Osteria La Buca – Stupendous Pizza and homemade pasta


I recently tried Osteria La Buca for lunch. What a fantastic little Italian place! Wish I lived closer.

Little slivers of homemade bread came out first, with some slightly spicy tomato sauce to dip it in. I try not to fill up on bread, but this was soft and flavorful and difficult to ignore. It was a good indication that the pizza would be exceptional.

We ate lightly, splitting a Fungolata salad; arugula, mushroom and parmesan salad. It had a delightfully light and lemony dressing.

We also shared the 12″ pizza – ‘the Caruso’ – which was topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms and Italian sausage, topped with shreds of parmesan cheese.

My, oh my – those little chunks of sausage were time bombs of the most intense flavor. Super tasty with a leading note of fennel. Thin, crunchy and light crust – in short – an incredible pizza.

Best I’ve had in LA, but I must admit I rarely eat it.

The hand-rolled gnocchi is truly superb!  Little fluffy pillows of deliciousness!

Osteria La Buca is a cute venue. Even though they recently expanded next door to seat 70, the charm remains intact, as does the food.

Far from expensive, too. One salad, one pizza, 1 aranciata = approx $30, including tip. Shared for lunch between two light eaters, though…

Postscript – went again today and found the salad way too heavily salted. We each had a bit, leaving about half in the bowl. Mentioned it when the server came to clear our plates, but we were raving about the pizza (Caruso again!) We found we were not charged for the salad at all. Very classy. We tipped extra to cover the cost of half the salad, but we would have eaten it all if it wasn’t so salty…


Osteria La Buca
5210 Melrose Ave, corner Wilton
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 462-1900


closed on mondays for lunch*

tuesday-friday: 11:30-2:30
monday-thursday: 6:00-10:30
friday: 6:00-11:00



Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


  • Nice one, Max. Have you tried Alessi on the SW corner of Highland and Melrose? I’d be interested to hear what you think of the pizza.

  • Yes, I recall a fight almost broke out over the last few delectible bites of sausage. Almost came fist to cuffs. So be warned. I’m also a fan of Palermo’s “el nino” pizza. It’s and explosion of flavors – I order it with sausage (not as good as La Buca’s). But it’s a HEAVY PIZZA so order it when you’re feeling like not being able to move for the rest of the evening.

  • Get pizza at Alessi while you can – Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton are kicking out Alessi and opening their new restaurant in that space!

  • You didn’t try a sausage one?! Actually, that sounds like a winning combo. Wonder if Mama does a pasta all’arrabiata with sausage?

    I’m not really a frequent pizza eater, but I’m gonna have to try Alessi before it gets eaten up by the trio of milky (!?) restaurants. Thanks for the recs.


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