Mythic pizza - Page 2

Gialina
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This is a fine combination, but it's bound to change or disappear soon, when the green garlic season ends.

An even finer combination is a pie of broccoli rabe mingled with fennel-breath Italian sausage and blobs of gamy fontina cheese ($13). This is very close to a classic Italian sauce for orecchiette and is quite convincing on a pizza.

We did not get to the puttanesca pie — echo of another classic pasta sauce — but for red-blooded fireworks, the atomica ($12) will more than do. The ancillary toppings here are mushrooms and mozzarella, but the principal actor is the chile-fired tomato sauce, which packs some real heat.

Among the first courses, we found the meatballs ($9) in a spicy tomato-parmesan sauce to be tasty but slightly rubbery. Better was the antipasti plate for two ($11), an array of grilled bread, salume, spicy black and green olives, herbed ricotta, roasted red beets, marinated wild mushrooms, pickled baby carrots, and frisée salad with radish coins — plenty there to keep two people busy while their pizzas are in the oven.

The dessert Goliath is the chocolate pizza ($9), a squarish crust heavily drizzled with hot chocolate sauce and crushed hazelnuts and festooned with mascarpone kisses. It is fabulous, but it does represent starch overkill as some of the other choices do not. The place is noisy, and only in part because of the Scandinavian Designs–looking blond wood panels on the wall. Many of the patrons bring their tiny infants in for a night on the town — or village. In today's Glen Park, this must be the latest adventure in babysitting. *

GIALINA

Dinner: Mon.–Thurs., 5–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5–11 p.m.; Sun., 4–10 p.m.

2842 Diamond, SF

(415) 239-8500

www.gialina.com

Beer and wine

AE/DC/MC/V

Noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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