Pizza Place on Noriega - Page 2

Dude, where's my pizza?
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Photo by Rory McNamara

Perhaps their best characteristic is the bread they're served on: torpedo-shaped, wonderfully soft rolls from Amoroso Bakery in Philadelphia.

The rolls are like focaccia rolls except not olive-oily. They're also discreetly absorbent, an important consideration if one's grinder is the housemade meatball version ($6.50). The meatballs themselves are veal-inflected, to judge by their subtle texture, and they're bathed in plenty of tomato sauce, which could easily get all over everything but doesn't because most of it settles into the bread. Some melted provolone provides an additional seal.

More complex is the uncomplex-sounding roast turkey grinder ($6.25). Plenty of meat here, along with mayo, mustard, and provolone — but also a puckery zing provided by slivers of red onion and chunks of pepperoncini. We're a long way from sandwiches made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

As for the crowd: surfer-dudish, though a little older than Jeff Spicoli, and no sign of Sean Penn, but plenty of the aforementioned kids, dangling like chimps from chairs and the edges of tables. The surfer-dude community has discovered family values, apparently.

The pizzeria is just about a year old: a whippersnapper with sharp new wood flooring and, over the roof, a tell-tale curvy exhaust flue, in a faded part of town. It's not yet the equal of the Richmond's Pizzetta 211 and maybe it doesn't mean to be. But friends and acquaintances of mine who live in the western Sunset (some surfer dudes, some regular dudes) are certainly eager for renewal in the restaurant scene — if not fast times, at least ambulatory ones.

PIZZA PLACE ON NORIEGA

Wed.–Thurs., Sun.–Mon., noon–10 p.m.

Fri.–Sat., noon–10:30 p.m.

3901 Noriega, SF

(415) 759-5752, www.pizzaplacesf.com

Beer and wine

MC/V

Cheerfully noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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