With the Year of the Dog days away, I’m finally wrapping up restaurant reviews from the Year of the Rooster. This blog operates on the lunar calendar at this time of year 😉.
As mentioned previously, Los Angeles experienced a “Modern Italian Dining Renaissance” last year. One of the most anticipated openings was Cosa Buona, Chef Zach Pollack’s American-Italian followup to his Northern-Italian focused Alimento.
Reservations aren’t accepted, so Sarah and I met up on the early side for dinner. We were seated straightaway.
The one dish that we were both certain had to grace our table this evening was the “Smokey Mozzarella Sticks” with marinara ($10). The battered and deep-fried cheese sticks did not disappoint. Crisp-golden on the outside and gooey-rich within, these mozzarella sticks were the platonic ideal.
We also nibbled on some broccolini ($9), wood-roasted and simply snappy, flavored with colatura (Italian fish sauce!), sour chilies, and bread crumbs.
Also excellent were the “Roasted Mushrooms Marsala” ($11), a trio of cremini, trumpets, and maitake mushrooms bathed in a pitch-perfect marsala sauce. Pass the bread, please.
And speaking of bread, the garlic bread ($4) here isn’t your traditional American-Italian take. Cosa Buona’s version takes a plush raft of focaccia and slathers it with garlic confit. It’s a little unexpected and a lot tasty.
And then there were the perfectly fried “Calamari Fritti” ($13) served with a luscious Calabrian chili aioli. The fry on those rings was something kind of wonderfully addictive.
The final savory course of the night was the white clam pizza ($17) with oregano, mozzarella, and garlic. I’ve been a fan of Chef Pollack’s pizza crust ever since his days slinging pies at Sotto, and this updated version was just as good—chewy, charred, and terrific.
Last but certainly not least, we shared the “Cookies and Cream Semifreddo Pie” ($8) because who can resist Oreos? We unlocked the magic.
Sarah and I stumbled into the Echo Park night completely stuffed and happy. Cosa Buona, you’re really good!
And with that, let’s usher in the Year of the Dog.
2100 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
One year ago: Cento Pasta Bar – Los Angeles (Downtown)
Two years ago: Union Square Donuts – Boston
Three years ago: Bestia – Los Angeles
Four years ago: Cafe Artist – Garden Grove
Five years ago: Mile End Sandwich – New York City
Six years ago: Hungry Cat – Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Seven years ago: Mori Sushi – Los Angeles
Eight years ago: Amaro Bar at Osteria Mozza – Los Angeles
Nine years ago: Bake-Sale Brownies
Ten years ago: The Art of Making Bánh Chưng
Eleven years ago: Naked Chocolate Cafe – Philadelphia