Saturday, February 23, 2008

Quick bite: Brownstone Pizza, Eagle Rock

Brownstone Pizza has some serious coglioni to open just a few blocks down from the iconic Casa Bianca, but if you don't feel like waiting for an hour, it's a good alternative for a very East Coast style pie. Lots of people get the giant $2.95 slices, but if you've got two or more people, just get a whole pie. It looks approximately as large as a kiddie swimming pool, but the thin and pliable crust allows origaming each slice into an edible packet, and you'll want two or three slices each. It's best right out of the oven, and while there's nothing revolutionary about it, it approaches the satisfying New York-style interplay of flavorful cheese and crispy yet floppy crust that people are constantly going on about. Plus, the red-sauced pasta dishes are hearty and ample, they're starting delivery soon, they take credit cards and are working on a beer and wine license. The room's not fancy, so the best bet could be to sip some wine at Colorado Wine next door, where they allow you to bring in a pizza to go with the wine.
Brownstone Pizzeria
2108 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock
(323) 257-4992

40 comments:

sundownprince said...

hey, interesting blog. anyways, i'm from singapore and will be going to LA in june. so which restarant's will you recomend that i cannot miss? zer0er@hotmail.com thanks.

Matthew said...

Kudos on bringing up brownstone, they are amazing. The owner is the sweetest lady ever, if you call and they are to busy they will call you back, before they took credit i forgot my plastic and she let me pay her for a whole pie next time AND it may just be as good as Casa. BUT be aware they close at 9 which is rough for all you night owls. Having lived here only 8 months i love your blog buddy!

dean said...

yay! thanks for the Brownstone mention! personally, i like it much better than Casa Bianca and they owners are suuuuper nice. the pizza is delish and the crust just perfect...I can't wait until they get something on the walls though...

Anonymous said...

dean, you got your wish! the whole interior was recently redone. I think they were on one of those design reality shows.

Brownstone has yummy NY style pizza, nice people, and no hour-wait drama. A welcome addition to Eagle Rock!

Anonymous said...

I Think you made a big mistake removing the facelift you got and all the hard work that was done to your business. I dont know the LA Pizza scene and Dont claim to know it but it cant be that good and by the looks of your resturant you need all the hepl you can get. BAD Decision

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable!! They get a dream makeover for that blah interior and storefront, and then they take most of it down after the A&E 'We Mean Busines" show leaves...how damn stupid! I thought it was ironic when the folks from the show stop back in, and find the whole staff just sitting around, with no business at all in the middle of the lunch hour! Ha Ha freakin' ha! I guess they couldn't handle all the business, and Gunther was a freakin' baby...can't accept a gift like that, you jerk! You'll be out of business in under a year, and you'll kick yourself for un-doiing that beautiful makeover...ungrateful ass....

Anonymous said...

Wow. Can't believe they undid much of the great upgrades that A&E gave them. Just goes to show you how pride sometimes trumps good decisions in small businesses. Sounds like its a good location too. Why not make the inside as attractive as possible? Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I can't believe you guys didn't like the makeover for your Pizza Shop!!! My exgirlfriends parents owned one and it was very simular in "theme" warm and friendly and inviting. I just dont understand why you would agree to a makeover and then rip it down like a bunch of BOOBS, Morons is all i can come up with!

Anonymous said...

Ungrateful! I cannot believe that you guys got an amazing makeover and threw it away. Gunther's logo looked like a 3rd grader made it.

Rancic is a successful businessman and millionaire. Who knows business better? Him or Gunther and Bertha?

I wonder if you watched the show and realized how stupid and ungrateful you looked. You're right Gunther, you need to be efficient for both of your customers... serve it all on paper plates and dirty newspapers.

Rename it Brownstain Pizza and be done with it.

Good luck. You will certainly need it.

Annette said...

I thought they were idiots for undoing most of the revamp. The original logo was just strange. Why would a sit down place want a pizza box as a logo? Even if it was delivery, the new logo of a brownstone in a city skyline made so much more sense. I also couldn't figure out why they removed the overhead menu, it was nice and easy to read.
Going back to paper plate may make sense, if they don't have enough help to justify a dishwasher then the real dishes and cutlery may have to be down the road, but since they changed everything in a matter of days how would they know?
Very odd that people ask for help from experts and then argue or ignore.
I'd be surprised if they are still here in 6 months.

Jim said...

Absolutely unbelievable! When the place was empty, again, that should have bought them a clue but oh no, Gunther could not allow any other ideas then his own. That is sheer stupidity! Ignorance can change but stupidity cannot. Having owned a business, it is hard work and the first step I learned was that I didn’t know it all. Good luck! You’ll need it as the place looks like crap, again.

Max said...

Reality shows are BAAAAD, people. Obviously none of the recent commenters live in the area. I do. We frequent the place almost weekly to pick up a pie. I actually visited Brownstone the day they were filming the show (unknowningly). The reason it was packed? The producers brought in people. The reason there was a "line" outside? They wouldn't let anybody in without signing waivers and such. The day of the show the place was staffed with people that didn't work there. For the first time ever that day, they got our order wrong and the person working the counter was clueless on how to get it right. The "re-design"? HORRIBLE. It looked cheap and unprofessional. Brownstone is great because 1.) the pizza is great; 2.) the regular staff and owners are friendly and helpful and 3.) if feels like a local, neighborhood joint. They recently started delivery, and are looking to get their beer license soon. THAT will go towards keeping them around, not some poorly made and cheap looking counter. Please, people. Everything you see on TV is NOT true and good.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the reality shows bring in people. It makes for good TV. However, they did have some very good ideas and the store looked a hell of a lot better than before. I'm not sure how much A&E invested but Gunther was an A-- for the way he acted. UNGRATEFUL............... I wonder how his wife puts up with him.

Anonymous said...

Well Max...For most of us sitting on the other side of the TV, the inside decor, logo and 21st century technology was a big improvement. If the only thing a business needs to be successful is friendly owners and good food, then why are Gunther and his wife almost $200,000 in the hole? A&E gave them the opportunity to create a brand for themselves. All they had to do was build on that foundation! At the beginning of the show, noone knew where or who Brownstone Pizzeria was. Unfortunately, Gunther choose to go down the road, "My way or the highway". You may want to buy a big freezer and stockpile Brownstone pies! My guess is that they won't be there in another eight months. It's a shame, because everyone seems to love the food.

Anonymous said...

I love the restaurant business
..when it's busy! I also know it is Timeless-the restuarant owns your Time; your Life. Gunther, put your work into more promotion. Have a free pizza-day once a month or so to keep spreading the flavor and you will win the favor of more clients. Put the makeover stuff back and keep smiling..a real smile..not that fake one we saw on TV. Very few businesses make it to the 5th year since most never make it past one year. Don't be Right and be Broke like so many others. Beat the odds and be a Thriver instead of a Survivor on resucitation from family & friends.

Anonymous said...

I too saw the show and was aghast at how the owners acted with the A&E staff. That Gunther is an an ungrateful effin' moron, SOB. If they did not want the help, and they want to do things "their way," why ask for it and subject themselves to the entire process? I thought the the makeover was great, since the restaurant lacks an identity and personality. I guess it resembles the owners in every way. Although the food may be good, no business will survive without a sound business plan. Their thinking of "we will be successful just because" is doomed for failure (I should know -i worked in a similar type of restaurant for years). There are too many choices -too much competition. I think at one point Gunther says that he doesn't see his restaurant as a "regular business." Huh? Bottom line, me personally, just from watching the show and seeing how this dumb f%&! acted, doesn't make me want to even sniff the pizza, and I love pizza. Gunther and Bertha, you guys are idiots and know nothing of how to run a small business!!

Larry Diesbach Jr said...

I seen you on A&E I was very un-impressed. I run a business, and fortunately for me I do not have a physical location for a customer to be impressed by. However if I walked in your place i would question if I should be eating there... based on nothing on the walls, you get this great system. If you were so against doing this A&E why the hell did you sign up for it?? I am sure A&E did not beat down your door. Much like the Kitchen Nightmares, your place was a tastelss work of nothing, and I was not that all impressed with the logo either.. Its a shame you spat in the face of the people who gave to you. I am glad your food is good but your business sense is very lacking.

And in this economy your lucky for anyone to give you anything I am so disapointed in you.

Larry

Anonymous said...

I too saw the show and if I were Gunthers wife I think I would have hit him over the head with one of his pizza pans. What is he smoking? Or is he wanting to fail so he can apply for some of that government bail out money? He asked A&E for the help and then after all the time, effort and money put into his business to make it a successful enterprise he trashes it all. He deserves to go broke.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the A&E makeover just two days ago; and I have to say that I am still recovering over the decision Gunther made to revert to the "Bllllaaaahhhness". What the heck was he thinking? That comment he made regarding restaurants not the same as businesses...I think the graphical design career is calling his name; however, he should work for someone else--not try to run his own business.

I'm originally from New York. Have had pizza from just about every pizzeria within the five boroughs. Even the smallest business, (yes, I'm referring to pizzerias) has some type of style to them.

I think Gunther has a better chance of playing the odds on just how long it will be before he's out of business...opps, sorry, I meant to say, "Out of restaurant".

Anonymous said...

wow, c'mon guys. How many of the negative posters have actually been to this place? I have, and I love the pizza! The decor? Well, I could really care less, they have space for maybe seven tables, so its never going to be a sit down place anyways. And I think we have had "reality" TV long enough to know that a LOT goes on behind the cameras that doesnt make it in, and what does is edited to tell a "story". Sounds more like A&E was ticked that they didnt get overwhelming praise for every change they made so they edited the show to be about the "ungrateful ass" owners. Happens all the time folks. As for the actual reality of the place; the pizza is great, the people are friendly, and the location is convenient. So get real, dont believe everything you see on TV.

Anonymous said...

To anyone using the "it's reality TV" excuse to explain away the boorish and moronic behavior of the Brownstone Pizzeria owners: You're conveniently leaving out the biggest reality of all...$200,000 in the hole, and 20+% credit card financing. The ONLY thing that might save that ingrate Gunther is the publicity generated by the A&E program or his ability to sell all the equipment he was given. Maybe the equipment purchaser can put the technology to good use!

Anonymous said...

To anyone using the "it's reality TV" excuse to explain away the boorish and moronic behavior of the Brownstone Pizzeria owners: You're conveniently leaving out the biggest reality of all...$200,000 in the hole, and 20+% credit card financing. The ONLY thing that might save that ingrate Gunther is the publicity generated by the A&E program or his ability to sell all the equipment he was given. Maybe the equipment purchaser can put the technology to good use!

Anonymous said...

I watched the A&E business makeover show at Brownstone Pizzeria. It was obvious they (Gunther and his wife) did not have a clue on what is needed to be a success in business. When Gunther said his awful logo design was better than A&E's design it didn't suprise me that he removed everything A&E gave them. You have to start with quality product, however, a good product alone will not translate to a successful businesss. Finally, I know I'll get hateful responses to my next thoughts-I kept wondering while I watched the show if any of the employees of Brownstone, including Gunther and his wife were here legally. Where I live in a small midwestern town there are several restaurants and other businesses that have opened and they were owned by illegal aliens.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Gunther is incompetent at whatever he touches. A graphic designer? Yeah, right... Pizzaria shop owner? Loser! Maybe he'll be more successful as trench digger for sprinkler systems after he goes bankrupt. What a pig-headed moron.

Anonymous said...

Brownstone Pizza owners are dumb shits. You guys don't know Jack about running a business. Plastic forks paper plates get real. You guys will need tarp funding for your failed business here real soon. Have fun paying over 20% interest on your credit cards. Great move their money man.

Anonymous said...

Gunther and Bertha are unbelievable really, what a shame. I am still in shock after seeing the show. Do you know how many people would be beyond grateful for this kind of makeover and assistance? You flippin' idiot - you will be out of business within a year.

Anonymous said...

Chuck said...

True pizza lovers aren't too concerned about interior design. I thought the team from A&E missed this time around. Keep it simple and help the folks sell more product. A flyer and more emphasis on prospecting for clients makes more sense to me. I didn't see enough hands on business help, just a design show.

Anonymous said...

I too watched the show on A&E and have simular negative feelings about how quickly they undid all the help THEY ASKED FOR. They could have waited at least a month or so to see if business improved. Pride is a hard thing to swallow. I wish them well and hope they can make a living and enjoy life and family because thats what its all about. When Im in California again I will have to stop by and taste their pizza.

Anonymous said...

I always heard something from my neighbor that he sometimes goes to the internet bar to play the game which will use him some gw gold,he usually can win a lot of GuildWars Gold,then he let his friends all have some Guild Wars Gold,his friends thank him very much for introducing them the GuildWars money,they usually cheap gw gold together.

Chris said...

"AWFUL! Pizza was so SOFT and uncooked that it was like EATING A TOWEL! They messed up my delivery order, I called to correct, and they didn't apologize and didn't seem to care! The manager did not offer to correct my missing order and tasteless soft towel pizza! $25 WASTED!!!!
BUYER BEWARE!"

Anonymous said...

i saw the A&E episode in one of my college classes, and everyone in the class thought the owner was a complete dumbass for reverting back to the old ways. if the establishment is changed, and the profits go up, KEEP IT THAT WAY! like they said on the show, in the first 1.5 hours after the reopening, they surpassed their best day by far.

Anonymous said...

i could not believe what i saw at the end of that episode!! there in the hole what, $200,000, 20% credit cards and they throw it all away. and the 2 or 3 responses that said the show did a terrible job and how they dont care of how the place looks inside, i bet they are either, gunther and his wife replying or they are the type of people that dont care how they themselves look(sweat pants, un showered). gunther you are a stupid man and your wife is dumber than you for staying with you. you look like you smell, i would be concerned you would drip sweat into the food off of one of your filthy ugly old work shirts.

Anonymous said...

I am from the hood and Brownstone is the bomb...it is a lot better than the place up the street aka Casa Bianca. The owners are sweet....they have beer and sandwiches too. Try it...you will like it since I find myself often ordering a slice in the middle of the day.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the makeover show that most of the previous comments reference--and Brownstone did lack any decor for the first year or so. But it's worth mentioning that everyone who so assuredly prognosticated a speedy demise for Brownstone Pizza was dead wrong. The place is still going strong. Thank goodness, because they do make decent pizza and that is a rare thing, especially in Northeast L.A.

The place isn't without its problems, especially in terms of planning: They've been known to run out of cheese (!?) and close early and they get backed up and don't answer the phones sometimes on Saturday night. Still, they're a nice addition to the neighborhood.

Mark said...

Gunther you are an ignorant moron. I have owned and sold many businesses; including restaurants. You need to watch the makeover show over and over again. You may be able to keep the doors open for a while, but never to the potential available. Good luck you will need it!!

A&E TV Fan from Maryland said...

Just watched the A&E show that showcased Brownstone Pizzeria and I'm wondering why in the world didn't they say something while the changes were being made instead of waiting until the makeover team left and ditching many of the changes. That seems like something my seven year old would think of doing. I do understand that everything that you see on TV is NOT real... but the way it seemed to go down, Gunther and Bertha appear to be both childish and lack tact.

Mahogany1869 said...

I believe that all of the people that are defending the owners of Brownstone Pizzeria are forgetting one important thing, that the OWNERS called the show We Mean Business in order to obtain a free makeover, and it's stupid and sad that you would undo the good that was done for your business. All of the people that showed up to eat pizza that day whether they were brought in by the show or not, bought you FREE PUBLICITY and REVENUE for the day...and it's so sad and so stupid that you would look a gift horse in the mouth...at the end of the day, it was your decision and you can run your business into the ground if you like, but it was stupid...I mean really to take down the menu, how dumb was that? It let people know what your business has to offer...I mean that is what is really STUPID to me, and that's why I don't think that you're a good business owner...what a dumbie...Aesthetics mean everything when I go into a place of business, and I won't patronize a dirty, blah, boring place...the logo was excellent, it actually tied in the pizza with the concept of New York and a Brownstone...what an idiot!!! But hey, it's all in Guenther's head about his stupid business plan...in fact does he even have a plan?

Anonymous said...

Gunther was a FAT-HEAD UNGRATEFUL BASTERD...What a shame!

Anonymous said...

First off-The pizza is amazing. Probably the best I've had since moving to CA. I live nearby and order from them all the time.
Secondly- The makeover was ridiculous and made it look like a strip mall. Gross and tacky.
Also, to inquire about their citizenship is small minded and also gross and tacky.
Good for them for doing it their way.

Anonymous said...

I am in Texas and just saw the A and E show this morning October 2, 2010. I believe the owners should have given the makeover a little more time. The camera thing was cute. People like to have fun when they eat. I liked the red and white checkerboard table cloths, too. The paper plates are ok. I know washing silverware is a pain. Anyway, maybe just being on TV will bring you guys a whole lot of new business. I hope so. As for the posters who are name calling, please stop that. It is ridiculous. Good luck to the owners. Just open your mind a little bit.