Gialina: San Francisco Food Critic Michael Bauer's Favorite Pizzeria

Pizzeria Gialina, exterior

[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

This is from last week, but if you're not plugged in to the SF pizza scene, you may have missed it. San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer officially anoints Pizzeria Gialina his favorite pizza place in the City by the Bay:

What sets Gialina pizza apart is the handmade crust, with puffy edges that are darkened but not blistered and a delicately chewy texture - it's nearly cracker-crisp on the outside, giving way to that elusive tender breadiness. The secret, according to Ardiana, is a low yeast-to-flour ratio and a dough that is wetter than most. She also makes the dough the night before so it has time to proof.

Toppings are restrained; Ardiana creates 13 and I've never had a bad one, whether she's taking the night off or toiling in the back with stacks of pizza boxes balanced above her head. The most popular is the Atomica ($15), where the crust is slathered with a thin wash of sweet tomato sauce topped with mozzarella, mushrooms, red onions and rings of chiles. It's an explosion of sweet, salty, mild, spicy, crisp and tender - just about every yin-yang description that makes food great.

Gialina Pizzeria

2842 Diamond Street, San Francisco CA 94131 (map) 415-239-8500;

Gialina Pizzeria and a Summer of Super Slices in San Francisco
Gialina, Glen Park, San Francisco: A Quickie
A Mini San Francisco Pizza Jaunt: Does Alan Richman Know His Bay Area Pizza?