimmering throughout the sting of heat. There's gorgonzola sauce for dipping — it's really good. Also really good: a square stack of eggplant Parmesan, its layers so sticky and dense with sauce and cheese and eggplant smoosh that it's basically a paragon of Italian-American eggplant greatness. 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. This is the food of your youth but better, and the pizza of your adulthood (but also probably better).
Credit: Anne Fishbein