Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two Boots Pizza - Echo Park, Ca

For reasons that are entirely arbitrary I grant fancy-pants pizza much more leniency than fancy-pants hamburgers. I suppose the one un-arbitrary reason is that even the fanciest of pantsed 1-2 person pizzas top out in price at around $14, as opposed to burgers that can top $20 for what is, at best, a hearty appetizer. Plus, pizza has always existed in the whambamthankyoumaam variety and the classier forkandknife variety, as opposed to the hamburger which had been a filling fast food and diner standard up until, oh, about 1999 (to pick a wholly arbitrary date).

I judge pizza against two standards. The Lanesplitter Standard and the Pizzeria Delfina standard.

The Lanesplitter Standard: Inexpensive, generously topped thin-crust pizza in a dive-y environment with plentiful modestly-priced booze available.

The Pizzeria Delfina Standard: Moderate-to-expensive, thoughtfully topped with premium ingredients on a thin, lightly scorched crust baked at high-temperatures.

Two Boots, the recent NYC transplant to Echo Park, compares favorably against the Lanesplitter Standard but it's a bit more ambitious than Lanesplitter and a bit more expensive (and served no beer), so overall my impression was mixed.

I had two slices. I opted for the more unusual selections. First was a "Bird" slice--buffalo chicken, blue cheese, scallions, jalapenos, on a white pizza. This was a pretty good slice, though not very spicy. I would've liked more scallion and jalapeno and less blue cheese which hid itself in stinky pockets throughout the pizza. The second slice, Bayou Beast, with crawfish, andouille, and jalapenos, was a disappointment. Sparsely topped, it just tasted kinda salty.

And that was my general complaint: the pizzas were salty as hell. And not because the components were particularly salty--the crust, sauce, cheese, everything was loaded with cheap-tasting salt. Fine for a pepperoni slice from some dive, but when I'm eating crawfish and andouille on a pizza I want to taste crawfish and andouille.

My secondary complaint: the pizza was soggy. This is my frequent complaint with Lanesplitter too, but whenever I get a slice from Lanesplitter it's usually pretty crisp (as opposed to a pie which is always soggy in the middle). At Two Boots, even the slices were soggy at the ends. Lame.

My tertiary complaint: the pizza is too lightly topped. With inexpensive pizza, you can forgive the shortcomings in sauce and crust because there's a heap of tasty toppings. Not so at Two Boots. If you're not going to load up on toppings, your sauce and cheese had better shine, but Two Boots' sauce and cheese is serviceable at best.

Still, it's the most interesting pizza I've had in LA and the prices are still pretty good, even if they're a few cents more expensive then some of my old favorites. I'll give it a go on a regular basis--and they deliver to my neighborhood. Bonus.


charlie w. said...

I don't know- from your review it sounds like you could make better pizza at home. And, your kitchen delivers.

worstquality said...

Have you been to Tomato Pie in Silver Lake yet? That shit is gooood.