REVIEW My mission was to find a restaurant in North Beach that doesn't serve Italian food. This was more out of curiosity than resolve; Italian food happens to be my favorite, but I wanted to find an oasis of originality amid the monotony of Columbus Street. After two hours of slowly eliminating the Afghan, Indian, Vietnamese, and Mexican restaurants I had found online because they had closed permanently, only opened for dinner, or had moved across town, I was coming to the conclusion that there is a very active Italian consortium in North Beach driving away all challengers. Plus, my curiosity was eroding under the steadily lapping waves of hunger. I finally cracked and decided to patronize the next cozy little restaurant I came to, provided it wouldn't break my bank account.
This happened to be Trattoria Pinocchio, a nice-looking establishment with a hostess who spoke fluent Italian as she boasted that the restaurant's pastas and breads were made fresh every day. With a claim like that and with prices comparable to those of all of the other places I had been passing ($12.95 for a salad and pasta), it deserved a shot at pleasing my exceedingly discriminatory pasta palate. I even made it easy by ordering one of my all-time favorites, linguini al pesto.
Unfortunately, my salad was so oily, it dripped onto my shirt and left stains on the way from the plate to my mouth. The dressing was not quite orthodox and mildly unpleasant, but tasty enough once I added black pepper, so I continued with the greens with little help from my waiter, who was suspiciously absent most of the time. On my first bite of the linguini when it finally came I realized that I had been rudely cheated. While the pasta was cooked well enough, it certainly didn't taste like it was made fresh that day, and the pesto sauce was more cream and (you guessed it) oil than basil. As I left, I half-expected the hostess's nose to look longer, but no dice.
TRATTORIA PINOCCHIO Mon.Thurs. and Sun., 11:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Fri.Sat., 11:30 a.m.midnight. 401 Columbus, SF. (415) 392-1472, www.trattoriapinocchio.com
Most Commented On
- Vogt hides behind his own child. What a man. - June 18, 2013
- Did Todd Vogt approve this particular version of the truth? - June 18, 2013
- Let's ban Stanton Glantz - June 18, 2013
- In-laws - June 18, 2013
- Wow, he sounds like a real go-getter and exactly the kind of - June 18, 2013
- Wrong on both, "Kyle". - June 18, 2013
- The floggings will continue until morale improves! - June 18, 2013
- This is one of Todd Vogt's - June 18, 2013
- Redmond is a journalist and not a businessman. - June 18, 2013
- You have GOT to be kidding me... - June 18, 2013