Daily Slice: Pasilla Pepper and Queso Fresco Pizza at Arizmendi Bakery, San Francisco

Slice: San Francisco

Pizza reviews in the San Francisco area.

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

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[Photographs: David Kover]

We've covered Arizmendi in this space before, but it only makes sense that they should appear again—their entire pizza program is basically a Daily Slice. They offer only one type of pizza, and it changes daily.

The pizza they serve at this cooperatively-run bakery feels quintessentially Bay Area. We've never seen mozzarella or tomato sauce on their pies. You're far more likely to find gorgonzola and sun-dried tomato pesto to go along with an assortment of seasonal, vegetarian toppings that run the gamut from squash to swiss chard. Their crust gets made from a sourdough that has just a little bit of bite.

20120227-arizmendi-pizza-crust-cc.jpg.jpg This past Saturday at their Mission location, Arizmendi served a pie with paper-thin slices of roast potato, barely-tangy queso fresco, pasilla pepper, lime oil, and cilantro. It nicely fit the vibe of the now-gentrified, formerly Latino neighborhood.

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We've found that this branch of Arizmendi can overcook the underside of their pies, allowing a carbon flavor to overwhelm the pleasures offered by the crisped up bits of cheese on the end-crust. But assuming they have the oven dialed in right, we always enjoy the surprise of discovering what's on the menu that day, and the homey comforts of the way they combine bread and cheese.

Arizmendi Bakery

1268 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 (map) 415-826-9218; valencia.arizmendi.coop