I didn’t get to frequent PizzaHacker when it was a traveling one man show with owner Jeff Krupman using a makeshift Weber grill slash pizza oven to serve up pies all over San Francisco. But I did check out his new brick and mortar (conveniently located about three blocks from my apartment) and thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the za. The “Yo Vinny!” – marinated onions, pickled goat horn peppers, hot Italian sausage from 4505 Meats, Krupman’s own tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella – definitely came out on top, but “Rocket Man” – arugula, garlic, fresh mozzarella, lemon juice and chili paste topped with an egg – was a close second. Only two wine options, but perhaps they’ll expand after getting settled. They didn’t do much to transform the space, previously occupied by a Peruvian restaurant, but with a giant chalkboard wall, strings of lights and no-frills picnic tables, it’s got a charming indoor beer garden feel.
PizzaHacker // 3299 Mission St., San Francisco
New to the neighborhood in Noe Valley is La Nebbia, sister restaurant of La Ciccia (pretty much across the street). In the same vein as La Ciccia, they’re serving truly authentic Italian food, but with a more casual tilt. La Nebbia – which fittingly means “the fog” in Italian – just opened this week (and happens to be a block from my house), so my roommate and I decided to check it out.
Despite some definite first-week-of-opening glitches in service, it’s a really nice space and sure to be a neighborhood staple. An extensive Italian wine list, waiters from Italy, a few pizzas, fresh cheeses and meats (the bufala is really delicious). The menu is pretty hard to maneuver if you’re not familiar with the language, but it’s a fun foray into the unknown and I appreciate the authenticity.
La Nebbia // 1781 Church St., San Francisco
I finally got myself over to Vesta in Redwood City last night. I’ve been dying to try what I’ve heard is very, very good pizza. Its an amazing spot. Tried two starters – a kale salad with jalapeño, pickled raisins, breadcrumbs, pecorino & avocado green onion dressing and grilled carrots with cilantro, paprika, cumin, garlic and lemon yogurt – and loved both. The carrots had almost an Indian-tasting tilt, with the cumin. Would be a great dish to recreate at home. The kale salad didn’t wow me, but I enjoyed it.
The real star was the pizza: sausage and honey (tomato sauce, huge chunks of spicy Italian sausage, mascarpone, fresh parsley, honey and serrano chilis sprinkled about). Heaven on a pie. Probably the best pizza I’ve ever had – the dough was perfect and I’m a sucker for the savory/sweet flavor combo.
All in all, an excellent addition to downtown Redwood City and the Peninsula food scene.
Vesta // 2022 Broadway St., Redwood City
Stumbled upon the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose last night and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s the same model as the Ferry Building in San Francisco: indoor market with multiple food and drink vendors, places to sit and hang out. But San Pedro Square is like the Ferry Building on crack. There’s not one, but two huge warehouse-like areas full of delicious eats and drinks, from tacos to pizza to falafel to sushi to oysters to cheese to hot dogs to ice cream …you get the idea. If you’re ever in San Jose, I highly recommend checking it out.
San Pedro Square Market // 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose