SFoodie's John Birdsall mentioned Slice's "United States of Pizza: Northern California" post earlier this week, saying, "...we like the fact that Kuban shared his obsession with us, even if they reveal an outsider's peccadillos." So I emailed Mr. Birdsall to ask if he'd mind sharing an insider's peccadillos. Yesterday, he and Jonathan Kauffman posted their thoughtful take on some unique pizzas in the area:
The West Coast pizza style is an impressionistic one rather than a template: a crackly, blistery crust, no matter whether the ovens are heated by wood or gas; tomato sauce optional; seasonal, local, artisanal toppings assembled to reflect the chefs' tastes.
John and Jon's list, after the jump.
- Pauline's Pizza: "If there's a prototype for the West Coast pizza, it's Pauline's," which "has always been distinct from any East Coast imitator." 260 Valencia Street, San Francisco CA 94103 (14th Street; map); 415-552-2050; paulinespizza.com/
- Pizzaiolo and Boot & Shoe Service: Both helmed by Charlie Hallowell, SFoodie waxes on "Hallowell's marquee stinging nettle pizza, where the greens' bitterness echoes the taste of the crust's blackened bits, modulated with the sweetness of fresh ricotta...." Pizzaiolo, 5008 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland CA 94609 (49th/51/st; map); 510-652-4888; pizzaiolooakland.com. Boot & Shoe Service, 3308 Grand Avenue, Oakland CA 94610 (near Elwood; map); 510-763-2668; bootandshoeservice.com
- Gioia Pizzeria: "...Over the years we've loved the roast broccoli and ricotta, the arugula pesto and prosciutto, the roast fennel with red onions and niçoise olives." 1586 Hopkins Street, Berkeley CA 94707 (at McGee; map); 510-528-4692; gioiapizzeria.com
- Flour + Water: "Thomas McNaughton's extravagantly thin-crusted, wood-fired pizzas, where toppings like roasted bone marrow and broccoli rabe, or fava leaves, asparagus, and prosciutto register our sense of what the city almost literally tastes like in any given season." 2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco CA 94110 (20th Street; map), 415-826-7000; flourandwater.com
- Zante Pizza & Indian Cuisine: "...we've never had anything like the ginger and chile-spiked spinach puree Zante uses for sauce, nor the combination of crimson tandoori chicken, spiced cauliflower, green onions and chopped cilantro the cooks scatter on top..." 3489 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94110 (at Cortland; map); 415-821-3949; zantespizza.com
I think I've got a new list to eat by next time I visit — and even the places I have been to here, well, John and Jon have pointed out pizzas that sound absolutely amazing. Thanks, guys!
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