- Reporters Desk
By Gretchen Williams, Dining and Cuisine Writer
Buono’s New San Pedro Location
Sunday afternoon in San Pedro always meant dinner at Grandmother’s house, and if you were lucky, she was called “Nonna.” Nonna’s Sunday sauce was a hearty marinara, rich with ripe tomatoes and garlic, fragrant with basil and oregano. The fabulous aroma of simmering Sunday sauce made Old San Pedro a wonderful place to be on Sunday morning.
Nonna Teresa Buono came to San Pedro in 1965 from Ischia and her homemade Italian sausage, marinara and Bolognese sauces and enormous torpedo sandwiches were legendary, making the grocery and deli a local favorite. Francesco and Teresa’s original neighborhood grocery became a pizzeria with son Frank’s installation of the first pizza oven in 1973.
Generations of San Pedro people have grown up on Buono’s excellent pizza. Buono’s was a tradition for the after school slice. The large torpedo was always good after a trip to Cabrillo Beach. Savory minestrone soup sustained suffering San Pedro during many bad winters. Buono’s on Gaffey and 15th Street was a big part of the San Pedro family.
Now diners can experience that Little Italy feeling with “Sundays at Mama’s House Buffet ” at the new Buono’s Pizzeria location at 6th and Centre streets. Frank Buono’s pride recently arrived from Italy — a brick pizza oven that can achieve 800 degrees.
You could be at Nonna’s house on Sunday afternoon, with delicious choices like farfalle Alfredo with chicken and broccoli, rigatoni al forno with that fabulous meat sauce, ziti with sundried tomatoes and mushrooms, eggplant parmigiana, meatballs in meat sauce, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, with scrumptious slices of the traditional pizza as well as Neapolitan style, with a crispy crust. Assorted breads and a fresh salad bar complete the menu. Happy Hour will extend all day, with a selection of wines and local craft beers from San Pedro Brewing Co.
Buono’s strategic new location is in the heart of Little Italy; a large patio for al fresco dining and huge warp-around windows look out onto the busy street— Buono’s has it all. Abundant parking in the structure next door assures easy access. Buono’s traditional menu of favorites is available for dining-in as well as take-out and delivery.
Buono’s other locations in Long Beach are celebrating the new San Pedro location, too. The downtown Long Beach Buono’s, at 250 W. Ocean Blvd., has a lovely dining room as well as relaxing al fresco dining. The Wrigley District Buono’s charming restaurant and pizzeria is at 401 W. Willow St.
222 W. 6th St., “Little Italy” San Pedro
La Buvette now Compagnon Wine Bistro
Compagnon is your best friend, your companion, your colleague, your bon homme, your homie. Compagnon Wine Bistro (formerly La Buvette) is the delightful French bistro found on every corner in the South of France and now located on lower 7th Street in the heart of downtown San Pedro. Beef bourguignon is the ultimate French comfort food, braised with red wine and served at Compagnon with crusty bread and love. The extensive wine list and beers on tap offer comfort on another level. Try Compagnon for delicious and sophisticated Sunday Brunch. Think of Compagnon for Valentine’s Day. Champagne and oysters-on-the-half-shell at Compagnon are très délectable!
335 W. 7th St., San Pedro
Hippest Corner in Pedro
Twenty-third and Alma is the hippest corner in San Pedro these days. The Chori-Man led the way with spectacular burritos using his own handmade chorizo, Peruvian beans, local Anaheim and California chiles and fruity, but hot, salsas made in-house. The fantastic chorizo is available to take home. The Chori-Man has become a culinary destination, with chorizo fans lining up on weekend mornings for the gordo delights.
Colossus Bakery is a small bakery turning out big loaves of sourdough bread with big flavor! Next door to Chori-Man, Colossus has opened to instant fame, with only the early birds lucky enough to score a fresh nectarine Danish or a dense muffin, full of fruit. The bread loaves are baked during the day, with the last batch fragrantly turned out at about 4 p.m. The house sourdough loaf is excellent, texture and flavor top notch and the loaf itself is huge. Each day offers additional varieties, with olives, seeds and nuts as well as lovely Challah one day a week. Each type makes great toast, too.
2309 S. Alma St., San Pedro
2311 S. Alma St., San Pedro