Two months into their Los Angeles residence, I finally made it to Two Boots Pizza on Sunset in Echo Park and had a mini-epiphany involving a slice with pepperoni. It was the most perfect pizza I’ve had in a long time. I’m a purist, in the pizza sense, and I usually stick to what I know I like– but something must have happened because I found myself ordering a second slice called Bayou Beast with BBQ shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapenos and mozzarella at the suggestion of the counter guy. (“My wife loves it.”)
This is so not me, I thought, until I bit into it. A delicate balance was struck between the flinty sweet shell fish and the salty spice of the sausage cosseted by the tangy sauce and smooth cheese. Within the culinary boundaries of the two boots of Italy and Louisiana, from which this pizza joint’s name springs, I was shaken free of my old thinking of what a proper slice entails. And here’s the thing: it all comes down to the yielding chewiness of the perfect thin crust that this NYC-based outfit has mastered. Somehow, it makes disparate flavors get along and play nicely together, like a yeasty nanny you don’t want to tick off.
(See the Goddess after the clicky.)
As I sat slowly savoring these two triangles of temptation to the jukebox’s low thump, I read through their take-out/delivery menu with its jumble of topping options and pies named to honor cultural touchstones from my middle class American youth (Larry Tate, Cleopatra Jones, Dr. John, Bette Midler, etc.). I took relief in discovering I’m within the boundaries of their delivery map.
On my way out, sated, I asked the counter guy if it was OK to BYOB of wine when I return with friends in the near future. He motioned to a woman cooing at her cute infant daughter in a stroller, telling me she was an owner and it was up to her.
“Sure,” she said, laughing. “Just bring a little extra.”
Two Boots, 1818 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90026