Friday, December 2, 2011

San Francisco: Pizzeria Delfina

Four days after having lunch at Pizzeria Mozza in Hollywood, I had a pre-symphony dinner at Pizzeria Delfina (the Mission location) with Andrew.  Much like Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Delfina is the younger, eponymous offshoot of the original and very famous Italian restaurant next door.  After finding parking a couple blocks away, we arrived around 5:35pm, put our names on the chalkboard waiting list, and ordered a glass of Montepulciano.  The 25-minute wait didn't feel too long, and we were seated at a sidewalk table; fortunately, there are heat lamps.

Breadsticks and water are at the table, along with little dishes of parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and some herb I couldn't identify.

Pizza with fennel sausage, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella.  The tomato sauce was slightly spicy.

Pizza with grilled treviso, pancetta, rosemary, and green onion (I think).  The grilled treviso is slightly bitter, which was a nice contrast to the rich pancetta.

Interestingly, I found the crusts to be rather bland; it seems that the pizza dough itself is barely seasoned, which I'm guessing is intentional for a pizzeria of this caliber.  I ended up ordering a side of pizza sauce for crust-dipping.  The sauce took some time to arrive, but did so in steaming hot fashion, and was definitely some of the best tomato sauce we'd ever had.  We didn't have time to try the cannolis since we still had to get to Davies Hall, but Tartine Bakery is on the same block (to be rhapsodized about in the next post).

So, I've now tried the best or among-the-best pizzas that both LA and SF have to offer, and I've been told (thanks, Hua) that a comparison post is mandatory.  I think the nature and quality of sauces and toppings is about equivalent, but there are some clear differences in the dough, baking, and consequent crusts.  Delfina's crusts are crisped all the way to the center of the pizzas, i.e. slices are stiffer, while Mozza's crusts are soft in the middle, along with being more seasoned.  My personal preference may actually be Mozza, since I do like contrast in crust tension within each slice.

That said, these are quibbles, and I'd happily eat at either or both pizzerias again, especially with the dining companions I'm fortunate to have!