Esco brings East Coast-style pizza and passion to La Brea

| December 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

LOCAL RESIDENTS have had a taste of Esco’s pizza at the Larchmont Family Fair, above, in October, and the Taste of Larchmont in September.

There’s a new pizza man in town! Already having won over local residents by participating at the recent Taste of Larchmont and Larchmont Family Fair, the affable Esco (Esteban Plutarco Gutierrez) recently opened Esco’s Pizza located next to Bludso’s Bar & Que on La Brea Ave. Esco brings East Coast flavor to Los Angeles with his New York style pizza, pastas, salads, chicken wings, and classic New York sandwiches; the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, the chopped cheese sandwich and the Parkside Cubano.

Menu items are a culmination of Esco’s New York upbringing and Mexican-German heritage.

Originally from Harlem, Esco worked at his father’s New York deli as a young child.  Through his teenage years, he helped run the family pizzeria in Astoria.  After having earned a degree from Buffalo State College, Esco worked as a social worker.  In 2015, he sold his sneaker collection to finance a move from New York to Los Angeles.  It was in Los Angeles where Esco began his formal training as a restaurateur. His first gig was at Prime Pizza on Fairfax Avenue, followed by a stint at The Dime, where he was hired to curate a new menu. Hands-on training followed at Vito’s Pizza, Joe’s on Sunset, Osteria La Buca (where he mastered the onerous skill of making a Neapolitan pizza) and South End in Venice.

ESCO worked at several pizzerias before opening his own.

In 2021, Esco was contacted by rapper Biggie Smalls’ daughter, Tyanna Wallace, and Tyra Myricks, daughter of fellow late hip-hop legend Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C., to help open Juicy’s Pizza. In March of 2022, Juicy’s was taken over by business impresarios Everett Smith and John Zapp, who partnered with Esco to open Esco’s New York-themed pizzeria, which features a New York subway car and a decked out lounge used for private events, Sunday football viewing parties and local hip-hop fêtes.

Eager to become involved with the local community, Esco outlines (in his heavy Harlem accent), “I’m a people person. I love people and that’s a big part of having an eatery for me.” An avid graffiti artist, Esco further notes, “To tie in art, social work and pizza, I’m in heaven… It’s the ultimate platform for me.” Always smiling and happy to chat with his customers, Esco is clearly passionate about gratifying his patrons.

Esco plans to expand the menu once he has an established team in place. In the meantime, he heeds his father’s advice, “Everything’s going to work out just fine.”

Esco’s Pizza is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun. to Thurs., and 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday.
Esco’s Pizza, 615 N. La Brea Ave.

By Vivian Gueler

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Category: Entertainment

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