[Photographs: David Kover]

Sitting at the edge of a heavily touristed neighborhood in a hotel lobby, Grand Cafe styles itself a French brasserie. Not my usual destination for pizza. But noting that their pies get fired in a wood oven and topped with house-pulled mozzarella, I found myself enticed to sample the Margherita ($13) on Grand Cafe's bar menu.



The mozzarella didn't turn out too badly, as long as the under salted cheese managed to catch a few of the grains of fleur de sel that had been sprinkled on top. Though it sure was hard for the cheese to stand up to the heavy hand with the tangy tomato puree that had been slathered over this pie.


However, I'd like to register my primary complaint with the crust. The pizza had spent long enough in the oven that the cheese had started to blister, yet the undercarriage remained pale. The spongy, soft texture of the end-crust gave way to a doughiness at the center of the pie, and not a whole lot of flavor anywhere.


Sometimes the words on the menu don't relate to the product that arrives on the plate the way you'd expect.

Grand Cafe

501 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (map)
415-292-0101; grandcae-sf.com


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