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[SF Bay Area] Pizza


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#16 Scorched Palate

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 06:58 PM

I wonder if we should just ask the moderators to re-title this thread something generic like '[SF] Pizza: Where's the good stuff?' :lol:
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#17 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 07:05 PM

I wonder if we should just ask the moderators to re-title this thread something generic like '[SF] Pizza: Where's the good stuff?' :lol:

Good idea, Anita! And, mission accomplished.
It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer. -- Richard Bentley

#18 Scorched Palate

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 08:37 PM

Behold my awesome power. :lol:

I forgot you were on moderator patrol, Squeat. Thanks!

~A
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#19 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 07:53 PM

So last night I finally made it to Little Star Pizza on Divisadero with a group of friends. They don't take reservations, and we being a party of 5 arriving at 7:00 pm on a Thursday thought we were looking at a bit of wait (there is a largish vestibule with a few stools where you can sit and have a glass of wine or beer while you're waiting).

We lucked out, however, and were seated within just a few minutes.

We ordered two pizzas: a deep dish "Classic" (sausage, mushrooms, green bell peppers and onions), and a thin crust "White Pie" (garlic olive oil, mozzarella, zucchini, fresh tomatoes and feta).

The deep dish lived up to all the praise I've been hearing. This was a delicious pizza with a wonderfully spiced sauce. The crust was firm with a nice crunch. Excellent.

I wasn't as thrilled with the thin crust pie. The crust was a bit charred in places on the bottom, which is a good thing, but it was a bit too tough and resistant to the tooth for my taste. Also, I wasn't really impressed with the flavor combination of this one. One of my companions really liked it though, so there you go.

I had a Sierra Nevada while my friends split a couple of bottles of a cote du rhone about which I've forgotten the details, but they were satisfied with it. The wine list is not extensive, but corkage is only $10.

Service was friendly and attentive, though we found it odd that they repeatedly stressed that we should use the coasters they provided (to protect the black laminate table-tops? from the stemware?).

The only real complaint I have is the deafening roar in the room. Between the amped-up jukebox and other diners trying to make themselves heard, we had to literally yell at each other throughout our meal in our attempts at conversation. The room is all hard surfaces and very "echo-y"... they really should do something about this. Way too loud.

Anyway, bottom line: great deep dish, 'meh' thin crust, deafening roar. They do a brisk take-out business, though, so my advice is call ahead and pick it up and save your eardrums.

Cheers,

Squeat

Little Star Pizza
It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer. -- Richard Bentley

#20 Scorched Palate

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 06:16 AM

from Gayot's new & notable:

Cinecittà Bar & Roman Pizza
663 Union St. (Columbus Ave.)
San Francisco, CA 94133
415-291-8830

Adnan Daken is baking up thin, crispy square pizzas in North Beach. While living in Italy with his Roman wife, Romina, Daken decided it was time to introduce San Francisco to the pies hed grown to love. The crust, made with high-gluten flour mixed with wheat flour, is denser than Neapolitan-style but still has the four main attributes: thin, crisp, bubbly and charred. We loved the Capriccioso---artichoke, prosciutto, mozzarella, olives and an over-easy egg---as well as the O Sole Mio, topped with anchovies, Parmigiano and tomato sauce. The Boscaiola with grilled sausage and mushrooms and the Margherita are perfect for those wanting simple classics, while the four-cheese Bianca---Brie, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, mozzarella and tomato sauce sprinkled with candied pecans---offers something for more adventurous eaters. Cinecittà also serves made-to-order lasagna, panini sandwiches and salads. There are 20 bottles of wine---all under $30 and available by the glass.


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#21 rlm

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 12:12 AM

Is Pizza Orgasmica still around? I liked their pizza on a couple of visits around '99, but maybe the fact they had pies with names like Doggy Style amused me so much that I have more fond memories of it than I should.
“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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#22 Che Ne Penso

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 09:12 AM

I have to concur with the overall suckiness of pizza in this burg ... we used to be die-hard Serrano's fans, but recent tries have been lackluster. I remember the first time we popped in at 11 am, as they were opening, and ordered a slice each of cheese pizza. 15 minutes later we were rewarded with triangle-shaped pizzas. They hadn't yet made any full pies, so they crafted "slices" which were in fact little individual pizzas.

Not that it's the least bit gourmet, but we are (and actually have long been) loyalists of Noe Valley Pizza. (In fact, I recently blogged about it.) This is red-gingham-tablecloth-grade pizza, but I find the crust satisfyingly chewy and flavorful, and the sauce redolent of oregano. Goat Hill, on Potrero, is another good bet.

Delfina Pizzera is good, to be sure, but at no small price. On our visit, a couple of pies plus a side and a not-expensive bottle of wine ended up setting us back $50/person. For pizza! However, the easy-on-the-eyes staff seems to have been delivered straight from Central Casting. Sit at the counter and watch them go glassy-eyed while they stretch the dough.

I went to A16 once, and actually do not remember anything about it except the interior and the wine list. The pizza somehow did not stand out for me. Makes it hard to justify the schlep out to that neighborhood for me.

I don't love Escape from New York -- the dough always comes off, well, doughy (and undersalted) when I've gone or had delivered. I've heard they use the same size ball of dough whether you order a small or an extra-large, oddly.

Arinell is very much on the radar -- I've heard a few people say similar things. Just gotta drag our butts back to Valencia!

#23 Scorched Palate

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 07:32 PM

I guess I never posted about our Pizzeria Delfina visits. Duh!

First time, we did takeout. They're really not set up well for this if you aren't on foot, as there's no loading zone, and street parking is difficult. By the time we got the pie home (a margherita this time) it had suffered, but showed promise, as did the nice insalata tricolore.

Next visit, we walked right in and got a table without waiting. We split the same salad and also an appetizer that's left my memory, then a couple of pies (one with sausage, I believe, and another special). Both were excellent. Wines seemed pricey and a little hard to decipher. Service was pleasant, although wine recommendations were a little spotty.

Next visit, we ordered an app of artisanal salumi, two pies, and a bottle of vino. We waited about 5 minutes for a table this time; service was identical, and I remember thinking that the food quality was very consistent. If something appeals to you, it's probably good.

I know the place gets mobbed -- the last time we tried to go, we bailed when we saw the throngs -- but we've been pretty lucky with quick seating at least as often as we've given up.

I see Che's point about it being an expensive pizza option, but it's really pretty affordable if you think of it as neighborhood dining.

~A
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#24 ccrotty

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 04:34 PM

I was up on Union St. last week for a matinee of Syriana at UA Metro -- my favorite SF theatre now that the Coronet has closed -- and stopped in at Amici's next door for a quick pizza. It was spendy but very tasty. They have a wood-burning oven, but this is more American thin crust pie than anything really snooty. Thin, chewy crust and good sauce. I'd definitely go back.

Delfina: Having been two or three times now, I'm really pleased with the balance that they've struck between gourmet and informal. That said, we've been really fortunate with our crowd-timing there, and never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table, although I've driven by and seen it jam-packed with a gaggle of Hipper Missionistas waiting while sipping wine on the sidewalk. When we go, we usually have a Plan B to fall back on in case of Dosa Syndrome.

ooo. was that mean? ;)

c

#25 voyager

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 07:05 PM

I'd like to try Pizetta 211, but I have heard -really- bad things (on Yelp and Citysearch) about how they abuse their customers, and I refuse to reward bad behavior.

We have always been treated well at Pizetta 211. However, this storefront hole-in-the-wall is in no way a full service restaurant! The staff does its job: make pizza and salad and plate up dessert; you set your own table and serve the wine. Seating is scant, maybe 12 - 15 indoors at what can be described as picnic tables. You are encouraged to share tables when necessary, which is close to always. In decent weather there are a couple of sidewalk tables. The pizzas are good. The cauliflower and cheese (I forget what kind) was one of the best I have ever had anywhere. Salads are big enough to share, as are desserts.

This is the place I go when I want a great little pizza and am willing to eat and run. It is not a relaxed, kickback and-enjoy-the-rest-of-the-bottle-of-wine-for-a-half-an-hour-place.

FWIW, for takeout, we call Giorgio's, within a half a dozen blocks of home. I hate the pizza but my husband likes it.

#26 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:28 PM

From some New York pizza thread:

QUOTE(rancho_gordo @ Nov 28 2007, 10:55 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Squeat Mungry @ Nov 28 2007, 09:57 AM) View Post
QUOTE(rancho_gordo @ Nov 28 2007, 08:40 AM) View Post
Is the quality of pizza everywhere going down in this country? The crust is now bread and bland and the toppings are too many and bland and fatty. California was never NY but it's inedible here now.

You should get into the City for pizza more often. It's a bit of a twist that, after decades of being known for its lack of good -- or even decent -- pizza, San Francisco has undergone a pizza Renaissance in the past two or three years.

There are now more good choices for pizza available in the City than there have ever been before in my 30 years as a resident. And, it would seem, even more on the way.


Names please and if you say Vicolo I'll scream, I swear it!

Well, besides, of course, Vicolo (I kid! I've never been there) off the top of my head:

Pizzeria Delfina - consistently excellent

A16 - I wasn't thrilled with my first pizza there, but return visits (2) have resulted in good pie

Pizzeta 211 - Sure, it's in the Richmond, but there you go

Piccino - New place in Dogpatch -- very good! (Was there even a "Dogpatch" when we were kids? I swear I never heard of it until the late '90s)

Little Star - I like their new location better than the old one, for some reason

Pazzia - good pie on Potrero Hill

There are others, too, but I'm blanking on the names. I'll add them as I think of them. Oh, and supposedly Danko's new joint in Ghirardelli Square(!) will have pizza -- we'll see how that goes.

There are a handful of good new places in the East Bay, too: Cheese Board and Pizzaolo come to mind. (Not Zachary's! Bleah.)
It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer. -- Richard Bentley

#27 Aaron T

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:22 PM

A friend and I grabbed dinner at Delfina Pizzeria last night. We split the antipasta of Grilled Fennel with bottarga and lemon oil to start and then split the Broccoli Raab Pizza - Broccoli raab, ricotta, oven-dried tomatoes and mozzarella. We split a baba au rum for dessert.

Wait was about 30 minutes at 7:15 on a Friday night. There was a woman smoking a clove cigarette right outside the restaurant whil ewe were waiting for our table, which was annoying as I don't like to be around cigarette smoke and technically you aren't supposed to smoke within a certain distance from the entrance to a restaurant.

Overall the food was very good. Including a beverage each, it was about $25 pp. Everything was simply prepared and enjoyable. Tables very close together. Service can be slow but wasn't a big deal. I'd return.

For Deep Dish pizza, I've had several good pies at Paxti's Chicago Pizza on Hayes Street near Octavia. Apparently there is another (original) location on Emerson Street in Palo Alto.
"There just aren't many new "uptight" reservation places opening, especially in the neighborhoods where older, more sophisticated diners are trolling for youngish women." - Stone

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#28 Aaron T

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:20 AM

QUOTE(voyager @ Mar 18 2006, 11:05 AM) View Post
We have always been treated well at Pizetta 211. However, this storefront hole-in-the-wall is in no way a full service restaurant! The staff does its job: make pizza and salad and plate up dessert; you set your own table and serve the wine. Seating is scant, maybe 12 - 15 indoors at what can be described as picnic tables. You are encouraged to share tables when necessary, which is close to always. In decent weather there are a couple of sidewalk tables. The pizzas are good. The cauliflower and cheese (I forget what kind) was one of the best I have ever had anywhere. Salads are big enough to share, as are desserts.


Curious to try another pizza contender, I had a late lunch at Pizzetta 211 today. I got there at 2 pm and it was mostly empty.

I had an artisan cheese salad to begin. Simple greens, lightly dressed. Served with 2 cheeses: Abbate de Belloc (a French sheep's milk) and Dom Villas (a Portuguese cow's milk). There were some candied walnuts in the salad as well. The cheeses are served on the side of the plate, along with some bread. I preferred the Dom Villas to the abbate. I saved my bread and got some pureed basil to spread on it. Nice.

Then a tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza with some roasted garlic added to it. Nice thin crust, good consistency, not too hard like a cracker but not soft. As little red riding hood might have said, just right. This pizza was piping hot right out of the oven. Had a little more oil than ideal, but otherwise wonderful. Better than the pizza I had last night at Delfina. Pizzas are individual size - you certainly need 1 per person - smaller than at PD.

The only dish besides the half dozen pizzas, 2 cheeses and the salad that was available was a lentil soup which I did not sample.

This place was even smaller than Pizzeria Delfina, and I thought that was small. Service was friendly and good. No issues on that front.

Had a glass of cote du rhone. Wine list not in same league as pizzeria delfina but fine for a neighborhood spot. Wine was served in a water glass...

I'd certainly return. All in $26 + tip.
"There just aren't many new "uptight" reservation places opening, especially in the neighborhoods where older, more sophisticated diners are trolling for youngish women." - Stone

My blog: Savory Hunter @ www.savoryhunter.com

#29 voyager

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:06 AM

QUOTE(Aaron T @ Jan 5 2008, 04:20 PM) View Post
This place was even smaller than Pizzeria Delfina, and I thought that was small.
Er, I'd estimate P211's dining space as 20% of PD, no?


#30 KRamsey

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:13 PM

QUOTE(Aaron T @ Jan 3 2008, 10:20 PM) View Post
QUOTE(voyager @ Mar 18 2006, 11:05 AM) View Post
We have always been treated well at Pizetta 211. However, this storefront hole-in-the-wall is in no way a full service restaurant! The staff does its job: make pizza and salad and plate up dessert; you set your own table and serve the wine. Seating is scant, maybe 12 - 15 indoors at what can be described as picnic tables. You are encouraged to share tables when necessary, which is close to always. In decent weather there are a couple of sidewalk tables. The pizzas are good. The cauliflower and cheese (I forget what kind) was one of the best I have ever had anywhere. Salads are big enough to share, as are desserts.


Curious to try another pizza contender, I had a late lunch at Pizzetta 211 today. I got there at 2 pm and it was mostly empty.

Did you get your pizza in a relatively timely fashion? I went there once in the early afternoon when it was empty and waited far too long.

QUOTE
Er, I'd estimate P211's dining space as 20% of PD, no?

No, Pizzeria Delfina is tiny. Are you thinking of Delfina proper?